26 Mar 1997 Pre-2014 Releases

Licensing Review

Published: 26 March 1997

The Stewards have approved the findings and recommendations of the Licensing Review Group.

The Jockey Club initiated this Review early in 1996 to examine any aspects of the Rules of Racing, Point to Point Regulations, or criteria governing the licensing of professional and amateur trainers and jockeys, which were requested by the relevant Jockey Club Committees, or raised during consultation with racing`s associations.

The Review Group was formed from Jockey Club Members with particular and detailed knowledge and experience of the issues being considered:

Michael Henriques
Former Chairman of the Permit Trainers` Association. (Chairman) Chairman of the Licensing and Point to Point Committees (until 31.12.96) Gurney Sheppard Point to Point trainer and rider. Chairman of the Licensing and Point to Point Committees (from 1.1.97)

Sir Michael Connell QC
Former permit trainer.

Gay Kindersley
Former professional trainer, permit trainer, amateur rider and President of the Amateur Riders` Association.

Philip Blacker
Former professional and amateur jockey.

Joey Newton
Former amateur rider.
In attendance:

Malcolm Wallace
Former permit trainer and amateur rider. Jockey Club Director of Regulation.
The Review Group met formally on fourteen occasions, consulted with all the relevant organisations, some more than once, and listened closely to the many representations they received.

The Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Mr Gurney Sheppard, said today:
“We set out to examine whether the various restrictions governing the allocation of licences and permits were relevant and suitable for racing today. The combined qualifications and experience of the members of the Review Group were invaluable in assessing the several views put to us and in reaching appropriate conclusions.”

A summary of the Review Group`s findings, as approved by the Stewards, is set out below, and the necessary Rule changes will be promulgated in due course.

Notes for Editors
From 1st July 1997, an employee whose principal paid occupation is to ride or groom for a Licensed or Permitted Trainer will become eligible to ride as an amateur under Rules or in Point to Points.

Although the Stewards have agreed to modify the relevant Rule and Regulation governing amateur status, they wish to stress that Rule 204 (iii) and Point to Point Regulation 163 (iii) have not been modified and any person who offers a fee, expenses, etc. to an Amateur Rider for riding in a race is liable to be made a disqualified person.

Summary of the Review Group`s Findings

Licences to Train
– no new category of Licence to Train
– a reduction in the number of horses required to obtain a Licence from twelve or nine to six
– the removal of the requirement for a specified number of outside owners
– Licensed Trainers to remain ineligible to train Point to Pointers for the public, but a further review of this restriction within three years

Permits to Train
– Permitted Trainers to be allowed to train for brothers and sisters
– Permits to Train to remain solely for Steeple Chases, Hurdle races and NH Flat races and not extended to Flat races

Professional Jockeys
– Apprentice Jockeys current age restrictions and scale of allowances to remain unaltered
– Conditional Jockeys age restriction to be increased from 25 years to 26 years, with effect from 1st June 1997 (the beginning of the 1997/98 Steeple Chase and Hurdle race season)
– Conditional Jockeys scale of allowances to be modified, with effect from 1st June 1997
– Professional Jockeys and their spouses to remain ineligible to own racehorses running under Rules except for Hunter Chases
– a restriction to be imposed on those who hold concurrent jockeys and trainers licences preventing them from riding in races against horses they train

Amateur Riders
– Amateur Riders scale of allowances to be modified in line with Conditionals, with effect from 1st June 1997
– those who are paid principally to ride or groom for Licensed or Permitted Trainers to become eligible to ride as amateurs, with effect from 1st July 1997 (the beginning of the next Permit `year`)
– the removal of the twelve month `cooling-off` period for former Apprentice/Conditional Jockeys, with effect from 1st July 1997
– Amateur Riders to remain eligible to ride against professional jockeys in Steeple Chases, Hurdle races and NH Flat races but not extended to Flat races.