The British Horseracing Authority has revealed a significant change to the stewarding structure at British racecourses as it looks to combat corruption and protect the sport’s integrity.

From January 2019, the ‘One team’ model will see a Chief Steward with responsibility for overseeing raceday stewarding, working alongside a BHA steward and one volunteer, the Panel Chairman. At present, the stewarding panel consists of two voluntary roles and one BHA-appointed Stipendiary Steward.

The changes were announced following a lengthy project to review stewarding in Britain, which included consultation with stakeholders. It was thought the BHA could move to an all-professional model or even centralised stewarding, however the BHA board favoured “evolution, not a radical overhaul” according to Brant Dunshea, the BHA’s Chief Regulatory Officer.

Dunshea continued: “The framework of raceday regulation currently in place in Britain has served us well. However, to ensure that racing is best positioned to mitigate and manage the risks posed by contemporary integrity threats to so many sports, it’s essential that we continue to evolve and improve our regulatory systems.

“We believe that the new officiating model retains the best elements of the current model, while raising the bar on integrity, welfare and the management of risk and major incidents. We expect this to bring together all our raceday teams, including our volunteer and professional stewards and other officials, into a more coherent, supportive, consistent, flexible and effective operation.”

The bill for implementing the new stewarding system comes out at £330,000 (with £300,000 included in the 2018 BHA budget), which covers the cost of recruiting and retaining new roles plus training costs for new and existing staff and voluntary stewards.