THE MOUNTED GAMES ASSOCIATION (GREAT BRITAIN) LTD
DISCIPLINARY CODE, RULES AND PROCEDURES (UPDATED MARCH 2013)
1.1 ‘Appeal’ means an appeal referred to the MGA Disciplinary Commission pursuant to Rule 11.8
1.2 ‘Association’ means the Mounted Games Association (Great Britain) Ltd (MGAGB Ltd)
1.3 ‘Association Secretary’ means and includes any person nominated to discharge a part of the disciplinary administration of the Association as well as its actual secretary.
1.4 ‘ Child’ means a person who at the date of the relevant incident was 16 years of age or under.
1.5 ‘Competition’ means any Competition held within the sanction of the Association and also includes any Competition held under the jurisdiction of the International Mounted Games Association.
1.6 ‘Disciplinary Commission’ means a Commission appointed to deal with Misconduct under this Code excluding a Ground Jury.
1.7 ‘Event’ means any event held within the sanction of the Mounted Games Association (Great Britain) Ltd and includes, but is not limited to, any Competition, social event, training or practice session or any event held under the jurisdiction of the International Mounted Games Association .
1.8 ‘Ground Jury’ means a group of Officials who are appointed to have overall control of a Competition.
1.9 ‘Hearing’ means a meeting of the Disciplinary Commission.
1.10 ‘Horse’ means any horse or pony which is at a Competition or Event.
1.11 ‘Member’ means any person who has paid a subscription and been accepted into the Association whether they be a rider (Riding Member) or parent or other supporter (Non Riding Member)
1.12 ‘Misconduct’ includes minor Misconduct and serious Misconduct
1.13 ‘Minor Misconduct’ includes, but is not limited to, fits of pique, immediate dissent by word or action to any decision made, or abuse of equipment such as deliberate throwing to the ground and any form of unsporting behaviour or language (whether verbal, written or on social media) of a minor nature as determined by the Ground Jury)
1.14 ‘Official’ means any person who at the time was performing a function to ensure the smooth running of an Event.
1.15 ‘Prohibited Substance’ means a prohibited or restricted substance as set out in the FEI list of banned substances and the World Anti Doping Code Prohibited List which can be found online at http://prohibitedsubstancesdatabase.feicleansport.org
1.16 ‘Rider’ means any rider or competitor as an individual or part of a pair or team or reserve rider as specified on the declaration form for the Competition.
1.17 ‘Serious Misconduct’ includes, but is not limited to, cases alleging assault, indecency, dishonesty, criminal damage, unlawful use or possession of any prohibited substance and offensive, insulting or abusive behaviour or language (whether verbal, written or on social media) or of bringing the Association into disrepute.
1.18 ‘In writing’ means written, printed or lithographed or partly one and partly another and other modes of representing or reproducing words in a visible form sent by hand, by post or by agreed electronic means.
1.19 A ‘season’ lasts for 12 calendar months and commences on the first day of January.
1.20 ‘Working days’ do not include Public Holidays, Saturdays or Sundays.
1.21 Wherever a gender is referred to in this Code, either shall be inferred, as relevant.
1.22 The singular shall include the plural and vice versa.
- Agreement to be bound by this Code and Association Rules
2.1 All Members, by their application for membership of the Association, agree to be bound by this Code the MGAGB Memorandum and Articles of Association and all rules, regulations and bye-laws made under them.
2.2 It is the responsibility of all Members to ensure that they are aware of and familiar with this Code and all Members competing under it shall be deemed to have knowledge of the Code as amended from time to time.
2.3 It is expected that common sense shall prevail at all times. This Code can never cover every eventuality. Matters which cannot be solved by interpreting the Code to the letter should be resolved by following as nearly as possible the spirit of the text to obtain a solution which is fairest to all participants.
2.4 Parent(s) or any person(s) having care of a child are responsible for the behaviour of that child and may be charged with minor misconduct or serious misconduct in the event of misconduct by the child.
- Conduct of Members
3.1 No Member shall:
- Contravene neither any rule set by the Association (nor any rule of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) of which the MGAGB is a member body.
- Contravene any law of the United Kingdom.
- Conduct himself at any Event in a manner which is offensive to the public.
