Statement from BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington

31 Mar 2023 BHA Features

Following a difficult week for racing, BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington has issued the following statement. 

This has been a tragic week for all of us in the racing community.

Jess Whalley was a shining example of what makes British racing so special. She dedicated herself to providing outstanding care to horses and it was while doing this that her life was suddenly and tragically cut short. On behalf of all of us at the BHA, I extend my sympathies to all who knew and loved Jess.

Likewise we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mazar Allauddin following his death on Wednesday. A superb horseman who also exemplified the values of British racing, Mazar had quickly established himself as a key part of the Robert Cowell team and his loss will be keenly felt.

Both of these incidents are unspeakably tragic and there are no words to adequately describe the grief of losing a friend, colleague and loved one in such circumstances. The BHA along with colleagues at Racing Welfare, NARS and the IJF, have been working to provide support for staff affected by what took place at each yard.

We also mourn the recent passing of John Spearing, who died peacefully at the age of 82 and Dave Morris, who left us following a long illness, aged 74. Our thoughts are with John and Dave’s families and friends at this sad time.

Jockeys at all British tracks will be wearing black armbands this weekend in tribute to Jess, Mazar, John and Dave.

If you work in racing and have been affected in any way by the tragic events this week, Racing Welfare are here to support you. Call their 24/7 confidential hotline on 0800 6300 443.