At its meeting on Thursday 20 July, the BHA Board granted approval to its executive team to work with horsemen and stakeholders to develop a plan to implement a new, sustainable stewarding model from 2019. As the first step, the BHA will consult on options for the design of a new stewarding model, including replacing the role of Volunteer Steward with a new, salaried Raceday Steward role. The BHA will listen carefully to the views of existing stewards and participants before making a final decision on the detailed design and implementation of the new model.
The current approach, which involves a combination of salaried Stipendiary Stewards and Volunteer Stewards, has served British racing well for many years, providing a cost-effective and flexible stewarding model. British racing will continue to rely on the skills, experience and commitment of its 97 Volunteer Stewards, 16 Stipendiary Stewards and 8 Stewards’ Secretaries as it develops plans to move to a new stewarding model.
The key driver for a new model is the need to ensure there is clear accountability for managing raceday integrity risks and decision-making. This demands careful consideration of the number and type of Stewards required, how frequently they sit, the breadth of their role and their access to training and development. It is also important that the future stewarding model can meet the increasing demands of a modern-day fixture list. The development of the new stewarding model supports the BHA’s strategic objective to continue to evolve a regulatory and integrity framework that operates in the best interests of the sport and has the confidence of participants and the racing and betting public.
Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA, said: “While the current stewarding model has served British racing well for many years, now is the right time to look at alternative models in order to decide which one can best provide clear accountability for raceday integrity issues, decision-making and support a fully comprehensive programme of training and development for all stewards. We also need to ensure that our approach can, in future, deliver the resources needed to service the fixture list fully and effectively.
“We’ll now work with our current stewarding team, horsemen and racecourses to develop options for implementing the new model from 2019.
“I’d like to pass on my great appreciation to all our Volunteer Stewards for their commitment and service to British racing which has seen our sport progress to its current highly-regarded position. We hope that they will continue to make themselves available through the period of the consultation and transition.”
Paul Barton, Head of Stewarding at the BHA, said: “The decision to start work on options for a new stewarding model was influenced by feedback received from stakeholders,
“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all of our Volunteer Stewards who continue to give up so much of their time for the love of the sport. They work with dedication, enthusiasm and fairness. They have made, and continue to make, an enormous contribution to British racing. We are so grateful for their support. Their knowledge and experience will be very valuable in finalising the design of the new model and they will play an important role in the consultation process.”