Tag Archive for: British Horseracing Authority

Robbie Dunne lodges appeal against 18-month ban

Robbie Dunne has appealed against his 18-month ban for bullying and harassing weighing-room colleague Bryony Frost.

Dunne, 36 – who denied all but one of the charges brought against him – was banned for 18 months, three of which were suspended, after being judged to have engaged in conduct at the track, online and in the weighing room that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of racing following an independent British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing in December.

Dunne initially had seven days to lodge his appeal from the time the written reasons for the verdict were published on January 6, but an application for an extension to January 20 was granted by the disciplinary panel. He has now appealed against both the findings of the disciplinary panel and the penalty imposed.

Jockey Bryony Frost
Jockey Bryony Frost (Danny Lawson/PA)

The BHA said in a statement: “The independent judicial panel has received an appeal from the representatives of Robbie Dunne in relation to the finding and penalty imposed on him by the disciplinary panel after its recent hearing.

“The independent judicial panel will now convene an appeal board for the hearing and liaise with representatives of all parties regarding a potential date for the hearing, which will be communicated in due course.”

The BHA added it will not comment on the appeal proceedings while they remain ongoing.

Oisin Murphy relinquishes licence to ‘focus on rehabilitation’

Oisin Murphy has relinquished his riding licence with immediate effect and will engage “fully with medical support”, the champion jockey and the British Horseracing Authority have announced in a joint-statement.

The ruling body revealed it conducted a “detailed investigation” after being made aware of a possible breach of coronavirus protocols by Murphy related to travel in September of last year.

The BHA said it subsequently issued three alleged charges and a hearing in front of an independent disciplinary panel was arranged to take place on December 10.

But after receiving submissions from Murphy’s legal team regarding his welfare, and Murphy stating he had decided to relinquish his licence, the BHA said it had agreed to postpone the hearing to a later date.

Oisin Murphy was crowned champion jockey again this season
Oisin Murphy was crowned champion jockey again this season (Steven Paston/PA)

A statement read: “Prior to the hearing the BHA received submissions from Mr Murphy’s legal team regarding his welfare, which were supported by medical evidence, and stated that Mr Murphy had made a decision to relinquish his Flat jockeys’ licence whilst he engages fully with medical support.”

Murphy – crowned champion for the last three seasons – also returned two positive tests for alcohol on the racecourse this year – at Chester in May and at Newmarket in October. These matters will also be heard at the same time as the alleged breach of coronavirus protocols.

Murphy, 26, said in a statement: “On returning from abroad last September in 2020 I failed to follow the Covid protocol set out by the BHA. In breaking these rules, and attempting to mislead the BHA, I’ve let my governing body down, along with trainers, owners, staff, sponsors and family for which I wish to apologise.

“In addition to this there have been two racecourse incidents linked to alcohol during 2021. It became obvious to me and to everyone else that I needed to seek serious help.

“In recognition of this I have relinquished my licence and will now focus on my rehabilitation. I am grateful to the BHA for agreeing to postpone the disciplinary hearing until I have been able to take these steps.

“Whether I deserve it or not, many kind people have stood by me and I really appreciate their support. I’m deeply embarrassed and regret my actions.”

Oisin Murphy in the colours of Sheikh Fahad's Qatar Racing
Oisin Murphy in the colours of Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing (Tim Goode/PA)

Murphy was crowned champion again on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot in October following an epic battle with William Buick.

The Killarney-born rider looked set for a comfortable defence of his title with a few weeks of the season to go – but a late charge from Buick set up a thrilling finale, with Murphy ultimately coming out on top by 153 winners to 151.

Big-race victories for Murphy in 2021 included the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood aboard Alcohol Free, with his latest top-level success coming at the Breeders’ Cup aboard Japanese mare Marche Lorraine in the Distaff.

But off the track it was not plain sailing for the Irishman, who was forced to give up rides at Newmarket in October after failing a racecourse breathalyser test amid reports of an incident the previous night.

Earlier this year Murphy – who is the retained rider for Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing operation – admitted he thought about quitting racing altogether while serving a drugs ban.

He was banned for three months in November of last year after a racecourse test, taken at Chantilly in July, found traces of cocaine in his system.

Having always strenuously denied he had taken any drugs, Murphy requested a B sample – and upon receiving the results, France Galop held a hearing where the rider’s defence of environmental contamination from a sexual encounter and scientific hair test evidence was accepted.

