Monthly Archives: December 2012

Day 335 at the BHA House…

…under Paul Bittar’s stewardship, and things just got a little tasty.

I love a timeline me:

08 Nov 2012 14:00 Paul Scotney to leave BHA

Paul Scotney will step aside from his full-time role with effect from 14th December 2012, but as part of a transition plan will remain a part of the BHA’s ability to protect the sport from corruption, providing advice on investigations and strategy.

BHA Chief Executive, Paul Bittar, said the decision for Paul Scotney to transition from his current full-time role was agreed mutually and arose during their discussions in reviewing the BHA Integrity operations, future needs and structure.

“It is good news that in ensuring our commitment to integrity standards we will be able to call upon Paul’s experience and expertise when needed. At the same time we can support Paul in branching out to work in other sports and sectors, which is something we recognise he is keen to do after nearly 10 years working exclusively in horseracing.

“Paul has put in place strong systems and built an excellent team. This is reflected in the fact we’ve got an internal candidate in Adam to promote and Paul leaves his full-time role with British Racing far better equipped to deal with threats to the sport’s integrity than it was on his arrival in 2003. A measure of the progress made under Paul was illustrated when an independent Review carried out by Dame Elizabeth Neville in 2008 concluded that the BHA Integrity department is ‘a model for the effective investigation of corruption in sport’.

“One of my primary objectives has been to conduct a review of all aspects of the business to identify the most effective and efficient structure for the BHA given our broad role in the industry. However, this should be seen as a constant evolution of the business and the changes announced today are part of that – something Paul has contributed constructively to.”

19 Nov 2012 09:00  Tim Morris to leave BHA

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced today that Professor Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare, is to leave the organisation. His departure forms part of the ongoing restructure of BHA services, led by Chief Executive Paul Bittar.

Earlier this month it was announced that Paul Scotney, Director of Integrity Services, Compliance, and Licensing, would be leaving his full-time role with BHA in December. Tim Morris will finish in his current full-time role with the BHA at the end of January 2013, assisting in the transition and the transfer of his responsibilities.

Paul Bittar, BHA Chief Executive, said:

“Reconfiguring the BHA services and structure is an evolutionary process and further work will be done with Tim in the coming weeks to imbed the new structure for Veterinary Operations combined with our important role in medication control.

“Everyone who knows Tim would acknowledge that he has worked exceptionally hard on behalf of the sport as an advocate of our commitment to horse welfare, and while his departure means a re-focus, it certainly won’t impact on our commitment to equine welfare. The ongoing review of the organisation is a difficult process as it impacts people’s roles but we’ve got budget constraints like all other businesses within British Racing, so we’re focused on identifying the most effective and efficient structure for the BHA.

“During the next few months Tim will be working with the team to put in place the new structure that ensures the BHA remains committed to maintaining and promoting the highest standards of equine welfare and health. We are proud that British Racing is justifiably held in high regard on the subject, but we know there is no room for complacency.”

Like to draw attention to two things relating to the above. One is Paul Scotney’s leaving date of Friday 14th December 2012, and also the final line in Paul Bittar’s comments relating to Tim Morris, “but we know there is no room for complacency”.

So what is so special about today, well today the BHA published the Disciplinary Panel Result, Reasons and Penalties regarding Jim Boyle, New Den and “milkshaking”.  The full report can be found here.

However I want to draw your attention to two points in particular. Following blood tests, and a further sample at Jim Boyle’s yard on the 8th New Den was moved to British Racing School in Newmarket for further monitoring.

9. However, no testing, whether to establish a baseline TCO2 reading or otherwise was done during the week or so that NEW DEN was in the BHA’s custody. Dr Hillyer explained that this was the result of a decision taken in a discussion with her superior, Professor Tim Morris, and with Paul Scotney. It was thought unnecessary.

The negligence of Professor Tim Morris and Paul Scotney resulted in the following:

Rule (A)27
Allegation proved, but in the following sense only. The Panel found that Boyle did NOT “milkshake” the horse as the BHA alleged by putting a substantial quantity of alkalising agent into the gelding, whether by nasogastric tube or otherwise. It was, however, concluded that Boyle was aware of the administration of “tie-up” powders to the horse on 5 and 6 April and that when he took a final decision to race the horse during the morning of 6 April, he was doing so in the knowledge that the powders administered could affect the gelding’s racing performance. The Panel concluded that the administration of those tie-up powders might explain the sample results obtained, in the absence of further testing to establish a baseline TCO2 reading for the gelding. This ought to have been undertaken, at least in the light of the I-STAT reading of 41 obtained on 8 April.
Penalty: Restriction of entries for 2 months and £2,000 fine

Entry Point is 1 year with a range of 1 month to 5 years.

Professor Tim Morris and Paul Scotney deemed further testing to establish a baseline TCO2 reading for the gelding as unnecessary. Their titles again; Director of Equine Science and Welfare and Director of Integrity Services, Compliance, and Licensing.

Please leave the BHA House.

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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


Alan Morcombe leaves Horsemen’s Group

Today’s news that Alan Morcombe’s consultancy role at Horsemen’s Group comes to an end should be well received by all with the interest of the sport at heart, Press Association copy below:

Alan Morcombe’s consultancy agreement which has seen him perform the role as chief executive for the Horsemen’s Group will come to an end on December 31.

Morcombe’s reign has overseen such initiatives as the Horsemen’s Group tariff which was seen as integral to ensuring increased levels of prize-money.

“I have enjoyed my consultancy with the Horsemen’s Group and wish them the very best for the future,” said Morcombe.

“When I first got involved with racing I was unaware of the splendour of the sport and the dedication shown by many of the professional horsemen involved in it.

“The last two years have been an educating experience and I leave the Horsemen’s Group in a stronger position than when I started thanks, in part, to the enormous commitment and support I have received from the executive of the member organisations.”

The group is looking to appoint a new chairman for 2013.

But at what cost?

Here’s an extract from a piece in Racing Post on the 25th August 2012:

He claimed that, while the cost of running his organisation since April 2010 had been approximately pounds 1.1m.

Horsemen Limited Accounts Year Ending June 2011 details Ambrose Consultancy Ltd (Alan Morcombe is the sole Director) were paid £270, 608 in consultancy fees, so that’s just the 25% then Alan. It’s even worse if we consider that there is every possibility that Alan was basing these costs against the draft June 2012 accounts, which are still to be published, yet if we have a ball park fee of £250k for 11/12 fees, then that 25% becomes 47%.

So what does “consultancy agreement will come to an end on 31st December 2012” actually mean? Well first we need to see the original agreement, I hope that in the coming days the trade paper, and other journalists will look into getting copies of this. If the agreement was rolling, then that’s fine, but what if it was a 4yr deal, or 5yr deal…then Ambrose Consultancy Ltd is likely to be compensated further.

If it is the latter, then Alan Morcombe via Ambrose Consultancy Ltd has taken the best part of £1m out of British Racing, has left Horsemen’s Group with a £500k loan where repayment to the BHA is still to be agreed by the two parties – (was the cash used to settle any Ambrose Consultancy Ltd fees?) and no Chairman due to differences between him and the Chairman Designate Philip Freedman. Questions need to be asked about all parties involved with the Horsemen’s Group currently and previously, and Alan Morcombe’s initial appointment. I hope for the life of me the decision wasn’t left with Paul Dixon, and him alone. Anyway back to Alan…

“I have enjoyed my consultancy with the Horsemen’s Group…” said Morcombe.

I bet you ******* have “mate”, now jog on.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized