Having received representation from Sam Waley-Cohen today, following his unsuccessful appeal against the seven-day suspension imposed on him by the Carlisle Stewards on 20 March 2016, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this evening amended the dates of the suspensions imposed on both Sam Waley-Cohen and Nina Carberry to the extent that they will no longer apply on Grand National day, 9 April 2016.
The representation from Sam Waley-Cohen suggested that the the way in which the Schedule of the Rules was worded was ambiguous. While the intention of the Schedule is to suspend amateur riders when races are taking place in which they can participate, the BHA accept that the various changes to the Schedule over the years mean that the Rule is open to different interpretation.
The ban was previously scheduled to apply on Grand National day because of the existence of a hurdle race at Aintree which is confined to amateur riders and conditional jockeys. However, the specific wording of Schedule (B)1 10.1 of the Rules of Racing states that a riding suspension imposed on an Amateur Rider will apply:
10.1.2 when the Rule Contravention occurs in a steeple chase, hurdle race or National Hunt Flat Race on those days:
10.1.2.1 when an Amateur Riders steeple chase, or
10.1.2.2 when an Amateur Riders hurdle race, or
10.1.2.3 when a National Hunt Flat Race confined to Amateur Riders and Conditional Jockeys is run.
The representation pointed to the fact that the clause relating to National Hunt Flat races refers specifically to races confined to Amateur Riders and Conditional Jockeys, however the clause relating to hurdle races refers only to races confined to Amateur Riders.
Having now identified the anomaly, the BHA will take steps to amend the Schedule to ensure future amateur suspensions correctly reflect the aforementioned intention.
Notes to Editors
1. The dates of the suspension for Sam Waley-Cohen will now apply as follows: 03/04, 04/04, 05/04, 07/04, 11/04, 12/04, 15/04
2. The dates of the suspension for Nina Carberry will now apply as follows: 01/04, 02/04, 03/04, 04/04, 05/04, 07/04, 11/04