Tim Naylor, BHA director of integrity and regulation, said: “In regulating the sport we must always strike the balance between the importance of upholding the rules, and being mindful of the well-being of those who we regulate. The welfare of our participants is an absolute priority.

“Having received detailed submissions from his representatives, which were supported by medical evidence, and being aware of the decision made by Mr Murphy to relinquish his jockeys’ licence, we agreed that the proposed disciplinary hearing may be postponed for a short period of time.

“The charges will be considered in front of an independent disciplinary panel we anticipate in the early part of 2022. We will support his medical team in the meantime.”

Sheikh Fahad with Oisin Murphy after Roaring Lion won the Irish Champion Stakes
Sheikh Fahad with Oisin Murphy after Roaring Lion won the Irish Champion Stakes (PA)

Qatar Racing said in a statement on Twitter it “wholeheartedly supported” Murphy’s decision.

The tweet read: “Qatar Racing wholeheartedly supports Oisin’s decision to temporarily relinquish his license whilst he tackles his health issues. It is important that he is given the space and time to gain the required treatment and we look forward to seeing him back in the saddle.

“We will make no further statement until after his BHA hearing.”

Industry-wide group launched to address behavioural issues in racing

British racing’s major stakeholders have joined forces in a bid to address problems of behaviour within the sport following the Robbie Dunne bullying case.

Dunne was last week found by the independent disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority to have bullied and harassed fellow rider Bryony Frost, being banned for 18 months as a result, with three months suspended.

The BHA, National Trainers Federation, Professional Jockeys Association, National Association of Racing Staff, Racehorse Owners Association, Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and the Racecourse Association have united in a commitment to ensure “horseracing remains a progressive, modern industry when it comes to the conduct of our people”.

Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority's headquarters in London last week
Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority’s headquarters in London last week (Yui Mok/PA)

In a joint-statement, they said: “British racing is a diverse industry where individuals of varying identities and from a wide range of backgrounds work and compete side by side. It is a sport characterised by the shared values of camaraderie and conscientiousness which come hand in hand with working in an elite sport alongside equine athletes.

“It is essential that horseracing remains a progressive, modern industry when it comes to the conduct of our people. We must prioritise the well-being and development of our workforce, stand against discrimination of any kind in British racing, and invest in making racing a safe, fulfilling place to work.

“Great progress has already been made by the industry in terms of improving standards around training, education, employment practices, well-being, safeguarding and career development, with the entire sport involved in making racing a better place to work.

“However, there is always more that can and must be done. We must encourage a culture of openness and seek to support anyone who faces problems or has found themselves in difficulty. We must promote a culture of respect in how those involved in racing interact with one another and promote more diversity and inclusion at all levels of the industry.

“The signatories to this statement, therefore, today publicly commit to further improve standards, education and training around industry conduct, through the formation of a dedicated cross-industry working party.”  

Bryony Frost at Warwick racecourse
Bryony Frost at Warwick racecourse (Adam Davy/PA)

All the signatories have agreed to take part in a working party which will report into the industry People Board and will have the objectives of promoting the positive elements of conduct, educating participants, deter poor behaviour and any form of discrimination while calling out conduct which falls short of the joint expectations.

The group will be chaired by the BHA and include representatives from all the relevant bodies and the people that they represent. 

The working party will, as a priority, develop a specific action plan, which will be underpinned by research into the most effective examples of positive behaviour change from other industries.

It has amongst its objectives ensuring that the new code of conduct is properly communicated, explained and understood and that it achieves its objectives of raising standards of behaviour and conduct within the sport.

Bryony Frost considered France move before deciding to tackle bullying head on

Bryony Frost has revealed she considered relocating to France in her first interview since an independent panel of the British Horseracing Authority ruled she had been bullied and harassed by fellow rider Robbie Dunne.

Dunne was last week given an 18-month ban, with three months suspended, after being found in breach of all four counts of conduct prejudicial to horseracing.

The majority of the incidents in question took place in 2020, when Dunne was found by the panel to have threatened Frost by promising to “put her through a wing (of a fence)” and he was also accused of using misogynistic language such as “f****** whore”, “f****** slut” and “dangerous c***” towards her.

Following Thursday’s verdict, Frost said in a statement she would “take a few days to reflect” before commenting further.

Jockey Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority Headquarters in London
Jockey Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority Headquarters in London (Yui Mok/PA)

And speaking in The Sun on Tuesday, the 26-year-old revealed the extent of the turmoil she has suffered during the past 18 months.

