Mobile Phone Update – Jockey Club Consultation
Published: 9 September 2003
Today representatives of the Jockey Club had two meetings with Martin Cruddace, accompanied by representatives of the Jockeys’ Association and three jockeys.
Having listened to representations made on behalf of the jockeys, the Jockey Club has offered to vary the restrictions on phone use to address their principle concern. The jockeys have asked for time to consider the offer.
Christopher Foster, Executive Director of the Jockey Club said:
“Our aim is to introduce restrictions which satisfy the concerns identified by both the Integrity Review Committee and the Security Review Group whose recommendations have been endorsed by the BHB. We believe our offer succeeds in this aim and takes account of some of the main concerns of the jockeys. Potential threats to the sport’s integrity increase all the time, for example, the advent of betting exchanges mean that any member of the public can exploit information about a horse’s chances with a view to laying it to lose. We accept that any restrictions inconvenience jockeys but as a regulator we have a responsibility to minimise the potential for the integrity of the sport to be undermined.
“The jockeys have consistently expressed concerns at being obliged to use monitored phones supplied by the Jockey Club to make their essential calls. As a result we have tabled an offer which is built around a system enabling them to continue to use their own telephones from within a designated ‘phone zone’.”
The key points of the offer are that:
• Jockeys may continue to use their own phones free of any restrictions up to half an hour before racing
• From half an hour before racing until the start of the final race the phone zone becomes the area in which calls can be made and messages checked
• With no need to ask for permission, jockeys can go to the phone zone collect their phone from a pigeon hole / locker, check it for messages and make their necessary calls providing they log the details of the call
While the jockeys consider the offer and consult their colleagues the existing system of restrictions based on the availability of Jockey Club phones will remain in place.
September 9th 2003
Notes for Editors
1. Present at the meeting:
Jockey Club: Christopher Foster, Malcolm Wallace, John Maxse
Martin Cruddace, Michael Caulfield, John Blake, Tony McCoy, Philip Robinson, Paul Eddery.
2. Details of the offer put forward by the Jockey Club:
Proposal to allow jockeys to use their own phones in a designated phone zone:
• Jockeys are allowed to use their phone without any restrictions up to half an hour before racing.
• Following an announcement over the internal PA system a ½ hour before the first race the restrictions come into force.
• Once restrictions are in force all mobile phones to remain switched off unless in use by the jockey in the phone zone.
• Following the announcement jockeys then place their own mobile phone in a cubby hole / locker which is positioned in the ‘phone zone’.
• The phone zone itself is in the weighing room area, just outside the changing room.
• To check for messages or make a call the jockey goes to the phone zone & collects his phone.
• Jockeys are permitted to check their phones for messages but jockeys should not receive incoming calls.
• Jockeys are permitted to make calls from the zone using their own phones (with no need to request permission). To do this a rider should register when and to whom he is making the call.
• Once restrictions are in place outward text messaging is not permitted.
• Access to jockeys’ phone records during restricted hours could be requested by the Jockey Club – a spot check to corroborate log book or check that text messages, for example, were not being sent. Random requests made of jockeys over the year.
• Jockeys pick up their phones either on their way out or as soon as the last race is off.