British Horseracing Association overturns Martin Dwyer's suspension

Oct 10, 2013, 07:34 IST | Prakash Gosavi

British Horseracing Association (BHA), the apex body that supervises horse racing in the UK, has refused to reciprocate the 56-day riding ban imposed by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) stewards on English jockey Martin Dwyer for his allegedly malafide ride on filly Ice Age on Feb 3 this year at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse

The four year filly, trained by Cooji Katrak, had lost the last race on the Derby card when racing as a hot favourite. After a near-riot situation that prevailed at the racecourse which forced the English jockey to run for his life fearing mob fury, the RWITC stewards had declared Ice Age a non-starter, refunding all bets on the horse, and later, after a protracted inquiry, had finally handed out a 56-day riding ban to Dwyer, who had appealed to BHA not to reciprocate the ban.

Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the BHA, yesterday made clear that BHA believes in recognising the principle of reciprocation of penalties; however, it expects the individual charged with violation is allowed natural justice. “In this particular case it was our view that these basic principles were not upheld by the RWITC, “ he said.

Stier cited as example the fact that the decision of the RWITC stewards, before conducting an enquiry and hearing from Martin Dwyer, to conclude that Ice Age had not been run on her merits and declare her a non-runner, and added, “It was the BHA’s view that there were a number of areas during the process which fell short of being demonstrably fair and were not in accordance with the principles of natural justice.”

RWITC chairman KN Dhunjibhoy meanwhile refused to comment on the issue.

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