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Flapping with the rules; LETTERS.

CAN someone explain to me why jockeys who have flapped, i.e. ridden on unlicensed tracks, can, after 12 months of riding in a flapping race, be able to renew their licence under rules when a horse who has flapped is banned for life? I have first hand knowledge of riding in flapping and have also bought horses from well-known trainers to flap and been successful. Why can I not, after 12 months, put such a horse with a trainer to go back under rules? I feel that the BHA sullies horses with a stance that says once a horse has flapped it can never go back under rules.

I understand that the Irish authorities have approached the flapping community, as flapping is so big in Ireland that racing under rules is losing horses.

What is the difference between a jockey returning to race under rules after 12 months' flapping and a horse doing the same thing? Nicola Lewis Caerphilly, South Wales Paul Struthers, BHA media relations manager, responds: "An interesting question. It is an offence for a licensed individual to participate in an unrecognised race meeting (flapping) and the maximum penalty for doing so is a 12 month disqualification. If a jockey therefore chooses to ride at an unrecognised meeting, even if not licensed, he or she must wait 12 months before being able to return to being licensed.

"Unrecognised race meetings aren't regulated by us, there is little or no reliable form available for such meetings, and horses often run under different names than when they were registered under the rules of racing.

"These issues, and their subsequent potential impact on racing's integrity (demonstrated by one or two recent examples), combined with the fact that, unlike a jockey, a horse doesn't earn his or her livelihood from racing, are why horses that have participated at an unrecognised meeting can no longer race under rules.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 21, 2010
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