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Monday, 22 October, 2018

BHA rescinds Chelmsford fines handed out over Storm Doris withdrawals

Storm Doris damaged the window of the Chelmsford commentary box
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A retrospective change to the reasons given for non-runner declarations has led to the BHA rescinding fines imposed on Mick Appleby and Chris Dwyer after they last month withdrew horses from races due to Storm Doris.

Appleby was fined a total of £280 for taking out two horses from races at Chelmsford, which he claimed should not have passed an inspection due to strong winds and which featured a void race when the advanced flag operator mistakenly initiated the stop-race procedure. 

Having vowed to appeal fines he blasted as "absolutely scandalous", Appleby was left with no reason to do so when it became clear he and Dwyer could amend the explanations given for the withdrawals.

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said on Monday: "The horses involved all had legitimate reasons for being allowed to self-cert.

"For example, one of the horses is not the best in the stalls and the trainer thought the windy conditions might not help the horse’s concentration when being loaded. If this had been explained to the stewards on the day they would have allowed the horse to be self-certed, which is why the switch is being allowed."

Mounsey added that the scrapping of the fines was not an indication the BHA feels the penalties were inappropriate, describing the rules as "black and white" in relation to withdrawing horses for weather reasons if a fixture has passed a weather-related inspection.

The trainer thought the windy conditions might not help the horse’s concentration when being loaded
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