15 members of independent Judicial Panel announced ahead of new term beginning on 1 September 2020

27 Aug 2020 BHA Features Integrity

His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC the independent Judicial Panel Chairman to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), has today announced the 15 members who will form his new independent Judicial Panel members and chairmen. 

This follows the expiry of the term of the first Panel selected in 2017 following the Quinlan recommendations.

The appointed Panel chairmen and members will continue to play a key role in upholding the integrity of Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport by being responsible for holding enquiries under the Rules of Racing, hearing appeals against the BHA’s racecourse stewards’ decisions and, where appropriate, imposing penalties in accordance with the Rules.

28 applicants were shortlisted and were interviewed via Zoom.  This followed an open and competitive process judged against published criteria. The independent Judicial Panel Chairman was assisted in the decision-making process by the Deputy Judicial Panel Chairman, Bruce Blair QC, Philip Freedman, formerly Chairman of the Horsemen’s Group, Lydia Hislop, journalist and analyst and Jeremy Lane, a BHA People and Culture Department advisor.

The appointed chairs and members, from diverse racing backgrounds, will commence their duties from 1 September 2020 and are contracted on a three-year basis.

An initial familiarisation session will take place in September.

His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC, independent Chairman of the Judicial Panel said:

“The appointment process for these important positions has been an extensive one.  I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time and effort to apply and we were very fortunate again to have such a high number of quality applications.  I’m pleased that we have been able to put in place a panel which combines greater diversity of skills and experience, combining significant legal expertise with in-depth horseracing knowledge.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the departing Panel members for all of their time, expertise and assistance in the last three years.”

The independent chairmen and members are:



Timothy Charlton QC Previously a commercial practitioner with an interest in sports law.  A long-time member of the Disciplinary Panel with a comprehensive knowledge of racing and betting.
His Honour Philip Curl A retired Circuit Judge.  A steward at racecourses including Newmarket and Yarmouth between 2002 and 2016 and a member of the Disciplinary Panel since 2011.
David Fish QC A Manchester practitioner with wide ranging regulatory and disciplinary experience.  An owner for many years and a broad knowledge of the sport.
William Norris QC Has an extensive practice in London including sports law.  Has ridden as an amateur jockey and a former owner.  Chairman of the Injured Jockeys Fund and sits on the FA Disciplinary Panel and the Sports Dispute Resolution Tribunal.
James O’Mahony A Circuit Judge in Kent and the Honorary Recorder of Margate.  A wide understanding of the sport.



Austin Allison Senior legal advisor with a major city investment management firm.  Arbitrator and mediator.  Frequent race goer in UK and abroad.  Owner almost continuously since 1996 and a member of the Racehorse Owners Association.
Anthony Connell A retired senior lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service and a member of several racecourses with a comprehensive knowledge of horseracing.
Tim Etherington Broad knowledge of the industry.  Trainer for 25 years at Malton with winners at Cheltenham and Ascot.  Helped to establish Equine Industry Helpline.
Chloe Fairley From a racing family.  A barrister practising in Leeds with wider criminal and regulatory practice.  Rides out regularly for a professional trainer in Yorkshire and rode the winner of the MacMillan charity race for amateurs at York in 2014.
Dr Lyn Griffiths A Racecourse Medical Officer for many years and previously a GP Principal in the Midlands. Specialist knowledge in sports medicine and was the senior medical-legal advisor for the Medical Protection Society until 2017.
Jodie Mogford A former jockey who rode c.170 winners under National Hunt Rules.  Currently assistant trainer to Graeme McPherson QC and will therefore not sit on any cases which involve a licensed trainer who is personally alleged to be in breach of the Rules of Racing, or where Graeme MacPherson is acting for either party.
Alison Royston Ridden competitively since childhood.  A career in football administration becoming the Premier League Head of Administration.  Now returned to racing as the administrator of a yard in Yorkshire.  A member of the FA Judicial Panel.
Rachel Spearing A London barrister with a regulatory enquiry and inquest practice.  Family racing connections, has ridden out and is a previous owner.  A particular interest in wellbeing and safeguarding and will have a specific responsibility for the development of the Safeguarding jurisdiction of the Panel.
Ian Stark OBE Now running Equestrian Centre in the Borders.  Outstanding medal winning career and past British Team selector for the British 3 day event team.  Previously a member of the Disciplinary Panel and a member of the Jockey Club.
Steve Winfield An owner, breeder and devotee of horseracing.  Wide leadership as well as extensive regulatory and disciplinary experience.  Has served as Chair of the Greyhound Regulatory Board and as a Director of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

Shirley Cowan, in her role as Judicial Panel Secretary, will continue to act as the sole conduit between the BHA and the independent Judicial Panel.  This is to ensure the independence and separation of the BHA’s executive function from its quasi-judicial panels.

Notes to Editors:

1. The independent Judicial Panel was formed in July 2017 for a three-year term. Due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, their terms were extended by the BHA Board until 31 August 2020.