BHA statement on safeguarding in British racing

17 May 2023 BHA Features

Following the publication of the Disciplinary Panel’s written reasons at the conclusion of the investigation into the conduct of licensed trainer Robyn Brisland and member of staff William Degnan, the BHA has issued the following statement:

If racing is to enjoy a vibrant and sustainable future, we must ensure that our sport is a welcoming and safe space for all. The BHA works closely with participants and stakeholders across the industry with the objective being to ensure the highest possible standards of behaviour are maintained, and will continue to take action against those whose conduct falls below those expectations.

The conduct of Mr Brisland and Mr Degnan highlighted in this case fell a long way short of the values of British racing. While the case did not conclude with the full hearing as scheduled following the admission of breaches, the particulars of the case were detailed publicly and are now a matter of public record through the Panel’s written reasons. The agreement on the penalty was only reached after the BHA communicated with those who brought the complaint, and all parties were satisfied with the outcome.

Since then, the BHA’s Safeguarding team has sought to prevent a recurrence of the behaviour in this case by working with Mr Brisland and Mr Degnan. As is standard in a case such as this, a yard visit has taken place to ensure the welfare of all parties, and follow-up visits are planned in order to deliver face-to-face education on appropriate behaviour, staff management and safeguarding. The yard has also been advised to appoint a safeguarding champion, who can act as a central point to manage any safeguarding concerns that may occur.

It is important for everybody in the sport to see conduct such as that in this case called out as unacceptable and dealt with appropriately. We would encourage anybody who witnesses or is subjected to behaviour that they feel could be in breach of the Code of Conduct to report it, either via email to [email protected] or via the RaceWISE service on 0800 085 2580.