Hack riders to be prosecuted with video evidence? The conservators discussed whether video cameras should be used by the downskeepers to collect evidence of hack riders riding on the training gallops. Although the proposal from the trainers received considerable support from conservators, the clerk, David Smith, sensibly counselled caution, pointing out that the evidential requirements were onerous, that a conviction under the byelaws remained a hopeless cause until signposting and publicity had been improved, and that even then, only regular offenders should be targeted.
And, would you believe it, no-one suggested that video evidence should be gathered on dog walkers failing to clear up after their dogs, or folk flying kites outside the designated areas?
Post-Derby clear up: Our and others’ complaints about the standard of clearing up after the Derby were discussed by the conservators. A fortnight after the event, there were still large quantities of glass on the raised bank next to the home straight, and on the bridleway 127 part of Old London Road â€” something which wouldn’t be accepted for a moment on the training gallops. The detritus on the Hill, near the Tote stand, which reappears after each Derby, was left again this year. And the litter clear-up failed to reach down Old London Road to Buckles Gap. Racecourse representative Stephen Wallis admitted that they had used new contractors this year, who had failed to deliver, and gave an assurance that it wouldn’t happen again next year.
Explorer maps to show hack rides: The conservators have agreed to our proposal that future editions of the Ordnance Survey Explorer map should show details of the statutory hack rides. Sadly, the next edition is not due out for several years!
Downs strategy: The Downs Strategy was approved by the conservators with some amendments. It’s a bit weak on commitments, but better than earlier drafts. It’s likely to be published on the Epsom and Ewell council website later this year.
Additional hack riding area: The Training Grounds Management Board had yet again considered whether hack riders should be able to ride on the so-called hatched area â€” and concluded the answer was no! The Board has decided the eastern segment is dangerous for horses to use (true, because the area has been left to go to rot), and that there are what were called ‘policy’ reasons against use of the western segment (in other words, they want it for their own use). But they also know they’re legally skating on thin ice, and we had a fair hearing at a site visit on 1 August. Watch this space… .
Tattenham Corner crossing: The Pegasus crossing on Tattenham Corner Road cost around Â£30,000, and is really only of value to the nearby racing stables (which, to be fair, has an undoubted need, and uses the crossing several times each day) â€” the push button for equestrians on the north side of the road is actually located on private property! It was originally part of a programme of highway improvements to enhance access between the Hill and the track down to Rifle Butts Alley. But, here’s a surprise, the package was quietly dropped and only the crossing installed. We are lobbying for the wider package to be resuscitated as part of the changes involving the diversion of bridleway 65 and the improvement of National Cycle Route 22.