- Conduct himself in a manner which is detrimental to the character and/or prejudicial to the interests of the Association.
- Use offensive, insulting, abusive or threatening behaviour towards any other Member or person.
- Argue at an Event with an Official or use abusive or threatening language or behave with incivility or contempt towards an Official.
- Compete at an Event for which the Horse and Rider are not fully qualified, fit or eligible.
- Compete knowingly or otherwise under the influence of any Prohibited Substance
- Refuse to give a sample of his bodily fluids or the bodily fluids of a Horse for the purpose of control of prohibited substances.
- Allow, knowingly or otherwise, a Horse for which he is the person responsible to compete in any Competition under the influence of a Prohibited Substance.
- Refuse to allow a Horse which has competed or is about to compete in a Competition at an Event to undergo any properly authorised test, inspection or examination if requested.
- Ill-treat in any way any Horse at an Event whether inside or outside the Competition area.
- Use a whip or spur or any other object to hit or strike a Horse at an Event whether inside or outside the Competition area.
- Deliberately use the bit as a means of punishment and/or misuse any item of saddlery in a manner likely to cause pain or discomfort to the Horse.
- Unreasonably fail or refuse to assist the Ground Jury, Disciplinary Commission, Appeal or Association Secretary or any Member of the General Committee in their investigations of complaints of Misconduct by Members of the Association.
- Make, either orally or in writing, to an Official of the Association under any circumstances, a statement on any matter covered by the rules, which he does not or could not reasonably believe to be true.
- Ground Jury Procedure
4.1 Before the commencement of each Competition, the organiser shall appoint a Ground Jury who will be responsible for all matters relating to discipline at the Competition. The Ground Jury shall consist of no less than 3 and no more than five Officials selected from within the Officials responsible for the Competition and, where possible, should include a Riding Member. If the Ground Jury is required to meet they shall elect a Chairman from within their number.
4.2 Any Member charged with Misconduct may seek advice and guidance from any person he sees fit and is entitled to have one person with them at any meeting with the Ground Jury.
4.3 Any complaint of Misconduct occurring in relation to, or whilst travelling to or from a Competition and committed by a member of the Association, shall in the first instance be reported to the Ground Jury for that Competition. They shall take note of the complaint and if they consider that a case has been made out they shall, if it is considered appropriate and practicable, briefly advise the Member complained of about the nature of the complaint and take note of any comments he may make.
4.4 The Ground Jury shall consider the incident and shall, in their report, recommend what further action should be taken under this Code and may, at their discretion report the matter to the proper authorities.
4.5 If the Ground Jury decide the Misconduct alleged is Minor Misconduct they shall administer a verbal warning to the Member as soon as practicable.
4.6 Should any Misconduct occur in the Competition arena it is appropriate for the referee officiating to deal with the matter under the games rules but he must later report the incident and any action taken to the Ground Jury who may, at their discretion, take further action under this Code.
4.7 If the Ground Jury decides the Misconduct alleged is Serious Misconduct, they must require the Member complained of to take no further part in that Competition.
4.8 If the Ground Jury decides the Misconduct alleged is Serious Misconduct unless there are extenuating circumstances, as accepted by the Ground Jury, that Member will be required to leave the Competition venue as soon as possible.
4.9 If the Ground Jury decides the Misconduct alleged is Serious Misconduct formal disciplinary procedures will then be commenced.
4.10 Any complaint of Misconduct occurring elsewhere than travelling to or from or before, during or after an Association Competition shall be reported to the Chairman of the General Committee who shall appoint a disciplinary body who shall conduct their investigations and hearings in the manner prescribed by this Code.
4.11 In the case of a disciplinary matter where the complaint is against a Child or a Child is asked to make a statement or give evidence all meetings with that Child and any warnings or other penalties administered shall be done in the presence of a parent, guardian, or appropriate adult who shall be in addition to the person who they are entitled to have with them at any meeting with the Ground Jury
5.1 In all cases of Misconduct the Chairman of the Ground Jury must send a written report to the Association Secretary within 7 working days. Other than in cases of Minor Misconduct, this must be together with details of any known witnesses and other written reports he may have received.
