Stewarding consultation extended

20 Dec 2017 BHA Features Integrity Racecourse

Having communicated directly with representatives of the stewards this afternoon, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that it will extend its consultation on a potential new stewarding model.

The extension is in order to seek further views from the racing industry regarding a proposed set of key principles for any revised stewarding model.

This is to ensure that all those currently involved in stewarding, as well as racing’s wider stakeholders, have the ability to feed back further and use their expertise and ideas in order to help develop the best stewarding system in the longer term.

A consultation on the future of stewarding was commenced by the BHA for the following reasons:

  • Continue to develop as a governing and regulatory body that operates in the best interests of the sport and has the confidence of participants and the racing and betting public
  • Ensure there is clear accountability and consistency in managing raceday integrity risks and decision-making
  • Create a sustainable, efficient and progressive model that meets the demands of a modern-day fixture list

128 responses were received in the initial stage of the consultation, which was constructive and acknowledged the need to make improvements. This feedback has allowed for the development of a series of core, underlying principles which might form the foundations of a new stewarding model.

Also amongst that feedback was the view that further clarity was needed to support any proposed changes.

In light of those initial responses, the BHA would now like to take further views from stakeholders regarding the proposed principles before moving towards what a new model might look like.

The proposed principles are as follows:

  • Streamlined and accountable raceday management
    • A single regulatory leader on the raceday taking responsibility for all regulatory functions
    • Responsibility and clear accountability for all regulatory aspects of the race meeting
  • An efficient and legally sound stewarding model
    • A stewarding model which satisfies all legal requirements in providing a procedurally fair process
    • An efficient stewarding model which provides value for money and effectively uses  technology to support the stewarding function on a raceday
    • A model that can best secure the safety and welfare of all our participants, human and equine, and maintain fairness for all those with an interest in the outcome of the races
  • Enhanced training and management of the stewarding team
    • A stewarding team contracted (paid or unpaid) by the regulator
    • Enhanced mandatory training and assessment of stewards
    • Performance management of stewards through single line structure
  • Supporting the disciplinary and integrity functions within British racing
    • A model which is in harmony with the changes to the Judicial Panel in line with the recommendations of Quinlan review
    • Capability to meet and address developing regulatory/integrity threats
  • Meeting sports governance standards
    • Raceday regulatory model which is open and transparent in terms of any conflicts or perceived conflicts
    • In line with best sporting governance, including principles of diversity and independence

Stakeholders will be able to feedback either in writing or in person at a number of forums scheduled to take place around racecourses in the UK in January.

Once feedback has been received, the BHA will look to develop a range of options for a new stewarding model before a final stage of consultation.

Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer at the BHA, said:

“The initial consultation has been extremely helpful in allowing us to propose a set of core principles which any revised stewarding model should achieve.

“We have identified a set of principles to cover all the requirements of a modern and progressive stewarding system, including keeping our jockeys and horses as safe as possible, ensuring racing stays fair and clean, increasing accountability and decision-making free from conflicts of interest and getting value for money.

“However, we want to make sure that everyone involved in this process feels valued and listened to, and that we can draw on the skills and experience amassed to make the best possible end product for British racing.

“Whilst this means the process may take a little longer than originally intended whilst we gather more views, we must make sure that the principles which underpin any reforms to stewarding have buy in from the whole of British racing.”

Notes to editors:

The announcements on the initial stages of the consultation can be found here (31 August) and here (18 October).