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THE BHA has settled former long-serving

02 May 2013

THE BHA has settled former long-serving stipendiary steward Geoffrey Forster’s claim for unfair dismissal, which had been due to be heard at an employment tribunal in London.

Confidentiality clauses prevent the parties discussing financial details of the agreement but Forster, 58, who remains unemployed, said: “I’m pleased the matter was concluded. I’m very grateful to everyone who showed me support, it was much appreciated.”
Forster, who had been in the sport for 35 years, spending the first decade in the Jockey Club’s offices before moving to the racecourse, was given no
explanation at the time of his sacking on December 5 last year.

He is understood to have been on his way to officiate at a twilight fixture at Kempton when he was summoned to attend a meeting with BHA director of
raceday operations and regulation Jamie Stier, at which he was informed his services were being terminated with immediate effect.
As Forster was not facing any internal disciplinary charges, and was widely regarded by professionals as one of the better stipendiary stewards on the circuit, his dismissal surprised not only past and present colleagues but stewards he regularly worked alongside.

In a similar case, Ashley Bealby, who was fired as a stipendiary steward in 2010, subsequently agreed a severance package after threatening to take the BHA to an employment tribunal. Forster has so far been prevented from seeking employment owing to family circumstances and has ruled out looking for a position with an overseas racing authority. He said: “It would be nice to feel I could still make some sort of contribution to racing using whatever experience I’ve gathered over the last 35-plus years. I would like to make myself useful, but how and in what capacity, I’m still thinking that through. But I won’t be going abroad.”

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