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Milton Harris deemed 'not fit and proper' to train by BHA after licence breaches

British racing's licensing committee has concluded that Milton Harris is no longer "a fit and proper person" to train; Harris was suspended from training on November 11 last year with his assistant trainer Tony Charlton taking over

Milton Harris
Image: Milton Harris has been banned from training by the BHA

Milton Harris has been deemed "not a fit and proper person" to train by the BHA.

The BHA listed three primary concerns, including safeguarding issues arising from Harris' conduct with young persons employed at his yard.

There were also concerns raised over Harris' misconduct in his dealings with others, notably fellow trainer Simon Earle, as well as the nature and extent of Harris' admitted breaches of conditions which already existed on his licence - imposed in 2018.

The 64-year-old was suspended from training on November 11 of last year with his assistant trainer Tony Charlton taking over the licence.

In the wake of the ruling, BHA director of integrity and regulatory operations, Tim Naylor, said: "Racing is a sport that works hard to provide a safe and welcoming space for all and the ruling of the licensing committee in this case sends a clear message that those in positions of authority in our industry must act in a way that upholds these values.

"We are grateful to the committee for their time in considering this matter and also to those who came forward to share their experiences of Mr Harris and gave evidence at the hearing.

"Some of the details in the licensing committee's decision make for extremely uncomfortable reading. Mr Harris's behaviour over a prolonged period of time fell a long way short of what we expect of a licensed person and, as the committee found, would cause damage to racing's reputation if allowed to continue without repercussion.

"We are, therefore, pleased with the panel's finding that Mr Harris is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

Knight Salute (right) and Pied Piper hit the line together at Aintree
Image: Knight Salute (right) won a Grade One for Harris at Aintree

"As is clear from the decision, the BHA's concerns ranged across a number of very serious issues. One of these concerns related to safeguarding. The BHA takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and, as demonstrated by its bringing this case before the licensing committee, will do everything within its powers to ensure that those working in our sport do so in an environment befitting what should rightly be expected by them and, in the case of young people, their parents or guardians upon taking a job in the sport.

"The BHA recently published an updated Safeguarding and Human Welfare Strategy, which built on our existing policies and seeks to protect and promote the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the sport.

"As always, we would encourage anybody who feels they have been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate behaviour in our sport to contact us. The BHA's Code of Conduct clearly establishes the standards that everyone involved in racing is expected to uphold and we will never turn a blind eye to concerns raised about conduct which may fall below these standards."

Contacted by the PA news agency, Harris described himself as "disappointed" by the verdict, with a further response planned in the coming days.

He said: "I've just seen the decision of the committee and I'm obviously disappointed. My immediate priority is to look after the horses, owners and long-serving staff here and in the immediate that will be my sole focus. I will make a statement [on the decision] in a few days' time."

Harris has trained two Listed winners, one Grade One winner and six Grade Two winners. His most notable horse was Knight Salute who won the Grade One Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree in 2022.

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