The National Horseracing Authority have issued a correction to a published finding on a jockey having entered a betting outlet without permission, after legal counsel for the Coastal Jockeys Association demanded that the matter be reviewed.
Cape jockey MJ Byleveld, who was issued with a warning for an infringement of rule 21.3, after he had failed to obtain Stipes permission for having participated in a Met panel discussion in a Betting World branch, has had a more detailed version of the finding published in this week’s NHA calendar.
Headed ‘Correction’ and dated 3 February, the insert states:
M J Byleveld (Jockey) – Rule 21.3 – Having participated in a televised Panel discussion at the request of the Racing Operator, but for failing to obtain the written permission of the Stipendiary Board, to enter or visit any registered betting premises where members of the public are able to place any bets or wagers of any kind whatsoever. Fined: Warning.
The ludicrous aspect of Byleveld’s original charge was that he had been invited by a member of the Phumelela executive and had thus, reasonably one would feel, assumed that all was in order.
The lack of discretion shown by the Stipes has been the subject of much debate. The very spirit of the intention of the original rule – that jockeys avoid betting outlets to reduce the negative public perception that could arise – did not look to have been broken. Byleveld attended the function together with well-known racing personalities, as an invited guest and without remuneration.
We reported on 2 March that the Coastal Jockeys Association had instructed their lawyers to inform the NHA that none of their members would be party to any future panel discussions on any racecourse or betting premise. That was the mandate until such time as Racing Executive Arnold Hyde issued an apology for embarrassing Byleveld and also gave an undertaking in regard to jockeys attending similar events in future.
While Byleveld will take some heart that his good name has been cleared, his disciplinary record will reflect the charge.
We were unable to determine whether the requested apology was forthcoming and how the NHA intend dealing with these alleged breaches of rules in future.
Surely there are bigger and more pressing issues facing the racing regulator?