BHA regulatory chief Jamie Stier to return to Australia next year
BHA chief regulatory officer Jamie Stier is to leave his position in the new year to return to Australia and head up Racing Victoria's integrity services.
A departure date has not yet been finalised but Stier will leave during the first half of 2018 and the BHA will be looking for his replacement early in the new year.
His successor will be taking over what has become a hot potato of a job as the BHA has reacted to public opinion on a range of regulatory issues, often bringing it into conflict with racing professionals.
In being a prime mover in various regulatory changes, Stier frequently faced criticism from across the racing industry.
One of his first briefs when appointed as director of raceday operations and regulation in 2010 was to review the whip rules, resulting in stricter sanctions being introduced a year later. After an initial backlash and high-profile bans the rules were subsequently altered and have produced fewer breaches.
He was also at the centre of the storm when Speculative Bid was declared by stewards both a runner and a non-runner when favourite for a major handicap at Ascot in 2015, costing on-course bookmakers considerable sums.
More recently Stier was blasted by the Professional Jockeys Association for not heeding its warning about bias in disciplinary inquiries before the Matthew Lohn case, which led to a rehearing of trainer Jim Best's disciplinary charges.
Stier said on Sunday: "I've greatly enjoyed the privilege of working in British racing, and more particularly the BHA, during the last eight years.
"I'll leave comfortable in the knowledge the BHA is committed to consistently looking at ways in which the sport can be most effectively regulated to safeguard the reputation of racing and all those involved in it, including the real stars of the show, the horses.
"I've been fortunate to have worked with many fantastic people during my time here, and the current team guiding the BHA is no exception. I'd like to thank those who have offered me support during my time here."
On his new role with Racing Victoria, he added: "I am hugely excited to be working with Racing Victoria and look forward to building on, and enhancing, the integrity structures which are already in place to help ensure the sustainability of racing in Victoria.
"Integrity is fundamental to the success of racing from the point of view of both the participants and the fans. With the support of the experienced team involved across the integrity function in Victoria, the focus will be on meeting the future challenges to integrity in racing to provide the public with confidence in our sport."
Nick Rust, the BHA chief executive who succeeded Stier's fellow Australian Paul Bittar, who also returned to work back home, said: "Jamie has made a significant contribution as chief regulatory officer, and in his previous roles at the BHA since he joined in 2010.
"I'd like to thank him for his work and wish him well for the future. Our system of regulation has been improving and becoming much more transparent and progressive over the last few years."
Stier is responsible for managing the BHA’s raceday operations, including stewarding, integrity and equine welfare staff.
He also has responsibility for managing the teams that license trainers, jockeys and racecourses, lead the anti-doping and anti-corruption investigations, and running the sport’s equine-welfare programme.