June 5, 2023 2 min read


BHA Condemns Dangerous and Reckless Behavior by Protestors

Protestors that demonstrated "reckless and dangerous" behavior during the 2023 Betfred Derby were criticized by the British Horseracing Authority's chief executive, Julie Harrington

For decades animal rights groups have voiced their concerns against thoroughbred, as well as greyhound racing. Within live events in particular, there’s always the danger of protestors impacting a race by going on the racetrack, throwing objects, or engaging in other activities that may threaten the lives of jockeys or even the animals racing.

Only recently, one of the most anticipated horse racing events in the UK, the 2023 Betfred Derby, took place. In light of the actions of protestors on the day of the race, the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA), strongly condemned behavior that can result in harm to the horses or the riders.

We strongly condemn the actions of the individual who ran onto the track after the Betfred Derby had started.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority

Following the Derby, BHA’s chief executive, Julie Harrington, criticized the protestor who ran on the racetrack at the beginning of the event. She deemed such behavior as reckless. Additionally, Harrington pointed out that any such actions can be dangerous to the participants of the race.

Security Responds Swiftly to Actions of Protestor

BHA’s chief executive thanked Epsom’s security for their fast reaction in resolving the issue that occurred on the day of the race. Additionally, she acknowledged that the security team’s efforts enabled the race to be completed in a way that is safe for the participants.

Despite Animal Rising having previously stated on multiple occasions that they would do nothing to jeopardize the safety of horses and riders, this reckless and dangerous behavior did exactly that and I am grateful to Epsom’s security team for their swift response to ensure the race could be completed safely,

added Harrington

Besides Epsom’s security team, Harrington also thanked BHA’s members, as well as the Jockey Club for their collaboration and efforts. She pointed out that the participants in the race also collaborated to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the event. Last but not least, Harrington thanked the Surry Police for their swift response and actions.

The latest incident comes after earlier this year, protestors hit the Grand National back in April. This resulted in swift action from Epsom Downs Racecourse’s operator, the Jockey Club, securing a High Court injunction for the Derby. This effectively granted the right for police and security teams to have the authority to remove protestors that attempt to impact the event.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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