Results of enquiries (Brendan Powell, Mel Brittain) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Friday 25 April
The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Friday 25 April 2014 held an enquiry to establish whether or not Brendan Powell, the rider of BATTLE GROUP, had committed a breach of Rule (B)54.2 of the Rules of Racing in respect of the number, rapidity and force with which Powell used his whip on BATTLE GROUP after the gelding planted and showed a reluctance to race, before eventually jumping off, at the start in the Coral Scottish National Handicap Steeple Chase at Ayr on 12 April 2014. Whilst the matter was not enquired into by the Ayr Stewards on the day it was subsequently referred to the Disciplinary Panel by the BHA following review at High Holborn.
The Panel considered evidence from Powell, who was legally represented. It also viewed recordings of the start of the race.
The Panel noted that after two initial hits which did not cause the Panel concern, Powell hit the horse on seven occasions in quick succession followed by two further unnecessary hits, which in all the circumstances the Panel considered to be improper use of the whip as regards number and rapidity, but not as to excessive force.
The Panel found Powell in breach of Rule (B)54.2 and suspended him for five days on Saturday 3 May, and from Monday 5 to Thursday 8 May 2014 inclusive.
The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on Friday 25 April 2014 into a report that DEFENCE COUNCIL (IRE), trained by Mel Brittain, had refused to race in the William Hill Download The App Handicap Stakes at Doncaster on 30 March 2014. The matter was referred to the BHA by the Doncaster Stewards following their enquiry of the same day, because the gelding had also refused to race in two of its last three races at York on 26 July 2013 and Hamilton on 30 September 2013.
Having considered the evidence, including a written statement from Richard Mustill, the owner, pointing out that the gelding had changed trainers and that it was also going for some remedial stalls training with Gary Witheford, the Panel decided not to exercise its powers under Rule (F)66 of the Rules of Racing and place a restriction on the gelding being entered and run. However, the Panel directed that if DEFENCE COUNCIL (IRE) refuses or is reluctant to start in any of its next three races under the Rules of Racing the matter should be referred back to the BHA.
Notes to editors
1. The Panel for the enquiries was: Philip Curl (Chair), Edward Dorrell, Ian Stark
For more information contact:
British Horseracing Authority