If there is one thing a jockey cannot do it is bet on horse races, and that is something that everyone in the horse racing industry knows and fully understands. Whenever a jockey has been discovered placing such bets, sympathy from these involved in horse racing is never forthcoming.
Hayley Turner has become something of a darling of the horse racing world, for she has very quickly established herself as a popular broadcaster on shows such as Channel 4 Racing, and when that network lost the rights to broadcast horse races in the UK, ITV Racing the company that took over the task of broadcasting UK horse races, they quickly signed her up too.
She is however also a jockey, and has a very strong following of punters and fans who are always tempted to place the occasional wager when she does have a ride at any racecourse.
However, it has been found that she did in fact very recently open up a betting account, and went about playing bets and wagers on horse races, and it will come as no surprise that those tasked with policing the sport have taken a very dim view of her doing so.
I personally am quite amazed with what she did, for as someone who is so actively involved in horse racing she must have known that by placing even one single bet on a horse race she was breaking the long established rules and laws of that sport, but it was her decision to do so.
Risks Involved in Jockeys Being Allowed to Bet
In this day and age you may be wondering if allowing a jockey to have the occasional bet on a horse race or not is really such a big deal. However, there are some major risks that the integrity of the sport can be brought into disrepute when they can place such bets and wagers.
With betting exchanges for example allowing anyone to place a bet on any horse they think will win a race, and also allowing punters to lay a horse to lose, it can be, and to be honest is very easy for a jockey to lay a horse he or she is riding and then pulling all manner of stunts in the race to ensure that horse doesn’t win.
It is therefore deemed to be a serious offence betting on horse races if you do hold a jockeys license, and not even horse races a jockey may be actively involved in either.
Often there is something of a tight knit community at some racecourses and if a jockey is also in collusions with a trainer and/or even a bookmaker that can lead to some serious betting irregularities and outright cheating in the sport.
In fact, over the years there have been quite a number of high profile jockeys who have fallen foul of the no betting rule, and also who have been involved in race fixing, many of whom have never been allowed to return to the sport.
Three Month Ban
The average suspension a jockey can expect if they have been found guilty of breaking the no betting rule is a ban for 18 months. However, the disciplinary panel that ruled on Hayley Turner decided that in her case a ban of 3 months was in order and that is the ruling they passed down to her.
In her defence she has come out and said that as someone who is an active broadcaster she could place a bet on anything she pleased
However, she is also still an occasional jockey and as such she could not bet, which is no excuse for the fact she is still a jockey, albeit an occasional one who does hold a jockeys licence she is bound by the rules of racing whether she is a broadcaster or not.
A ban and disqualification form racing for any length of time for a jokey is of course a disaster for them personally, for they can be banned from all racecourses for the entire duration of that ban and any racing stables and is also not permitted to discuss horse racing with any professionals that are also licensed.
The disciplinary panel chose to not ban her from attending racecourses during her suspension, and therefore allowing her to continue with her broadcasting career during the 3 month period, so she has got off rather light in many people’s eyes as she will still be able to earn money from her appearances on TV.
Paddy Power Betting Account
How this breach of betting rules came about, has been traced back to 2015, for it was around four weeks after Hayley Turner announced that she would be retiring from her career as a jockey that she then opened a betting account with Paddy Power.
She then went on to re-apply for her license in 2016, as she was still being invited to ride in various races which was something she did fancy doing.
Whilst it is very true to say that the volume of bets she did place was not overly excessive, and certainly not high value bets, she was still found to have been guilty of breaking the rules of her jockey license, and it was discovered that she had made a net profit of just £160 from those wagers.
Blaming the ease of betting on her Paddy Power betting app and also trying to blame the boredom of hanging around a racecourse all day when broadcasting, she said she would have the occasional fiver or tenner here and there on races to relive that boredom.
It has been noted that the British Horseracing Authority do not consider Turner to be a major risk to the integrity of racing in the UK, and that is probably why she did get off light in regards to her riding ban. However, the BHA are tasked with policing the sport and whether she placed one single penny on a horse race or tens of thousands of pounds, she was still guilty of a breaking their rules.