British horseracing is to see the evolution of its officiating model from 2019, designed to raise the bar on the sports regulation, in addition to how it handles issues of integrity, safety, welfare and the management of risk on the racecourse.
Coming as the result of an extensive consultation process, the new raceday regulatory system was born on the belief that strong changes were necessary amongst stakeholders, participants and fans.
Amongst the key features of the new model are a “one team” approach, introduction of a new Chief Steward role, voluntary stewards to fulfil the role of Stewards’ Panel Chair and the addition of a multi-skilled BHA Raceday Assistant.
Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer for the British Horseracing Authority, explained: “Horseracing is a major British sport, with a proud history, a global reach and with aspirations of continuing growth. It has always evolved with the times, keeping pace with wider social, political, economic and technological changes.
“Now, as always, we face a number of challenges. Not only are we facing increased competition from other sports for support, publicity, sponsorship and investment, we are also at continuous risk from unscrupulous interests, who seek to exploit and corrupt the sport for financial gain.
“The framework of raceday regulation currently in place in Britain has served us well. However, to ensure that Racing is best positioned to mitigate and manage the risks posed by contemporary integrity threats to so many sports, it’s essential that we continue to evolve and improve our regulatory systems.”
Adding: “We believe that the new officiating model retains the best elements of the current model, while raising the bar on integrity, welfare and the management of risk and major incidents.
“We expect this to bring together all our raceday teams, including our volunteer and professional stewards and other officials, into a more coherent, supportive, consistent, flexible and effective operation.
“Threats and challenges are always best addressed by working as a team, and this ‘one team’ concept is central to the development of the new model we will be establishing.”