Yarmouth becomes latest track to stage a steward-free fixture
One of the reasons behind the BHA's ongoing review of the raceday stewarding model is highlighted again on Tuesday when the opening afternoon of Yarmouth's Eastern festival becomes the latest meeting to take place without any stewards in attendance.
For the sixth time this year a card will take place with BHA-employed stipendiary stewards taking on the additional role of volunteer stewards after it proved not possible to staff the fixture with unpaid officials.
The BHA is currently engaged in an industry consultation process as it considers how best to police race meetings in the future, with one option being to replace volunteer stewards with paid professionals.
The Yarmouth programme will be staged under the watch of stipendiary stewards Tony McGlone and Tom Evetts.
Normal composition of stewarding panel
Stipendiary steward x2
BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said: "One of the challenges we face with the existing stewarding model is that the pool of fully-trained volunteer stewards has been gradually decreasing over time, while the fixture list has been increasing in size. This has led to an increasing number of fixtures where either one or sometimes even no volunteer stewards are available.
"In these circumstances the stipendiary stewards take up the duties of the volunteer stewards in addition to their own responsibilities."
BHA statistics show that since the start of 2015 a total of 27 fixtures have taken place without stewards, while this year alone 77 cards have been conducted with only a single steward present.
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