05/04/2017 @ 09:30:00
Having considered the matter very carefully, the BHA has decided not to make a submission to the Disciplinary Panel opposing Mr Buick’s appeal against the decision of the Chelmsford Stewards to find him in breach of Rule (D)45.3 for his ride on ZILLION on 30 March. By doing this the BHA is effectively saying, that while the determination of the appeal rests with the Disciplinary Panel, the BHA does not believe reasonable submissions can be made to oppose the upholding of Mr Buick’s appeal and the subsequent overturning of the charge and resultant suspension in this case.
The BHA believes it was correct that the Stewards held an enquiry into the running and riding of ZILLION, as it was apparent that the horse was not asked for timely, real and substantial effort to achieve the best possible placing which is required under the rules. However, the Stewards accepted Mr Buick’s explanation for the ride that the horse was hanging badly – a fact supported by the video evidence – and a review of the transcript of the enquiry and the reports from the veterinary officer indicate that Mr Buick could not reasonably have been expected to be aware of a potential welfare issue that was materially affecting the performance of the horse and which would have placed a requirement on Mr Buick to pull up the horse.
As such, while we believe that the reasons for the decision taken by the stewards are understandable, the view of the BHA is that the ride was not in breach of the Rules.
We are grateful for Mr Buick’s and the PJA’s understanding that on occasion it may become necessary to revisit a real-time stewarding decision, albeit one that was taken in good faith on the day and with the intention of maintaining public confidence in the integrity of our sport and equine welfare. Steps will be taken to ensure that we learn from this incident in terms of how similar matters are dealt with in future.