BHA Imposes Sanctions Against 10 People

Disciplinary action stems from investigation into a 2008 race involving Sabre Light.

Ten individuals, including a jockey, a trainer, and a former trainer, have been ruled off British racetracks as a result of a lengthy investigation by the British Horseracing Authority into a race at Lingfield in 2008.

The disciplinary action stems from the BHA’s lengthy investigation into the action of Sabre Light, a 6-year-old gelding who finished fifth in a race at the British track on Dec. 17, 2008. The probe began after the BHA was alerted to the betting patterns associated with the race.

Trainer Jeff Pearce and former trainer Geoff Huffer were disqualified from British racing for three and four years, respectively, after being found guilty of conspiring to ensure Sabre Light did not run on his merits.

Jockey Jerry O’Dwyer was banned from racing for 18 months after the inquiry determined he failed to ride the gelding on his merits.

Pearce is disqualified until Jan. 12, 2014, Huffer until Jan. 12, 2015, and O’Dwyer until July 12, 2012.

Seven other individuals, none of whom were licensed participants in British racing, have been excluded from racing indefinitely.

According to the disciplinary panel’s inquiry, Pearce faced several breaches of the rules of racing, including obscuring the ownership of Sabre Light. According to the BHA, the gelding was alleged to have been owned by Fran O'Brien but was actually owned by Huffer.

O’Brien, who was charged with breaching rules of racing, was fined £5,000.

The BHA said the others disciplined in connection with the scheme were found to have bet on Sabre Light to lose on betting exchanges after receiving information, placing bets for others, or for allowing others access to their accounts.