“The world I was in was like ‘Take it on the chin, brush it under the carpet, it will be OK in time’. But it was increasing in momentum and getting worse,” said Frost.

“There were times I thought life shouldn’t just be about day-to-day living. My last resort was taking it to the BHA. I knew it was never going to stop but I had to give something a go because it was getting worse.”

Frost admits a move across the Channel did cross her mind, but she ultimately felt tackling the problem head on, rather than running away from it, was the right move.

She added: “There were times in all this when riding in France did turn my eye, and that would have been very easy for me to protect myself.

“But what happens when there’s another person who goes through a similar scenario and I hadn’t done anything to help?

“In the end it came down to two things. There was the point of I don’t believe anyone should make anyone feel that way, that you’re not worthy of being who you are.

“And the main one was I wouldn’t be a decent human being if I one day saw someone go through what I did, knowing I could have done something to prevent it happening again. If I allowed it to happen I’d be going back on everything I stand for in my own rules of life, how you treat people. I didn’t want to see anyone go through what I did.

“And I’m discovering there are people, not just jockeys, but general public, lads and lasses, everyone, who have been made to feel similar.

“So what I have gone through and had to do has been worth it if it helps less people feel the way I have and they have. I don’t just mean in sport, but in life.”

Bryony Frost after winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown on Greaneteen
Bryony Frost after winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown on Greaneteen (Steven Paston/PA)

Frost is critical of the role of the Professional Jockeys’ Association in the case, claiming: “They weren’t there for me and their system isn’t good enough.

“I felt like an inconvenience. There was no care or interest from them even when it reached the stage of the hearing.

“They just basically said that time would fix it. They wanted to ignore it until it went away. I don’t feel they saw what I was going through as being as serious as it was.

“They were meant to be neutral, they weren’t there to pick sides.

“It wasn’t about me versus Robbie Dunne, or about girls having to back girls, or trainers having to back trainers. It was about human beings – there has to be a line you can’t cross.

“You’re not going to get on with everyone but it’s about treating people with respect and dignity.”

She added: “They (PJA) are the jockeys’ voice, there to help all the members, but one of the PJA heads likened my scenario to his having a spat with a local cricket player in a Sunday afternoon village game.

“He said it was the same and we should just get on with it. The PJA are underwater, they’re drowning and not accepting they are.

“But as a system we have to accept that you can’t shout at someone like that.

“Yes there is a lot of adrenalin, emotion and pressure that can cause people to lose their characteristics. And I don’t just mean in the weighing room but everywhere within the sport.

“You get more respect trying to teach people by not shouting and calling names and making fun of them. You get more respect by educating people. They will learn and progress in their job.

“I am hoping the authorities can now go on and do their jobs. Not by putting a piece of paper in the weighing room saying, ‘Call this number’, but to offer proper help.”

The PJA declined to comment on Frost’s quotes when contacted by the PA news agency.

Much has been made of the fact that in the closing submissions of the hearing, Louis Weston, representing the BHA, described the weighing room culture as “rancid”.

The PJA has since rejected these claims, as have several jockeys.

Frost said: “It’s important to say there are extremely professional, good people in the weighing room.

“They’re not all like that — far from it. Not everyone in there should be tarnished with that brush.

“There are lots of really good people inside.”

The rider is now hoping for a brighter future – and revealed she has already noticed a difference in the attitudes towards her in the weighing room.

Frost added: “What do I want for myself? I just want to enjoy my riding, I want to move forward – I just want to be me.

“I’ve already been made to feel I am part of the weighing room, they do want me to sit down and have a cup of tea with them.

“I haven’t felt like that for some time.”

PJA chief accepts Bryony Frost was bullied and not ‘felt’ bullied

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, has accepted the organisation was wrong to say Bryony Frost had “felt” bullied by fellow rider Robbie Dunne in the aftermath of Thursday’s conclusion to the high-profile British Horseracing Authority disciplinary hearing.

Dunne was banned for 18 months, with three months suspended, after the independent panel found he had bullied and harassed Frost, engaging in conduct on the track, in the weighing room and online that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing.

The PJA statement issued following that verdict criticised both the British Horseracing Authority investigation and the panel, while expressing sympathy that Frost “felt” bullied – a statement Struthers acknowledged to be wrong.

Speaking to Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme, Struthers said: “Yes, we do accept the disciplinary panel’s judgement on that and their decision that she was. These are really unique circumstances, it’s the first time we’ve had a case like this involving bullying allegations pitting one member against another.

