Sarah Crowther KC confirms appointees to BHA’s independent Judicial Panel

20 Jul 2023 BHA Features

Sarah Crowther KC, the Chair of the BHA’s independent Judicial Panel, has today announced a number of new appointees to the pools which make up the Panel, encompassing the Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee.

The Judicial Panel is established by the BHA as the pool of individuals from which the above three panels are drawn by the Judicial Panel Chair, Sarah Crowther KC, to hear all cases or appeals referred to it in connection with the Rules of Racing.

Following a review of the Judicial Panel’s processes, which featured extensive consultation with racing’s stakeholders, a number of changes to the Panel’s framework and composition were agreed, to ensure it can continue to deliver in the best interests of the sport. These changes have been reflected in the recruitment process for the new Panel members.

A full list of Judicial Panel members for the 2023-2026 term can be found here. Alongside the new appointees, Sarah Crowther KC and HH James O’Mahony will continue in their roles as Chair and Deputy Chair respectively, with Austin Allison, Jodie Mogford, Alison Royston and Rachel Spearing having successfully reapplied to remain on the Panel.

Sarah Crowther KC said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of new members to the Judicial Panel of the British Horseracing Authority. There were over 100 applicants which made the recruitment process extremely competitive. Applications were assessed by reference to competencies. These included independence of approach, judicial and decision-making skills, experience and interest and knowledge of horse racing and equine welfare, as well as safeguarding. Interviews were held and selection was carried out by an Appointments Committee which comprised an industry representative with extensive training and riding experience, a member of the BHA board, as well the deputy chair of the Judicial Panel and me. Candidates were given an opportunity to demonstrate analytical and race reading skills and their commitment to diversity and inclusion in both the sport and judge craft.

“The selection process was designed to promote diversity in Panel members’ personal life experiences and the skills and experiences they bring to the Panel’s work and to ensure that the Panel has the wide range of specialist skills needed to determine cases it hears. I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Panel members in all roles who not only possess those skills in abundance, but also reflect the range of viewpoints and values of the industry and wider public which the panel serves.

“I am extremely grateful to the Committee’s careful and thorough consideration of the candidates and for the administrative support of Matt Berry, the Judicial Panel Executive. I also wish to thank George Coombs and Catherine Beloff for their support in ensuring fairness and efficiency in the design of the recruitment process.

“I welcome the successful candidates to the Panel and congratulate them on their appointments. I look forward to working alongside them to continue to the work of the Judicial Panel as the independent tribunal for horse racing in Great Britain. May I finally take a brief opportunity to thank the current members of the panel whose appointments will come to an end next month for their service to the panel and the industry.”

Notes to Editors

1. Details on the Judicial Panel’s role in British racing and results of its hearings can be found here.