BHA gives judges a helping hand
Judges have been handed a safety net by the BHA following the embarrassing reversal of the placings in a photo-finish at Kempton in March.
The BHA was forced to amend the result of a 1m4f handicap after a re-examination of the photo-finish showed hot favourite Oregon Gift had actually claimed victory over Bird For Life by a nose instead of the other way around.
However, punters who had backed Oregon Gift were left out of pocket with the incorrect result made official by the weighed in signal being given, while Lambourn trainer Mark Usher, handler of Bird For Life, expressed his disappointment with how the incident had been handled.
Since the start of this week the finishing order of races have been verified by the stipendiary steward on duty before the weighed in announcement is made and the result becomes official.
While the judge retains final responsibility for results, distances and times, the new process allows a query to be sent by the stipendiary steward to revisit the result.
The two parties can then come to an agreement and any amendments to the provisional result can be made before it becomes official.
Brant Dunshea, the BHA’s chief regulatory officer, said: “Although the initial situation which caused us to look into results verification was disappointing, the outcome – whereby all those affected by the result of a race can have increased confidence in its accuracy – is a positive one.
“I’d like to thank all those who have been involved in the process, both within the BHA and externally, for their assistance in completing this project, which is now in place for all races run in Britain.”