15 Jul 2010 Pre-2014 Releases

Paul Struthers, Head of Communications for the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“As this case conclusively highlights, both the Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Board are independent of the Authority and reach their own conclusions based on the evidence and material presented to them. 

“The Authority’s role is to set the Rules and Guideline Penalties and then charge and prosecute when necessary. 

“In this case, we maintain it was absolutely right to charge Mr Findlay; he had clearly breached the Rules, despite having previously been reminded of them and his responsibilities. The Rules must apply equally to everyone. As the Appeal Board themselves say, ‘it is hard to envisage any excuses for its breach in future.’

“The Appeal Board makes detailed reference to the existing rule, and we believe upholds the requirement for the rule as it stands.  Disciplinary Panels have at their disposal flexibility with regards to penalty and a vast range for this offence itself – three months to ten years.  They are guidelines and the Panel is fully entitled to go outside those guidelines when they feel it is justified, as they have done in the past.  Consequently we have no intention of amending this rule in any material way.

“The Disciplinary Panel gave detailed and substantive reasons for their decision as have the Appeal Board, and as always we respect and accept both decisions.”