The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 21st February 2013 held an enquiry to consider whether or not Mr John Mathias, a former holder of an Amateur Rider’s Permit, had committed a breach of Rule (D)54 of the Rules of Racing, in respect of his placing bets on horses in races in which he was riding, namely:
COMEHOMEQUIETLY (IRE) – in the Brightwells the Bloodstock Equine Auctioneer Handicap Hurdle Race at Ffos Las on 7th March 2011;
CHANGING LANES – in the Bathwick Tyres Bridgwater Handicap Hurdle Race at Taunton on 21st February 2012;
POSTMASTER – in the Bitterley Point-to-Point Hunters’ Steeple Chase at Ludlow on 28th March 2012;
SUPERMAN DE LA RUE (FR) – in the Fake That Tribute Here 25 August Handicap Hurdle Race at Newton Abbot on 30th May 2012.
The Panel heard submissions from Mr Rory Mac Neice, representing Mr Mathias.
The Panel noted that Mr Mathias was contacted by Ladbrokes following the bet he placed on SUPERMAN DE LA RUE (FR) to enquire if he was the same Mr John Mathias who had ridden the horse. It was after this call that Mr Mathias contacted the Integrity Department of the BHA.
The Panel accepted that, from then on, Mr Mathias was helpful to the BHA and co-operated fully throughout the investigation, producing his telephone billing and betting records. The Panel also accepted that no corruption or dishonesty was involved; on the one occasion when Mr Mathias placed a bet against his own horse – backing POSTMASTER at Ludlow on 28th March 2012 when he was riding PATHIAN PRINCE in the same race. PATHIAN PRINCE was pulled up and there was no suggestion that Mr Mathias had prevented his own mount from winning.
Mr Mathias, an experienced amateur rider, who had held both a Category A and B Amateur Rider’s Permit, admitted that, at two separate amateur riders’ seminars, he had been made aware of Rule (D)54 and informed that it was against the Rules to place bets in races in which he had a ride. The Panel also noted that although it was Mr Mathias himself who had contacted the BHA to report the breach following the call from Ladbrokes, it would also have been obvious to him at this point that his betting would be investigated.
The Panel felt that Mr Mathias had acted foolishly, with complete disregard for Rule (D)54, a Rule which only applies to amateur riders, and of which he had been made aware on more than one occasion. The Rule exists to protect the integrity of racing and to uphold the core principles surrounding amateur riders.
The Panel accepted an admission from Mr Mathias that he was in breach of Rule (D)54 and declared him to be a disqualified person for one year from Friday 22nd February 2013 until Friday 21st February 2014 inclusive.