Published: 3 February 1998
Set out below is the text of a letter from Christopher Foster, The Jockey Club’s Executive Director, handed today to Michael Caulfield, Secretary to The Jockey’s Association, in advance of tomorrow’s Licensing Committee meeting:
“I am writing in advance of the re-convened meeting of the Licensing Committee tomorrow. You will know that the reason for the suspensions was to maintain public confidence in the integrity of horseracing. The Committee’s concern was for the effect on public confidence had the jockeys been permitted to ride immediately after the publicity surrounding their arrest. The Jockey Club has, in its relations with the press, in what has been a difficult week for all concerned, stressed that it is making no judgement concerning the activities of the jockeys. This will remain the case unless or until it becomes a Disciplinary matter or any of the jockeys’ fitness to hold a licence is questioned. In deciding what is in the best interests of horseracing the Licensing Committee takes account of the effect on the jockeys of any measures it may consider necessary to achieve this objective.
“In the past six days, The Jockey Club has taken soundings within the industry in order to better assess the risk to public confidence in the integrity of horseracing if the jockeys are permitted to ride whilst the police investigation continues.
“The Licensing Committee has assessed the position again in the light of these soundings, which have been undertaken as speedily as possible, and as a result will be able to confirm tomorrow that it no longer considers that it is necessary at the present time to suspend the jockeys from riding. Accordingly it will not be necessary to argue before the Licensing Committee against any continuation of the suspension. Moreover, the meeting of the Licensing Committee at which this decision will be confirmed has been brought forward to 11.00am so as to enable those jockeys who are able to accept riding engagements for Thursday.
“The Licensing Committee still requires the jockeys to attend, with or without legal representation because it wishes there to be no room for doubt as to why the Committee suspended the licences in the first place, and why it has decided not to continue the suspension.”