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BHA Bans Horse Owner for Betting to Lose

9th December 2009 8:28 am GMT

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the governing and regulatory body for horseracing in the UK, has disqualified registered horse owner Leighton Brookes for a period of three years after the Authority's disciplinary panel found him guilty of betting on his own horses to lose at Betfair's betting exchange.

The panel held an enquiry last week to consider whether Brookes had committed a breach of Rule 247 of the Rules of Racing, in respect of his laying to lose on his own horses with Betfair at four racecourses over the past 16 months including Windsor, Kempton, Lingfield and Wolverhampton.

The panel also considered whether Brookes had committed a breach of Rule 241(i) in respect of his failure to provide copies of his telephone records within 21 days of the request which was made by the Authority in May of this year.

Having considered the evidence, the panel found Brookes, who did not attend the hearing, to be in breach of Rule 247 in that he risked a total liability of £7,993 to win a combined £609 through Betfair's betting exchange.

The panel did not accept Mr Brookes' explanation that he shared his Betfair account with a friend and that it was the friend who had placed the lay bets on the horses without his knowledge. He was also found in breach of failing to provide any reason for refusing to produce his telephone records.

As a result, Brookes has been disqualified by the BHA for a period of three years ending December 3rd 2012. The panel stated additionally that Brookes would not necessarily be permitted to resume any registration with the BHA upon expiry of the period.

Last month the BHA introduced enhanced suitability criteria to be implemented in time for trainers' license renewals at the end of January 2010. These enhanced criteria, also known as 'Fit and Proper' criteria, are the next step in the Authority's review of the entire licensing process.

In considering any application, the Licensing Committee must be satisfied that the applicant is suitable to hold a licence, by considering the applicant's honesty and integrity, business competence and capability, and financial soundness. Similar criteria will follow for jockeys and owners later in 2010.

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