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31 August 2020 20:35

Delia Bushell

No one will emerge unscathed from this ugly fall out – not the Jockey Club, Delia Bushell or racing

Commonwealth Games England Board member Bushell resigns from Jockey Club after allegations of bullying Commonwealth Games England Board member Delia Bushell has resigned from the Jockey Club after an independent inquiry upheld allegations of bullying. Bushell resigned from the role of chief executive, which she had held since September 2019, after an independent barrister decided disciplinary action should be taken against her "on the grounds of gross misconduct." The Board of the Jockey Club, which operates 15 racecourses in the United Kingdom including Aintree, Cheltenham, Newmarket and Epsom Downs, concluded it was "untenable" for her to remain in the position. Bushell was appointed to the Commonwealth Games England Board as a non-executive director in 2018. "We are aware of reports in the media concerning Delia Bushell and will not make any further comment until we have reviewed the situation," the spokesperson said. Jockey Club has appointed Nevin Truesdale as acting group chief executive following Bushell's sudden departure.

The England and Wales Cricket Board and Commonwealth Games England have both said they will be holding their own reviews into the furore surrounding Delia Bushell, who resigned as group chief executive of the Jockey Club in sensational circumstances on Sunday. The ECB, the single national governing body for all cricket in England and Wales, said it would be contacting both Bushell and the Jockey Club over the controversial case in which an inquiry upheld allegations against Bushell of bullying of colleagues, racist comments and the sharing of offensive material. An ECB statement said: "We do not underestimate the seriousness of the claims made against Delia, but we will seek to review and discuss what is clearly a complex matter with both her and the Jockey Club before commenting further." They said in a statement: "We are aware of reports in the media concerning Delia Bushell and will not make any further comment until we have reviewed the situation." Bushell, who has launched a staunch defence of her actions and has accused the Jockey Club of having "fundamentally mishandled" the affair, is also a member of the Telegraph Advisory Board, which supplies strategic guidance to the newspaper group's executive team. Delia Bushell named as new group chief executive at the Jockey Club Barrister called in to investigate complaint against Jockey Club chief executive THERE'S always a little calm in the season after Goodwood and before the Doncaster St Leger meeting - but Good Bad Ugly never sleeps! Bad news for those owners, trainers and jockeys at Newton Abbott tomorrow - I'm coming!

For the first time for many years I will be at one of may favourite courses covering eight fabulous events for Sky Sports Racing. Wow has it gone crazy and ugly at the Jockey Club, with the departure of Delia Bushell as the supreme commander after an independent barrister upheld allegations centred around the bullying of colleagues, the use of racist comments and sharing offensive material. Having held one of British racing's most powerful positions for less than a year, Bushell has left the sport following a determination by a trio of the Jockey Club's leading figures that there were grounds for disciplinary action due to "gross misconduct". Jockeys are currently restricted to riding at just one meeting per day—a COVID-inspired rule which some hope will remain in place—but Doyle has been making the most of her full books of rides. On Saturday, she set a new record for a female jockey in Britain when winning five of Windsor's nine races, including the two stakes races on the card.

From the statements issued over the weekend by the Jockey Club and its erstwhile group chief executive Delia Bushell, who resigned her post on Sunday, it is hard to ascertain which is the aggrieved party in what is undoubtedly a sorry tale for racing, whatever the truth may be. Bushell's resignation came after an independent barrister appointed by the Jockey Club apparently upheld allegations made against her by a colleague of bullying, racist remarks and the sharing of offensive material. A sub-committee of three of the Jockey Club board members, referred to as stewards, determined that the review's findings should result in disciplinary action against Bushell, including for gross misconduct. Bushell, a former managing director of BT Sport who also held several senior roles with the broadcaster Sky, became the first female head of the Jockey Club in September 2019 and acknowledged the potential difficulties faced by racing. In its former role as racing's rulemaker, the Jockey Club, established in 1750, did not allow women to hold training licences until 1966 or to ride against men in races until the 1970s, a situation admittedly not out of keeping with the more general societal attitudes of that time.

Ballylinch Stud gave an important helping hand to Lope De Vega (Ire) in his first season with runners when his son Belardo (Ire), who was bred by the stud, became his sire's first Group 1 winner in the Darley Dewhurst S. But it is Ballylinch which is once again playing a part in the success of a young stallion, with Belardo's first group winner, Isabella Giles (Ire), having been bred at the stud from the G3 Laundry Cottage Stud Firth of Clyde S. and become the first stakes winner for Belardo's fellow freshman sire Kodi Bear (Ire), who was also trained by Cox. This followed the G2 Richmond S. What has become evident following the latest round of horses-in-training action at Tattersalls last week is that buyers are increasingly willing to bid online—though it is certainly less unsatisfactory to do this for horses with racing form rather than young, untested yearlings. Simply, for many owners of British-trained horses rated in the 70 to 100 bracket, the rewards are far greater if you sell rather than continue to race, even successfully.

The breeze-up and horses-in-training sales of this year have so far held up better than most people expected, though there has of course been a downturn from what has been a fairly buoyant market since bouncing back from the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.