Large fine for Hexham

Hexham Steeplechase Company, the managing executive of Hexham racecourse, have been fined £7,000 (€10,200) by the Jockey Club’s disciplinary panel for breaching medical regulations on September 30 last year.

The Northumberland track was found by the panel to have flouted the regulations concerning the club’s requirements for the provision of racecourse medical services and the responsibilities of racecourse medical officers and other medical staff.

Having considered the evidence, including a statement from Hexham chairman Charles Enderby, the panel accepted an admission from Hexham Racecourse Company that it was in breach of Rule 80 (ii) (a) on all counts.

The charges were broken down into eight separate faults, headed by the senior racecourse medical officer not being present and on duty one hour before the advertised time of the first race.

It was also found that; the standing orders for medical arrangements at Hexham require his/her presence 90 minutes before the first race; the nurse on duty in the jockeys’ medical room was not suitably qualified, was not trained, did not have the necessary experience and was not in the room one hour before racing; neither of the required ambulances were on course one hour before the advertised time of the first race, and when they did arrive they were missing supplies and equipment.

Also, the standing medical order was found to have failed to include essential details and they were not handed to each ambulance crew before the raceday briefing and the crews had no idea of their existence.

In addition, the senior racecourse medical officer was found to have failed to ensure all medical arrangements on the track were sufficient for racing to take place and failed to identify any shortcomings and notify the executive of them, 30 minutes before the start of racing.

The fine was the largest to have been imposed over the breaching of medical regulations in recent years and the course was informed it will be subject to a further unannounced inspection in the near future.

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