• Board takes on direct regulatory role as well as governance
• Patrick Russell appointed first Disciplinary Officer
The British Horseracing Authority, which took over as the governing body in July 2007, has announced further streamlining of the structures of British Horseracing. The changes, which are still subject to formal Members’ approval, will come into effect on 1 May, and will make the independent Board directly responsible for both governance and regulatory responsibilities.
The Regulatory Committee, which had been left in place from the previous Jockey Club/HRA structure to run regulatory matters within the Authority, will be disbanded, and its functions absorbed by the main Board.
All committees that had reported into the Regulatory Committee will now report directly to the Board, including on disciplinary, stewarding and licensing matters. A new Rules Committee will also be formed, and it will have the important focussed role of scrutinising the Rules of Racing and proposing any necessary amendments. It will report to the Board, but have a remit to take an objective and independent view on Rules, and will also be responsible for advising the Board on Penalties. This new committee will be appointed in April.
The Authority has also established the new position of “Disciplinary Officer”, one of the recommendations made by Dame Elizabeth Neville as part of her review of the Authority’s integrity function, and appointed solicitor Patrick Russell to that role. Patrick is Senior Partner at law firm Charles Russell LLP and has been involved in Racing’s regulation for many years .
His new role, a personal appointment, will be to review all potential disciplinary cases and to take the final decision as to whether a prosecution should be initiated, and the nature of the charges, taking prosecution decisions that arise in the course of disciplinary proceedings and making the decision as to whether a decision made by Raceday Stewards during a Stewards’ Enquiry should be re-considered. He will report to a panel comprising Chief Executive Nic Coward, Sir Michael Connell and Ben Gunn.
Paul Roy, Chairman of the Authority, said: “After 18 months of the new Authority, we looked at the structures that were put in place, and it was clear to everyone that we did not need a separate Regulatory Committee as well as the Board. The reasons for doing so were sound at the time, bearing in mind the change from the BHB and Jockey Club/HRA to the single Authority, but all now agree that we should remove this layer. The creation of the role of Disciplinary Officer is one of the few outstanding actions recommended by the Neville Review, and we are delighted that we have managed to secure Patrick’s services for this vital role.”
For more information please contact Paul Struthers, Media Relations Manger, on 020 7189 3866 or 07966 590105.