5.2 In cases of Serious Misconduct, formal disciplinary procedures shall commence no later than 30 working days after the alleged incident or first report of the alleged incident, and the outcome determined as soon as is reasonably possible.
5.3 The Association must use due diligence to charge and/or finalise cases within a reasonable period of time.
5.4 In cases of Serious Misconduct, the Association Secretary will request written statements from known witnesses (if not already in his possession) requesting a response from them in writing as soon as reasonably possible and enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. End of event
- Minor Misconduct
6.1 Upon receiving a report from a Ground Jury that a Member has been warned for Minor Misconduct the Association Secretary must send a written acknowledgement to the Chairman of the Ground Jury and send to the Member(s) concerned a copy of the Ground Jury’s report together with a written notification that the warning has been recorded. Copies of other reports need not be sent.
6.2 In circumstances where a case of Minor Misconduct has been upheld the Member must pay an administration charge of £25 within 14 days of the date of the written notification. In the case of a Child this will be the responsibility of their parent or guardian.
6.3 A Member will not be permitted to request a Hearing in respect of finding of Minor Misconduct by a Ground Jury except in the case of a claim of mistaken identity.
6.4 In the case of mistaken identity;
6.4.1 Any such claim must be lodged in writing with the Association Secretary within 10 working days of the receipt of the written notification.
6.4.2 This must be by the Member alleging mistaken identity (or by a parent or guardian in the case of a Child) and must give particulars upon which the claim is founded.
6.4.3 If the relevant Ground Jury members or the Association Secretary are satisfied that the claim warrants further investigation, a Disciplinary Commission must be appointed to deal with the matter.
6.4.4 If the members of the Commission are satisfied that mistaken identity has been proved, the record of the offence will be transferred to the appropriate offender where possible, who may then be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of this Code,
6.4.5 If the Commission is not satisfied that mistaken identity has been proved the warning will be recorded on the original Member’s record.
- Serious Misconduct
7.1 Upon receiving a report from the Chairman of the Ground Jury of alleged Serious Misconduct the Association Secretary must: –
7.2 Within 15 working days send in writing an acknowledgement to the Ground Jury Chairman and send to the Member concerned in writing a copy of the Ground Jury’s report together with a letter offering a penalty in accordance with the recommendation of the Ground Jury. Copies of other reports need not be sent.
7.3 The Member must pay an administration charge of £50, within 15 working days of the date on the letter informing him of the offered penalty.
7.4 In the case of a Child this will be the responsibility of their parent or guardian.
7.5 In the event that a Member does not accept the offer of the recommended punishment he may: –
7.5.1 Make a written request in writing to the Association Secretary for a Hearing enclosing the fee of £50
7.5.2 Submit in writing a plea to the Association for leniency, setting out any mitigating factors which the Member wishes to be considered. By electing for this option the Member accepts the findings of the Ground Jury and their report(s) on which the charge is based
7.6 In either case a Disciplinary Commission will be appointed to consider the matter further or to consider the mitigating plea made by the Member
- Failure to comply
8.1 Failure on the part of the Member to discharge any of the requirements set out at clauses in Sections 6, 7 10 and 11 may constitute Misconduct, which may result in a further charge against the Member. Any punishment imposed for failure to comply will include an automatic suspension of the Member until such time as compliance has taken place.
- Composition of the Disciplinary Commission & Board of Appeal
9.1 A Disciplinary Commission shall consist of not less than three and not more than five Members appointed by the General Committee and, where possible, should include a Riding Member. The appointed members of the Commission should, where possible, have no previous knowledge of the events or any involvement with any of the participants concerned and should not have been on the Ground Jury for the Event at which the Misconduct occurred.
9.2 A Board of Appeal shall consist of not less than three Members appointed by the General Committee and, where possible, should include a Riding Member. The appointed members of such Board of Appeal should not consist of any Member who has sat on either the Ground Jury or the Disciplinary Commission who first heard the case.
- Procedure for a Hearing
10.1 The notification indicating a charge of serious Misconduct must inform the Member of the right to request a Hearing in respect of the alleged offence. It must also indicate that in the event of the charge being proved there may be a liability to be ordered to pay all or part of the costs of the Hearing, which costs may include a part of the overhead expenses of the Association attributable to the Hearing.
