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Needless 50p owners fine another damaging blow to BHA’s reputation

The incident occurred prior to a hunter chase back in May 2016.

The BHA has today handed out 50p fines to two racehorse owners after abnormal levels of carbon dioxide were found in their horse's blood sample.

Although it was inquiry head trainer, John Bryan who admitted to giving Green Winter some bicarbonate of soda before his outing in a hunter chase, a BHA disciplinary panel decided that owners Sarah Oliver and Sharron Wilson should be held accountable.

"In our judgement, a token fine of £1 (that is 50 pence for each owner) is the appropriate penalty in this case," said a spokesman for the panel told BBC Sport after the verdict was announced. The BHA has so far declined to comment.

A “token fine” may work for the BHA, but the news of this measly fine has been met with scorn and derision by many corners of the media and the horse racing fraternity at large. Not only is a 50p fine completely pointless, the fact that the incident occurred in May 2016, some 16 months ago, has left many people scratching their heads as to why it has taken the BHA so long to come to this hapless conclusion.

Whilst this news may be absurd, it’s hardly a shock, considering the mess the BHA has found themselves in over the past 12 months.

First, there was the mistaken identity scandal, where trainer Charlie McBride sent the wrong horse to post in a race at Yarmouth, which it subsequently won at odds of 50/1 – a result which took the BHA several days to overturn.

Then there was the whole Davy Russel fiasco, where the Irish jockey was initially given a warning for appearing to punch his mount in the head, before a public outcry forced the BHA to call a new inquiry and subsequently hand Russell a controversial four-day ban.

The abandonment of Ayr’s popular Gold Cup meeting due to drainage problems hardly showed the sport in a positive light, with many people questioning the BHA’s decision not to move the race, or even the entire meeting to a neighbouring course. Now, this 50p news breaks, capping off a miserable time for the sport’s governing body.

How the BHA thought fining two minor owners 50p each, for an incident which happened almost 18 months ago, would be bring anything but negativity to horse racing is beyond belief. They are tarnishing the image of this wonderful sport we all love. Something has to change.




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Needless 50p owners fine another damaging blow to BHA’s reputation

The BHA has today handed out 50p fines to two racehorse owners after abnormal levels of carbon dioxide were found in their horse's blood sample.

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