BHRC DIRECTOR UPDATE 2017

22Dec

The Directors of the BHRC held a meeting at the end of season and reviewed and determined the following:

BHRC Regional Stewards
Craig Stevenson was appointed in early 2017 as Deputy Regional Steward for Scotland with a review due at the end of the season. Craig confirmed he was willing to stand as Regional Steward and it was agreed that Craig has fulfilled the role without fault and had proved himself as an asset. Therefore the Directors agreed to appoint Craig Stevenson as a BHRC Regional Steward.
Bob Lee applied for the position of Regional Steward. The Directors reviewed the application and taking into account Bob’s experience and knowledge of the sport and it’s regulations, determined to appoint Bob Lee as a Regional Steward. Bob Lee subsequently stood as a BHRC Steward and was appointed at the AGM.
As part of the discussions regarding the review, the Directors determined to appoint a pool of Regional Stewards rather than one for England, one for Scotland and one for Wales. The Directors determined that persons that are willing and suitable for the role should be able to apply without having to replace an existing member of the team. A pool of Regional Stewards it was felt would meet the role better, with each Regional Steward able to act at any BHRC fixture, whilst still primarily in authority at fixtures geographically closest to them.

Stewards and Officials Seminars
The Directors determined that seminars are of benefit to all those that act as race day officials and should be conducted at least once in every three years. During discussion it was decided that licence holders should also be able to attend such seminars so that they can be addressed on procedures, rules and responsibilities of both members and the BHRC. This would also give licence holders more opportunity to directly address the BHRC.
Agreement was reached for BHRC to ask area clubs and associations to allow a seminar to be staged at the end of their AGM.
Wales & West, Hereford & Borders and North Wales Associations have agreed so far for BHRC to stage seminars after their club meetings. Further information will follow.

BHRC Calendar Magazine
During discussion the Directors determined that the issuing of the Calendar magazine in 2017 has unfortunately fallen dramatically below expectations, in the main due to staffing issues of the BHRC.
As part of an annual review the BHRC Directors recently considered the increase in postage rates and printing prices for the publication. During a previous review it was agreed to form the publication into an A5 size to reduce postage costs and therefore avoid a price increase to licence holders. The Directors again wanted to evade any increase in fees.
As part of the review the Directors also considered the current ‘identity’ of the Calendar magazine. Due to the advances of social media it is considered by some that the information in the Calendar is antiquated and from time of going to print to receipt by licence holders the information within is occasionally somewhat redundant.
The Directors determined that from January 2018 the Calendar will become a quarterly edition magazine – there will be no increase in subscription costs. In order to re-identify the magazine an overhaul will include:
• themes set apart for each quarterly edition
• the information contained within the magazine will not all be repeated from news and reports already published on social media outlets
• a more personal approach will be taken and interviews with licence holders will be undertaken and included
• a drive to get sponsors/advertisements within the publication
Taking account of the subscription fees that members paid for the 2017 magazine, A voucher is printed in the latest edition of the magazine which can be redeemed against a 2018 subscription of the magazine.

Health & Safety
The following will be introduced from 1st January 2018:
• Mandatory ‘opening times’ for all fixtures
All race fixtures will advertise in advance the Gates Opening time, in addition to the current First Race time. No admission will be permitted to the venue prior to the advertised opening time (other than officials).
Veterinary Surgeons will be on call from the Gate Open time and on site at least one hour prior to the first race. No horses will be permitted onto race tracks until the Vet is present at the venue.
• First Aid Training
All BHRC Regional Stewards will receive basic First Aid Training
BHRC will require all tracks to have a suitable First Aid Kit
• Lorry Park & Unloading Area
Each and every track to have a clearly defined area for all horse boxes and lorries where horses are to be unloaded. This area to be sectioned off and clearly sign-posted as a restricted area with entry permitted to licence holders only.

BHRC Disciplinary Decisions
The Directors discussed the issue of disqualified and warned off persons attending affiliated fixtures. The Directors determined that in the event that a disqualified or Warned Off person attends a BHRC event, in conjunction with the Promoter, the Regional Steward and BHRC Stewards present will request that the person leaves the track. Should that person not comply with requests made by the BHRC, then racing will be halted at the event until the disqualified or warned off person has left the track or venue.

Finance
• Integrity
In 2008 the ‘Integrity Fee’ was introduced at a rate of £3 per horse entry. In 2011 the fee was raised to £4 per horse entry.
In 2013 the fee was altered to £20 per horse registered to race and has remained at this rate.
Integrity Income spending:
In 2015, 64% of the costs was spent on laboratory fees, 24% on the ‘Black Box’ (first machine purchased in this period), 6% on kits for samples, 3.5% on postage of samples and 2.5% on travel claims.
In 2016, 45% of the costs was spent on laboratory fees, 42% on Enquiries and Appeals, 5% on kits for samples, 4% on the ‘Black Boxes’, 2% on postage of samples and 2% on travel claims.
So far in 2017, 50% of the costs has been spent on laboratory fees, 25% on the ‘Black Boxes’ (3 machines operating), 18% on Enquiries and Appeals, 5% on kits for samples, 1.5% on postage of samples and 0.5% on travel claims.
Due to exchange rates and the falling value of the pound, analysis fees have risen by almost 30% since January 2015. Postage rates have risen and the integrity budget has been negatively impacted by non and late payment of fines and costs orders.
The Directors determined that in order for the Integrity Programme to remain operational at the level applied since 2015, it is unfortunate and unavoidable that the Integrity Fee will have to be raised for 2018. The Integrity Fee per horse will be set at £25 per horse.

Licence Fees
The BHRC Directors have discussed the fees for licences.
Striving to be mindful of all general costs associated with equines and racing, the Directors sought to find a balance between the above and the BHRC expenses.
Also bearing in mind that licence fees have not increased since 2008, the Directors determined that the percentages of the staged fee increases applied at 1st April and 1st May would be raised:
• On 1st April in every licensing year fees will increase by 50%
• On 1st May in every licensing year fees will increase by 75%
It is much more efficient for the workload of the BHRC if the majority of licence holders renew their licences prior to racing and before 1st April, and it is anticipated that the above will encourage early renewal of licences.