What happened to horse trainer Milton Harris?

What happened to horse trainer Milton Harris?  Milton Harris, who, since 2018, has been based in Sutton Veny, near Warminster, Wiltshire, was first granted a training licence by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in 2001. However, in the last decade and a half, Harris, 64, has had what might be politely described as an ‘interesting’ relationship with the governing body. The BHA first objected to Harris holding a training licence in late 2009, on the grounds that he was ‘not a fit and proper person’ to do so. Nevertheless, he continued to train under a temporary licence, with conditions, in 2010 and 2011 but, in December 2011, was made subject of a five-year bankruptcy restrictions order.

Reflecting on his bankruptcy, Harris said later, ‘Things had gone wrong with personal and financial relationships and I’d got myself in a few scrapes.’ Whatever the reasons, it was not until 2018 that the licensing committee relented and, once again, granted him a training licence. By his own admission, Harris resumed his training career with just eight horses and just two members of staff but, nonetheless, saddled a career-best 56 winners in 2021/22 and was just one shy of the number in 2022/23.

In the 2023/24 season, so far, he has saddled 33 winners and accrued just over £373,000 in prize money, placing him six in the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship. However, he is unlikely to be adding to that total any time soon because, on November 11, 2023, his training licence was suspended, with immediate effect, by the BHA. Any issue only came to light on November 9, 2023, when two of Harris’ intended runners at Ludlow, Balboa and Giddyupadingdong, were withdrawn, having been deemed, rather mysteriously, as ‘not qualified’ by the BHA. Harris is required to attend a licensing committee meeting in January 2024, to face accusations of ‘a breach of the conditions on his licence and related matters’.

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