In light of the continuing commentary regarding the Martin Dwyer case, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has released the following update.
BHA are in contact with both the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) and Martin Dwyer. This ongoing contact has been made with the objective that both BHA and Dwyer are fully informed of the relevant circumstances, and to ensure that Dwyer is clear on, and able to comply with, the processes required for him to proceed with his appeal in India.
Although contact has been made with the RWITC, no written notification or explanation has been received as yet regarding the findings and penalty in this particular case. BHA have been informed that should Martin Dwyer’s appeal not be successful, RWITC would only at that stage formally notify BHA of the outcome of the case and the findings. The RWITC have indicated that at the same time they would request that BHA reciprocate any penalty imposed on Dwyer.
In the meantime, BHA recognise as a priority the benefits of establishing from the RWITC whether the proposed commencement date of the suspension, 31st August, would remain even if the appeal had not yet been heard. BHA would not expect that to be the case.
BHA Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation Jamie Stier has been in contact with Martin Dwyer and advised him of the processes that would need to take place should his RWITC appeal be unsuccessful and he subsequently wish to make an application that any suspension not be reciprocated by BHA. Should this be the case, any application would be heard by the Disciplinary Panel, as clearly set out in the Panel’s Terms of Reference. Within BHA’s structure, it is only the Disciplinary Panel which can determine any application for non-reciprocation of penalties imposed on British riders when riding abroad.
BHA’s Rules on reciprocity are clear and reflect those recommended by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) for best practice in such circumstances. The appeal process in the jurisdiction issuing the penalty must be exhausted before an application not to reciprocate could be considered. The fact that the RWITC is not a signatory to the IFHA’s International Agreement is not relevant in this context.
In the event that any suspension imposed is due to commence before the application for non-reciprocation can be heard, there is provision in the Rules that the commencement of the suspension may be deferred pending any hearing and subsequent Disciplinary Panel decision on the application. A decision on whether this deferral is appropriate would also be made by the Disciplinary Panel.