10.2 Similarly, in cases where the rules or regulations of the Association require the payment of a fee for a Hearing, the Member must be informed that the fee is liable to be forfeited in full or in part if the charge is proved. This is in addition to any fine that may be imposed.
10.3 In an unproved case neither a fee may be retained, nor may Commission costs be levied.
10.4 Upon receiving a request for a Hearing, the Chairman of the General Committee will appoint a Disciplinary Commission.
10.5 Any Member charged with Misconduct may seek advice and guidance from any person he sees fit and is entitled to have one person with them at the Hearing.
10.6 In the case of a Hearing where the complaint is against a Child or a Child is asked to make a statement or give evidence all meetings with that Child and any warnings or other penalties administered shall be done in the presence of a parent, guardian, or appropriate adult who shall be in addition to the person who they are entitled to have with them at the hearing
10.7 The Member must be given in writing the date, time and venue fixed for the Hearing and arrangements made for the attendance before the Commission of any witnesses.
10.8 The person charged and the witness(es) concerned should be given in writing a minimum 15 working days’ notice of details of the Hearing
10.9 Any written request to the Commission for a postponement of the Hearing should be given consideration. If the reason submitted is considered valid, then a postponement should be granted, and in such circumstances costs may be charged. A request for a second postponement by the same party should not be granted.
10.10 At a Hearing the Disciplinary Commission may adopt such procedures as it considers appropriate and expedient for the just determination of the charge brought before it. A Commission shall not be bound by any enactment or rule of law relating to the admissibility of evidence in proceedings before a court of law.
10.11 If the charge is found not proved, any record of it will be expunged.
10.12 If the charge is found proved the Commission will decide what punishment, if any, is to be imposed. In so doing, members of the Commission must consider the overall nature and effect of the offence(s) and the Member’s previous record and any plea for leniency.
10.13 Except when an Appeal has been lodged, any fines or costs that are ordered must be paid before the expiry of 15 working days from the date of the order. Failure to pay within such period is deemed to be Misconduct punishable by censure, further fine and/or suspension as determined by the Commission that made the order. The Member is responsible for payment of the fine and costs, except in the case of a Child where it is the responsibility of their parent or guardian.
10.14 The decisions of Commissions are final and binding on all parties subject only to a right of appeal to an Appeal Board.
10.15 The decision of the Association will be sent by first-class post to the Member’s last known address.
10.16 The commencement date of any suspension imposed on a Member is at the discretion of the adjudicating Commission.
10.17 The Member may appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Commission within 15 working days of the sending of the decision notification by appealing in writing to the Association Secretary and enclosing the fee for an Appeal Hearing (£50).
11 Appeal Board
11.1 A Board of Appeal shall consist of not less than three Members appointed by the General Committee and where possible should include a Riding Member. The appointed members of such Board of Appeal should not consist of any Member who has sat on Ground Jury or the Disciplinary Commission who first heard the case.
11.2 The procedures set down in this Code for a Hearing shall also apply to Appeals but otherwise at an Appeal the Appeal Board may adopt such procedures as it considers appropriate and expedient for the just determination of the charge brought before it.
11.3 An Appeal Board shall not be bound by any enactment or rule of law relating to the admissibility of evidence in proceedings before a court of law.
11.4 The fee for an Appeal Hearing is £50.
12 Continuing Misconduct
The Association may bring a charge that a Member is not acting in the best interests of the Association when he has been disciplined for Misconduct on more than one occasion in the same season. When dealing with such cases a Disciplinary Commission considering what penalty to impose, must take into account the punishments that were imposed for the original offence(s).
13 Misconduct at International and Overseas Competitions and Events
13.1 Where an alleged incident of Misconduct by a Member occurs overseas at a Competition or Event run by IMGA or by the Association of the relevant country the Misconduct may be dealt with either by IMGA Officials under its Code of Conduct or by Officials of the Association of the relevant country under its Code of Conduct or by the Association under this Code.
13.2 Where an alleged incident of Misconduct by a Member occurs at an International Competition or Event run by IMGA the Misconduct may be dealt with either by IMGA Officials under its Code of Conduct or by the Association under this Code.