Following the decision of the Disciplinary Panel to find 39 riders in breach of Rule (D)44.4 of the Rules of Racing, in the light of Rule (D)44.5, in that they “attempted to line up and/or take a position for the start before being instructed to do so by the Starter”, Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for BHA, said:
“Today’s hearing has hopefully drawn a line under the incident that occurred prior to the start of the 2014 Grand National. It was the view of the Starters and BHA that the riders had lined up before being instructed to do so. This view was upheld by the Disciplinary Panel at today’s hearing.
“We acknowledge that the Disciplinary Panel raised some concerns about the manner in which the start of the race was managed, and the application of the starting procedures by the Starters in Jump racing in general. We will now await the Disciplinary Panel’s written reasons and consider the findings. We have already stated our willingness to liaise with the PJA and jockeys on the issues that arise, where appropriate.
“The objective for both parties now has to be to look to the future and see what can be done to address both how starting procedures are managed in Jump racing and to optimise the likelihood of a first time start for the Grand National. We know that by working together this is possible, as was illustrated by the successful start of the 2013 Grand National. In order to have any chance of achieving that objective the cooperation of the jockeys on the day is necessary.
“Working with the PJA and jockeys to identify the most appropriate and effective procedures for Jump race starts, and the Grand National in particular, is nothing new. We have engaged in extensive and frequent consultation on these subjects in recent years. This has included the jockeys’ valued contributions to the Grand National Review of 2011, and following the 2012 running of the race resulting in the Grand National start being repositioned and procedural improvements across all Jump starts introduced last season.”