28 Jan 1998 Pre-2014 Releases

Suspension of Arrested Jockeys

Published: 28 January 1998

The Jockey Club’s Licensing Committee met this afternoon and decided, in order to maintain the public’s confidence in racing, to suspend the licences of jockeys Leighton Aspell, Dean Gallagher and Jamie Osborne up to and including 5th February. The Committee will be meeting on 4th February when the jockeys will have an opportunity to make any further representations as to why that suspension should not be continued for a longer period. The jockeys, who were all legally represented, met with the Committee individually.

On Tuesday 27th January the three jockeys were among those arrested and questioned by the Metropolitan Police in connection with various incidents of race fixing including the doping of two racehorses in 1997.

Christopher Foster, the Jockey Club’s Executive Director, said: “The decision to suspend the licenses of all three jockeys was not taken lightly. We wish to make it clear that this is not a disciplinary measure. The Police have not charged any of the three jockeys, nor have they been charged by the Jockey Club with a breach of the Rules of Racing.

“However, the Jockey Club has a duty to maintain confidence in racing. The Licensing Committee decided today that the suspension of the licences was the right course of action in the wider interests of the sport. The three licences have been suspended with immediate effect.”

Notes for Editors

The Jockeys were yesterday released on bail and told to report to the police on 29th April.

The Jockey Club is the regulator of horseracing in Great Britain and ensures that is run as fairly and safely as possible. It is not directly involved in the regulation of betting, which is regulated by the law. It operates completely independently of the sport’s participants, with all its resources and energies focused on its regulatory role. This regulatory remit includes the licensing of participants and the enforcement of the Rules of Racing.

The Jockey Club is responsible for:

  • Disciplinary matters

  • Security and anti-doping measures

  • The conduct of a day’s racing

  • Licensing of racecourses

  • Racecourse medical and veterinary arrangements for riders and horses

  • Employment and direction of the racecourse field force

  • Licensing of trainers, riders, valets and the registration of owners and stable employees

    The Licensing Committee considers and, where appropriate, grants applications for licences. Additionally, it monitors existing license holders to ensure that they continue to fulfil criteria laid down by the Committee.

    At the heart of its actions to protect the integrity of horseracing lies the security department:

    The security department is made up of 35 full time and several part-time employees. The activities of the department are wide ranging and include investigations, intelligence gathering and surveillance, inspections of training establishments, monitoring moves in the betting market and the provision of security staff at racecourse stables.

    On average the Jockey Club’s security department undertakes about 90 investigations each year on behalf of the Licensing and Disciplinary Committees.

    The Jockey Club has no powers of arrest, search or seizure. When, during the course of an investigation, there is a clear indication of criminal activity the Jockey Club will involve the police. The Jockey Club only has the power to enforce its own Rules of Racing.

    In recent years the Jockey Club has introduced the following new measures to combat the threat of corruption in horse racing:

    – Upgraded its intelligence investigators (2 Detective Chief Superintendent’s, 1 Detective Chief Inspector Special Branch, 1 Military Intelligence)
    – Built up good working relationships with Police & Customs Agencies
    – Run informants to Home Office Guidelines
    – Introduced security hot-line Raceguard 0171 935 7151
    – Introduced CCTV coverage of racecourse stables
    – Introduced a system under which warnings can be issued and licences withdrawn if persons are not considered “fit & proper”

    In addition, the Jockey Club continues to:
    – Insist on high standards of integrity camera coverage of races (4 cameras to TV standards)
    – Provide stable security staff during race meetings
    – Dope tests 10% of all runners (7,500 pa)
    – Undertake surveillance of suspects
    – Pass to Police/Customs evidence of criminal activity and then work with them
    – Refine its rules on non-triers
    – Rigorously enforce the Rules of Racing