The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today launched further details of its formal industry consultation regarding the future model for racecourse stewarding in Britain.
The aim is to gather views on how to maintain the highest standards of racecourse decision-making as the sport modernises and becomes increasingly complex to regulate.
This consultation comes soon after the BHA implemented the proposals of the Quinlan Review, which increased the independence of its judicial functions, including the Disciplinary Panel which deals with referrals by Stewards from the racecourse and appeals against the Stewards’ decisions.
The current model of stewarding involves a mix of Honorary Stewards – who are unpaid volunteers – and Stipendiary Stewards – who are full time, salaried members of BHA staff. A Stewards Secretary assists the Stewards on raceday with administrative support.
This consultation will be a two-stage process, beginning today with the first stage, a wide-ranging, eight-week industry consultation.
Detailed recommendations will be developed by the BHA and the resulting options will then be the subject of further consultation, involving the key stakeholders in racing.
The BHA will closely involve the tripartite partners in the Members’ Agreement – the Racecourse Association and the Horsemen’s Group – in the development of the final proposals.
Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA, said: “We want to continuously improve British horseracing at a time of rapid change for our sport, with two key areas being accountability and consistency.
“We do this at a time when prize money is increasing and there are increasingly complex challenges around the integrity and regulation of the sport.
“We have seen other major sports move to fully professional referees and we believe it is against this background that the time is right to consult to see what is the most appropriate model for taking the stewarding of horseracing forward in the future.
“Horseracing has relied on the massive commitment of Honorary Stewards throughout our history – people who are not only volunteers but also passionate participants in the grassroots of our sport and some of whom are owners.
“In consulting on change, we seek to respect the contribution that our Honorary Stewards have made in the past and to listen carefully to the many participants right across our sport before deciding on the right direction for the future.”