Saturday 17 March 2018

Officials move to avert jockey strike action

BRITISH racing's authorities have moved to calm the situation after jockey protests over the new whip rules threatened to boil over into strike action.

The British Horseracing Authority has called representatives of the riders to a board meeting on Monday to discuss their grievances in the wake of Richard Hughes' decision to quit after being hit with two bans.

Earlier, the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) submitted proposals that included revisions to the range of penalties for infringements as well as some further clarifications of the rules.

A statement from the BHA read: "The British Horseracing Authority yesterday confirmed it was listening to jockeys' concerns about the new rules and that it had asked for and would consider any formal submission the PJA chose to make on this subject.

"The BHA has invited the PJA to attend a planned board meeting of the authority on Monday so that they can elaborate further on the submission they have made before further detailed consideration by the BHA's Review Group.

"The PJA has accepted this invitation. This dialogue will build on constructive talks we held with the PJA on Tuesday.

"We will not be suspending the current rules pending these discussions, but we do commit to resolving this matter as quickly as possible."

In a veiled reference to rumours of a strike at the three tracks due to race on Monday, the BHA statement added: "We urge everyone involved in racing to engage with this process and to work with us to take the sport forward with no disruption to the programme."

Jockeys "independently considering not participating in races at Monday's racing fixtures should now take their planned rides as originally scheduled", the PJA said in a statement last night.

Irish Independent

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