Bryony Frost was found to have been bullied and harassed by fellow jockey Robbie Dunne
Bryony Frost was found to have been bullied and harassed by fellow jockey Robbie Dunne (Adam Davy/PA)

“We have a job to support both and we had one member making very serious allegations and another maintaining their innocence of all bar one of them.

“We were trying to find the words that walked that tightrope and we understand why it has caused the issues that it has and why we do want to make clear that we do accept the disciplinary panel’s finding that Bryony was bullied and the language used was deeply and grossly inappropriate.

“We certainly accept we could have phrased it differently, I think there is that balance between the two polar opposite positions of the individuals involved in this case.”

In October the PJA had called on the BHA to bring the case to a close, claiming a fair hearing would be “impossible” after details of the report were leaked to a newspaper.

In Thursday’s statement the PJA said Dunne had been subjected to a process that was not “remotely fair”.

Struthers now concedes the initial insistence the case be dropped could have been a mistake, but believes the process itself needs further scrutiny.

He said: “Maybe it was an error and it would certainly have made life easier had we not made that call. I think there are things about the process, in particular in this case, but I think it is an issue we have had for some time about the process that licensed individuals face and concerns about the process.

Robbie Dunne has been banned for 18 months, with three months suspended
Robbie Dunne has been banned for 18 months, with three months suspended (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I think undoubtedly the panel conducted a process that was as fair as it could be. The problem we have, and I know this is unpopular, is we don’t think the whole process is fair. Regardless of that, we do accept the panel’s verdict.”

Struthers also admits the organisation has work to do surrounding the issue of trust in the weighing room – where the culture was described as “rancid” during the hearing by Louis Weston QC, representing the BHA.

Struthers added: “There clearly wasn’t that trust there between the PJA and Bryony.

“We need to reflect on that, we will need to learn from that. We will need to learn and see what we can do to make sure that is the case, we are certainly aware there are others who have felt that about the PJA and have trusted us.

“We don’t criticise Bryony in the slightest for going to the BHA – that is absolutely someone’s right.”

Tim Naylor, BHA director of integrity and direction, also appeared on Luck On Sunday and reflected on how both his organisation and the PJA can move forward following the hearing.

“The important thing with any investigation or case is that you learn from it. It doesn’t matter the result, we always reflect on our investigation, how the case was managed and run and we will learn those lessons that we need to learn,” he said.

BHA headquarters in London, where the hearing took place
BHA headquarters in London, where the hearing took place (John Stillwell/PA)

“In this case, clearly it took a long time for this matter to be brought before the judicial panel. It was charged in April, we need to look at that. We need to think that whilst we need to balance the right of any individual to respond and to make legal submissions, ultimately we need to get these things heard properly and quickly.

“We will go away, we will look at that and we will see what improvements could have been made.”

Of the future of the relationship between the two organisations, Naylor said: “It was great to hear from Paul this morning and the tone that Paul set with his comments.

“I support Paul fully for doing that. Paul has said this morning that Bryony was bullied and that’s an important first step and it’s an important step to reach out to Bryony and for the PJA and BHA to learn from this experience.

“That’s the important thing now, we’ve had an incredibly important case for racing, it was right that it was heard, it was right that it was heard publicly.

“There can’t be any suggestion of racing hiding away from these issues, of trying to bury them under the carpet.

“That hasn’t happened, we’ve met them head on. What comes with that is the tension afterwards, but we’re now in a better place as a result because we can have these important conversations.

“I can sit down with Paul, we can talk about what’s happened and we can look to improve things.”

Professional Jockeys Association rails against ‘rancid’ weighing-room culture claims

The Professional Jockeys Association rejected claims of a “rancid” weighing-room culture after Robbie Dunne was suspended for 18 months following a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing into allegations he bullied and harassed Bryony Frost.

An independent panel on Thursday found Dunne in breach on all four counts of conduct prejudicial to horseracing and as a result his licence will be suspended with immediate effect, with three months of the ban suspended. He has seven days to lodge an appeal.

The remark about a “rancid” culture in the weighing room was made in closing submissions to the panel on Wednesday by Louis Weston, representing the BHA.

The PJA had previously appealed for the case to be terminated after elements of a preliminary report were leaked to the press, but the head of the panel, Brian Barker QC, dismissed the notion that this could be perceived as a mitigating factor.

The PJA statement read: “Before the PJA responds to the disciplinary panel’s findings, we want to make it clear that the PJA has great sympathy with Bryony Frost and takes no issue with the fact that a complaint was taken to the BHA.

