Buick ban to be quashed

William Buick's appeal will not be opposed

The British Horseracing Authority will not oppose William Buick's appeal against the eight-day ban he was given at Chelmsford last week.

Buick was penalised by the stewards for his ride on the John Gosden-trained Zillion, who was beaten over 10 lengths in finishing fourth in the Bet toteexacta At betfred.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

The stewards inquired into the horse's performance and Buick reported Zillion had hung badly up the straight. A post-race check by the vet found the horse to be lame, which prompted the stewards to find Buick in breach of the Rules in that "he failed to pull up a horse where it was contrary to the horse's welfare to continue as there was a problem which was materially affecting the colt's performance".

Having considered the matter, the BHA "does not believe reasonable submissions can be made to oppose the upholding of Mr Buick's appeal and the subsequent overturning of the charge and resultant suspension in this case".

A statement read: "The BHA believes it was correct that the stewards held an inquiry into the running and riding of Zillion, as it was apparent that the horse was not asked for timely, real and substantial effort to achieve the best possible placing which is required under the rules.

"However, the stewards accepted Mr Buick's explanation for the ride that the horse was hanging badly – a fact supported by the video evidence – and a review of the transcript of the inquiry and the reports from the veterinary officer indicate that Mr Buick could not reasonably have been expected to be aware of a potential welfare issue that was materially affecting the performance of the horse and which would have placed a requirement on Mr Buick to pull up the horse.

"As such, while we believe that the reasons for the decision taken by the stewards are understandable, the view of the BHA is that the ride was not in breach of the Rules.

"We are grateful for Mr Buick's and the Professional Jockeys Association's understanding that on occasion it may become necessary to revisit a real-time stewarding decision, albeit one that was taken in good faith on the day and with the intention of maintaining public confidence in the integrity of our sport and equine welfare.

"Steps will be taken to ensure that we learn from this incident in terms of how similar matters are dealt with in future."

Buick's appeal against the ban will be heard by the disciplinary panel on Thursday.

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the PJA, said: "Whilst it is disappointing that the Chelmsford stewards incorrectly applied the Rule, it is to the credit of the BHA that they have adopted the position they have.

"It serves to exonerate William of any wrongdoing in a timely manner and saves putting the PJA to any unnecessary legal expense, and we commend them for taking such swift action.

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the PJA, said: "Whilst it is disappointing that the Chelmsford stewards incorrectly applied the Rule, it is to the credit of the BHA that they have adopted the position they have."It serves to exonerate William of any wrongdoing in a timely manner and saves putting the PJA to any unnecessary legal expense, and we commend them for taking such swift action."

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