BHA statement regarding its appeal against a decision of the Disciplinary Panel

12 Oct 2017 BHA Features Disciplinary Integrity

The Judicial Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today issued a notice regarding an appeal which has been lodged by the BHA against the decision of the Disciplinary Panel. The appeal relates to a case involving trainer Philip Hobbs which was heard on 10 August 2017, and is against the decision of the Disciplinary Panel to find that Rule (G) 11.4 of the Rules of Racing was satisfied and to therefore not impose a penalty upon the trainer for his breach of Rule (G) 2.1.

Explaining the BHA’s decision to appeal, Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA, said:

“The appeal of the BHA is intended to seek clarification in relation to the interpretation of Rule (G)11.4 by the Disciplinary Panel.

“We are appealing this decision on the basis of the principle alone, not the fact of the absence of the penalty against the respondent. Should the appeal be successful the BHA would be asking for only a nominal penalty to be imposed.

“We have made it clear that an appeal would only be lodged by the BHA in exceptional circumstances and when a decision of the Panel may impact on the BHA’s ability to regulate the sport effectively. While we cannot go into detail regarding the specifics of this case ahead of the appeal hearing, we are of the view that the Panel’s interpretation of the Rules in the original hearing was not correct and therefore an appeal was necessary to establish an agreed interpretation.

“This is the first time that the BHA has lodged an appeal against the decision of a Disciplinary Panel since the ability for the BHA to appeal was introduced in 2014.”

The BHA has agreed to indemnify the respondents for all reasonable costs incurred in responding to an appeal from the BHA in the event that the respondent is successful.

Notes to editors:

1. The formal appeal notice can be found here [link]. This notice contains a brief summary of the case in question and the finding by the Disciplinary Panel.

2. The full decision and written reasons from the original hearing can be found here.

3. The BHA is not able to offer any further comment regarding the details of the case until after the hearing has concluded and the Appeal Board’s decision and written reasons are published.

4. The grounds upon which an appeal can be lodged by the BHA are:

1. That the reasons given are insufficient to support the decision;

2. That there was insufficient material on the basis of which a reasonable decision maker could have made the decision in question;

3. That the decision maker

a. Misconstrued,
b. Failed to apply, or
c. Wrongly applied these Rules, General Instructions or regulations which are relevant to the decision;

4. That any Disciplinary Penalty or any award, order or other sanction is so disproportionate that no reasonable decision maker could have decided upon it; or

5. That there is evidence available for the appeal which had it been available at the original hearing, would have caused the decision maker to reach a materially different decision.