11 Jul 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

The Jockey Club Announces Plans to Expand the Role of Stewards’ Secretaries

Published: 11 July 2001

At their meeting on Monday 9th July, the Jockey Club’s Regulatory Committee approved proposals to add a stewards’ secretary to the panel of racecourse stewards as a stipendiary steward. The new procedures are expected to be fully operational by May 2002.

Christopher Hodgson, Jockey Club Disciplinary Steward, said: “A common denominator amongst almost every major sport is the increasing level of pressure and scrutiny on referees and regulators, and horseracing is no exception. We believe the addition of a professional onto the panel will enhance the amateur based stewarding system, enabling it to meet the current and escalating demand for both speed and consistency of decision making.”

“There is no doubt that the standard of stewarding in this country has improved considerably in recent years. Our efforts to raise the standard through greater training at all levels and an improved selection and monitoring system have generally been rewarded with positive results. However, in order to progress to the next level of efficiency and consistency, a material change is required. The addition to the panel of a professional, or stipendiary steward, together with our plans to enhance the training of Chairmen are the most effective ways of achieving our aims.”

Christopher Hodgson continued: “A similar balance of professional and unpaid stewards has been in place and unchanged in Ireland for many years. I believe these initiatives will serve to strengthen the existing system and ensure that British racing’s reputation for high standards of integrity is maintained as the sport prepares to be exposed to an international betting audience.”

A working group compromising of Jockey Club officials as well as racecourse stewards and clerks of the course, is being established to work on the fine detail of the changes prior to the new system being implemented as a trial on the All Weather tracks.

Notes for Editors

1. The addition of the stipendiary steward to existing panels will result in four individuals sitting on each enquiry, one paid and three unpaid. In the event of a split decision, the chairman (unpaid) will have the casting vote.

2. During a racecourse enquiry, a stewards` secretary will present the case and then leave the room with the witnesses before the deliberations begin, i.e. he will take no part in the outcome of the enquiry which will be left to the four individuals on the panel, namely the stipendiary steward and three racecourse stewards.