It is today announced that the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will hold an enquiry to determine whether 39 riders who took part in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on 5 April 2014 are in breach of Rule (D)44.4 of the Rules of Racing, in the light of Rule (D)44.5, “in that they attempted to line up and/or take a position for the start before being instructed to do so by the Starter.” The Stewards’ enquiry was unable to be completed on the day and the Stewards therefore referred the matter to BHA.
All 39 riders have been informed and provided with evidence and details relating to the charge.
The date of the hearing will be announced in due course. The riders have been instructed that it is not necessary for them all to attend the hearing. BHA will now work with the riders and their representatives to determine a suitable date and who will attend the hearing.
BHA also considered events which took place after the race. On the day, having taken initial evidence from the riders and the starting team, the Stewards adjourned the enquiry to consider the matter and then in attempting to re-convene the enquiry the riders who had not been given permission to leave the course did not return to the Stewards’ room.
After reviewing all available evidence and statements, BHA is not pursuing any disciplinary action in respect of the riders’ failure to conclude the Stewards’ enquiry on the day.
Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for BHA, said:
“Managing the start of the Grand National and dealing with any incidents that occur during this process presents a unique challenge.
“After reviewing all the available evidence we have taken the decision not to pursue any charges relating to the fact that we were unable to complete the Stewards’ enquiry on the day. This is also a reflection of the scale of the challenge in conducting an enquiry in such circumstances.
“Instead, we would like to put in place a protocol, to be developed in conjunction with the jockeys, for managing such situations where a large numbers of riders are involved.
“Having reviewed all of the available evidence and footage into the incident prior to the start of the Grand National it is the view of BHA that 39 of the 40 riders in the race attempted to line up or take a position before being instructed to do so, which was before the off time of the race. If the Disciplinary Panel finds that this is the case then this would constitute an offence under the Rules of Racing.
“It is also BHA’s view that the riders then moved forward towards the start and in the process knocked down the Assistant Starter, who was positioned in front of the field, advising the riders not to line up. This will also be considered by the Disciplinary Panel.
“This all occurred after riders in the Grand National had been briefed in advance of the race about conduct at the start, which emphasised the obligation under the Rules for the riders to obey the Starter’s instructions.
“The Disciplinary Panel will now determine whether any of the riders in question are in breach of the Rules of Racing.
“We acknowledge the length of time taken to reach these conclusions. By working with the jockeys to develop a protocol for dealing with such cases we would expect to avoid a similar scenario in the future.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Rule (D)44.4 falls under the overarching Rule (D)44: “General conduct at the start” and states that “the Rider must not engage in any misconduct at the start.”
Rule (D)44.5 then elaborates that “examples of misconduct by a Rider include: 44.5.1 attempting to line up or taking a position for the start before being instructed to do so by the Starter.”
The penalty guideline for attempting to line up or taking a position for the start before being instructed to do so by the Starter is a one-day suspension.
2. The incident involved in this case was not a false start. The incident occurred before the Starter had instructed the riders to line up at the start and before the allotted off time of the race, and therefore does not class as a start.
Following this incident there was a false start which was caused by a small number of horses being entangled in the starting tape. Subsequently the race was started successfully at the second attempt.
3. The 39 riders and their mounts are as follows:
Sam Twiston-Davies: TIDAL BAY (IRE)
Mr S Waley-Cohen: LONG RUN (FR)
Andrew Tinkler: HUNT BALL (IRE)
Barry Geraghty: TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR)
Noel Fehily: ROCKY CREEK (IRE)
Brian O’Connell: QUITO DE LA ROQUE (FR)
Mark Walsh: COLBERT STATION (IRE)
Wayne Hutchinson: WALKON (FR)
Richard Johnson: BALTHAZAR KING (IRE)
Jack Doyle: WAYWARD PRINCE
Ryan Mania: MR MOONSHINE (IRE)
Nick Scholfield: TEAFORTHREE (IRE)
Henry Brooke: ACROSS THE BAY (IRE)
A P McCoy: DOUBLE SEVEN (IRE)
A E Lynch: BUCKERS BRIDGE (IRE)
Davy Russell: LION NA BEARNAI (IRE)
Paul Townend: PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR)
Paul Carberry: MONBEG DUDE (IRE)
Peter Buchanan: BIG SHU (IRE)
Brian Harding: BURTON PORT (IRE)
Denis O’Regan: OUR FATHER (IRE)
Jamie Moore: MOUNTAINOUS (IRE)
Aidan Coleman: THE RAINBOW HUNTER
Brian Hughes: VINTAGE STAR (IRE)
Tom O’Brien: CHANCE DU ROY (FR)
Ryan Mahon: HAWKES POINT
Wilson Renwick: KRUZHLININ (GER)
Leighton Aspell: PINEAU DE RE (FR)
Michael Byrne: GOLAN WAY
Richie McLernon: TWIRLING MAGNET (IRE)
Ms Katie Walsh: VESPER BELL (IRE)
Tom Scudamore: THE PACKAGE
Davy Condon: RAZ DE MAREE (FR)
Jake Greenall: ROSE OF THE MOON (IRE)
David Bass: SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE)
Paul Moloney: ALVARADO (IRE)
Robert Colgan: LAST TIME D’ALBAIN (FR)
Adam Wedge: ONE IN A MILAN (IRE)
Conor O’Farrell: SWING BILL (FR)
For more information contact:
British Horseracing Authority