Jockey Club Announces New Security Committee and Further Measures to Protect Racing’s Integrity
Published: 6 December 2000
The Jockey Club today revealed plans to establish a Security and Investigations Committee to review and monitor the work of its Security Department. It also announced a range of measures designed to increase deterrents to malpractice in racing and so further strengthen public confidence in the integrity of the sport.
The Security and Investigations Committee will be chaired by a Jockey Club Steward, Gurney Sheppard, and will include ex-professional jockey Philip Blacker and an independent member, Francis Gilbert QC, a barrister who specialises in criminal law. Its role will be to review and monitor the work of the Security Department to ensure that its operations continue to be conducted within the law and the Rules of Racing. The formation of the Committee will provide the Department with access to specialist skills and advice, as well as increasing its accountability and effectiveness.
The measures to better protect racing’s integrity follow a thorough review of the existing Rules and Instructions by the Jockey Club’s Integrity Review Committee. The Committee was chaired by the Senior Steward, Christopher Spence, and included among its representation a High Court Judge, Sir Michael Connell, and Philip Blacker. The revised Rules and Instructions complement the Jockey Club’s submission to the Gambling Review Body, which called for greater regulation of betting and changes to the criminal law.
The main objectives of the new measures are:
1) To deter licensed persons passing on information for reward about horses which is not publicly available (Rule 243);
2) To place strict limits on associations between jockeys and betting organisations at the racecourse (Rule 62);
3) To make it an offence for any persons subject to the Rules of Racing to obstruct Jockey Club investigations (Rule 242);
4) To introduce Codes of Conduct for trainers and jockeys covering such matters as associations with those that may pose a threat to the integrity of horseracing, relationships with betting organisations, and duties to report malpractice and unusual financial transactions.
The measures are covered in a number of rule changes and codes of conduct, a summary of which is attached at Appendix A. The new measures take effect from 1st January 2001. In addition there will be a number of changes to licensing and registration application forms.
Christopher Spence, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said today: “The recommendations of the Integrity Review Committee and the changes to the way in which the Security Department operates will enable us to regulate racing better. It is vital that the public has confidence in the integrity of the sport, and equally important that the industry has confidence in our ability to regulate it.
“I would like to make it clear that we do not believe that malpractice and corruption within racing is widespread, however, the Jockey Club has made no secret of its concern about horseracing’s current vulnerability in this area and of the need to ensure the sport is better protected in the future.
“These proposals follow our submission to the Gambling Review Body which dealt with the areas of concern that are beyond the Jockey Club’s jurisdiction. In compiling these measures, we have consulted thoroughly with and listened to the interested parties and we have taken account of concern throughout many other sports of the threat of corruption posed by links between betting organisations and players. We have examined every area where we feel that racing may be vulnerable or perceived to be vulnerable.
“We hope that the introduction of new Rules and Codes of Conduct for both jockeys and trainers will serve to clarify some previously grey areas and decrease the chances of individuals allowing themselves to be compromised.
“At the same time, the introduction of the Security and Investigations Committee aims to strengthen industry confidence in the work of the Security Department, the need for which was highlighted following the collapse of the doping trial. While all the Stewards of the Jockey Club have confidence in Roger Buffham and the Security Department, and believe that they have at all times acted professionally and correctly, we do recognise that there is a need to increase the accountability of the department for the good of the industry.
“The structure now replicates that of all the other Jockey Club departments by a having a dedicated Steward with overall responsibility for its activities. Furthermore, I believe that the presence on the Committee of Francis Gilbert QC will provide the Department with valuable independent expertise.”
Notes for Editors:
Integrity Review Committee
In September 1999, the Jockey Club’s Integrity Review Committee was established. The Committee’s tasks were twofold; firstly, to draft a paper for submission to the Home Office, and secondly, to review racing’s existing Rules and Instructions. It was the Committee’s aim to recommend measures which, if adopted, would ensure the Jockey Club is as well placed as possible to deter, detect and deal with malpractice and corruption in racing.
The Committee submitted its first report in December 1999, which formed the basis of the Jockey Club’s submission to the Gambling Review in July 2000, and its second report on “self-help” measures within racing, completed the same month. In compiling its recommendations the Committee took account of reports and information received from other sporting organisations and foreign turf authorities. There has followed a process of consultation with the Associations representing interested parties.
The Membership of the Committee was as follows:
Christopher Spence (Chairman)
Senior Steward, BHB Director
Sir Thomas Pilkington
Tattersalls Committee Member, ex-Senior Steward
Sir Michael Connell
High Court Judge
ex-professional jockey, ex-Licensing Committee Member
Director of Regulation
Head of Security Department
Manager of Licensing Department
Graham Walcroft (Secretary)
Controller of Rules
The Security and Investigations Committee
The Committee’s membership will be as follows:
Gurney Sheppard Chairman
Steward of the Jockey Club
ex-professional jockey, ex-Licensing Committee Member
Francis Gilbert QC
Francis Gilbert QC is a criminal law specialist who has been instructed in many high profile cases, including by the Serious Fraud Office and in the recent doping trial. He is a Crown Court Recorder and has had a life long interest in racing. His late brother Raleigh Gilbert was the well-known commentator.
Main Roles of Security and Investigations Committee:
1. To review and monitor the work of the Security Department ensuring that its operations are conducted within the law and the Rules of Racing
2. To review cases prior to referral to the Police or other law enforcement agencies.
3. To monitor progress in cases which have been referred to or from outside