News Update from The Chairman


Hello harness fans, this is a news update as we head to the end of November.

You don’t need me to tell you there are a few issues going on at the moment, I’m sure the jungle drums have been beating!
The Directors of the BHRC have agreed to stage an EGM at the request of Mr Anthony Fettah, supported by the Musselburgh Fair Day Association, Craig Stevenson and the SHRC. License holders will be notified of the date of said meeting.
You are probably aware Kirsty Lee, the Company Secretary, has resigned which leaves Hollie Sutcliffe performing the office duties – our thanks go to Hollie., aided by members of the Council. Discussions are currently taking place regarding the way forward for this area of the business.
The board of Directors are also reviewing the NISA case, but let me stress to you, as far as I’m concerned the island of Ireland is one jurisdiction, that I respect.
I must admit this last week has not been a bed of roses and there are issues still hovering over us which have drained some of my enthusiasm, however I feel its time for positivity.


1 Constitution – I believe the new one could be in place over the next month or two, this hopefully will lead to the much favoured one person one vote system. My desire is for this to be implemented during 2020;

2 Members of the board of Directors are set to meet Solicitors next week to finalise the changes to the Rule Book;

3 The intention is to set up a meeting with Trot Britain to discuss our relationship and any future plans, the meeting may take place just before Christmas.
This meeting will hopefully be followed in the New Year by a meeting between the BHRC and STAGBI to discuss future options with Europe. A get together will then take place with the BHRC, Trot Britain and STAGBI, after which the aim would be to open dialogue with France;

4 Delegation – the only way forward.
Its time we formed committees for different areas of the sport/organisation. I’m keen to see four or five bodies on each committee to report to a Director.


Affiliated organisations
Regarding other organisations, I suggest it might be an idea to encourage the setting up of a Stakeholders Committee with representatives from the owners, trainers, drivers, breeders and bookmakers.
Here’s a suggestion, how about the trainers and drivers look at setting up an association, giving themselves a voice at the BHRC?
We are open to ideas.


This is your chance to step up, do you see yourself as the type of person who can make a valuable contribution to the sport of harness racing in Great Britain?
If so, email the BHRC Office, or send me an email or message, telling us a bit about yourself. We are looking for volunteers ( no salary) to work on the proposed committees, you will be part of a team of four or five people reporting back to a nominated Director.
If you’re interested, please highlight what aspect of the sport you would like to be involved in.
Applications to close December 10th.
Incidentally, Sarah Thomas, Ryan O’Neill and Megan Taff have all been approached with the view to sitting on various committees;

5 We need to continue the work to the fixture list, the hope is this will be published on the website no later than December 20th.
We need track promoters to talk about the clashes, there are currently far too many provisional fixtures, yes it’s inevitable there will be a few, but the current list is full of question marks – it’s unacceptable.
Regarding 2020, regrettably there will be no Wolverhampton meeting;

6 The Awards – Can I ask organisations to think about their nominations, it looks as if February 15th could be the selected date for the Awards Evening, which is hopefully to be staged in the Mercure Hotel Haydock – this is to be confirmed shortly;

7 Stewarding Review – I want to contact every Steward in the land and ask for their views on race day stewarding, with the aim to discuss the model in the New Year;

I’m also keen to reintroduce regular national committee meetings, perhaps February would be a good time for a meeting?

Yes, there is a great deal of negativity out there but let’s try and be positive, I hope this organisation doesn’t hit the buffers, but if it does, I want to say, at least we tried to help the sport.

Okay, I’m waiting for the next person, possibly one of you, to dampen my enthusiasm!

My aim is to also use the BHRC Facebook page for updates, I will start with a message on Facebook Live this Sunday, December 1st.

Thanks for reading this.

Darren Owen