Disciplinary Processes – Worth Looking At BHA Example?

An example of swift justice

The recent ongoing Tony Peter case may have highlighted the tardiness of our own processes after a BHA independent Disciplinary Panel published details earlier this week of a fast-track procedure which resulted in a £6000 fine for two admitted breaches of the Rules of Racing relating to the sale of George Gently (IRE) in 2016.

Reader Steve Reid wrote in the Sporting Post Mailbag recently – see what he said here.

While the cases may be quite different in nature, it’s worth having a look at the way the BHA dealt with Dan Skelton, who admitted two breaches of the Rules.

It was these admission of breaches, along with an agreement on penalty from both parties, that led to this case being resolved via the fast-track procedure and the BHA is satisfied with this outcome.

The fine, which is above the entry point for an offence of this nature, is significant, as is the acceptance of these serious breaches by Mr Skelton.

The resolving of this case via fast-track does not reduce the seriousness and merely reflects the two sides being in agreement on breach and penalty.

Read about the case here.

By using the fast-track route, and in publishing its detailed assessment of the case, the Disciplinary Panel has ensured that the proper scrutiny can still be applied.

The BHA state that they recognise that this case has had a significant personal impact on Mr Skelton and his family and understand why he was anxious to issue a statement on the Panel’s findings at the weekend.

We acknowledge that the length of time that elapsed during this case is far from ideal for all concerned. The BHA always works to resolve matters as swiftly as possible but in this case, as well as acknowledging some delay on the BHA’s side, significant other factors impacted the length of time this has taken.

Proceedings were stayed in 2022, with the agreement of Mr Skelton, while a civil case was pursued. This was done so that the investigation did not interfere with the civil case, and also to allow the BHA to understand the outcome, which ultimately came in July 2023.

Following the conclusion of the civil proceedings, the BHA had to amend its case and add a charge in relation to misleading conduct. This added further delay in bringing the case to resolution.

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