04 Feb 1998 Pre-2014 Releases

Outcome of Meeting of the Licensing Committee

Published: 4 February 1998

The Jockey Club today (Wednesday 4th February) confirmed that its Licensing Committee has met with Leighton Aspell, Dean Gallagher and Jamie Osborne and their legal advisers to explain the decision to allow the jockeys to resume riding.

The Committee also reiterated to the jockeys why it had suspended their licences last week, in the immediate aftermath of their arrest by the police in connection with various alleged incidents of race fixing including the doping of two racehorses in 1997.

The key points made to the jockeys by the Licensing Committee were:

  • The immediate need to maintain public confidence in racing in the wake of the publicity surrounding the arrests.

  • In reaching it’s decision, the Committee’s concern over the possible threat to confidence in racing’s integrity was carefully weighed against the effect of suspension, without pay, on the jockeys.

  • The Jockey Club has always stressed that the Committee has made no judgement of any individuals possible involvement with alleged criminal activities.

  • Over the past six days, the Jockey Club has taken soundings with a very wide circle of individuals and organisations associated with horseracing on whether public confidence and public order at racecourses would be adversely affected by these jockeys continuing to ride.

  • The Licensing Committee no longer considers this risk serious enough to continue the three jockeys’ suspensions.

    Following the meeting of the Licensing Committee, Christopher Foster, the Jockey Club’s Executive Director, said, “The community of horseracing is a very close one, and it is understandable that strong emotions were aroused by the events of the past week. The Jockey Club will continue to do everything in its powers to maintain the integrity of horseracing. We will investigate every allegation of possible wrong-doing as it arises and continue to regulate in a pragmatic and fair way.”

    Notes for Editors

    The organisations consulted include:

    Leading bookmakers, BOLA, NAB, the Tote, the RCA and individual racecourses, the Levy Board and BHB.