Jockeys make their way out from the weighing room at Doncaster
Jockeys make their way out from the weighing room at Doncaster (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Bryony felt bullied, it certainly took courage to go through the process she has and we do not doubt the isolation she has felt. The PJA entirely accepts that Robbie Dunne’s conduct as found by the disciplinary panel fell well short of the standard the PJA expects.

“All that said, the PJA does not accept the disciplinary panel’s findings in relation to the culture within and collective behaviour of the jump jockeys’ weighing room. It is a grossly inaccurate and wholly unfair representation of the weighing room and a conclusion we believe is at odds with the evidence presented.

“The PJA does not condone bullying or the use of the type of language the disciplinary panel has concluded was used. Bullying and the use of such entirely inappropriate language cannot and will not be tolerated.

“Whilst we reject the wholesale criticism of the culture within the weighing room, everything is not perfect. There are lessons to be learnt for the PJA and its members and we recognise change is needed. This starts with creating facilities that do not require female jockeys to be in the male jockeys’ changing room in order to do their job, but doesn’t stop there.”

The PJA also issued a statement on behalf of a number of female jockeys, which it said wished to remain nameless “having seen the reaction towards anyone who has expressed such views”.

The statement read: “Firstly we would like to reassure everyone that, on the whole, our experiences within the weighing room have been overwhelmingly positive.

“With regards to the hearing involving Robbie following a complaint about his conduct by Bryony, we are really disappointed with the way us and our male colleagues have all been portrayed by the BHA and subsequently reported in the media. From our understanding, what most people are upset about is why no one has spoken up to say they heard anything and why the weighing room ‘turned a blind eye’ to bullying.

Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority Headquarters in London on Thursday
Robbie Dunne leaving the British Horseracing Authority Headquarters in London on Thursday (Yui Mok/PA)

“One thing to consider though is if anyone thinks they heard something but don’t know for sure what was said or genuinely cannot recall, how are they supposed to stand up and be cross examined when they don’t know exactly what happened?

“It is sad that whilst one woman is being praised for speaking her truth, the rest of us have been shamed for doing the same. At no point have we condoned what is alleged to have happened – we just haven’t been able to give any evidence to support it as we don’t have any. If anyone heard anything and has held on to it, they are letting the whole weighing room down and it would be hugely disappointing.

“They (BHA) have let both Bryony and Robbie down by taking so long to deal with this, leaving it festering in the air between colleagues and in the meantime being the ultimate cause of leaks to the press. Finally, they have let us down by calling us and our male friends and colleagues liars and accusing us of turning a blind eye to bullying. You cannot turn a blind eye to something you have not seen.”

Grade One-winning rider David Bass, jumps president of the PJA, said he felt both Frost and Dunne have been let down by the BHA.

“I think it (the handling and timing) has been an absolute disgrace. I have to be careful not to get too emotive about the whole thing. I feel the way it has been handled has been shocking,” Bass told Racing TV.

“There are a lot of bitter and angry people who work in the weighing room and the language which has been used by the representative of the BHA and appeared in the papers is a disgrace.

David Bass is jumps president of the PJA
David Bass is jumps president of the PJA (Nigel French/PA)

“To call our culture rancid is disgraceful. There are certain things you could use rancid for, our facilities would be one, but to target our culture as rancid is not on and it’s very unfair to target the whole weighing room.

“This has nothing to do with Bryony and Robbie, that word has been used to target the whole weighing room. It is grossly unfair.

“None of us are condoning bullying, but to target the whole weighing room with disgusting language is completely unfair.

“As far as help is concerned we have been led poorly by the BHA. We asked for better facilities five years ago and it hasn’t happened. If we’d had better facilities this might never have happened.

“What we need is strong leadership, that is what we are lacking.”

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA, spoke of a “potentially seminal moment for the sport”.

She said: “The first thing I would like to do is praise Bryony Frost for having the courage to come forward and raise her concerns. This was not easy to do, but sport needs brave pioneers such as her if change is ever going to be made.

“The investigation carried out by the BHA and the serious charges brought highlight that there is simply no room for conduct of this nature within our sport. We believe that this is an important moment for our industry.

“We understand that, for the vast majority of those who work in the weighing room it is a positive, supportive, welcoming place, and we express our respect and admiration for the skills and courage of our participants.

“However, in any environment there are inevitably going to be some people who don’t feel comfortable, and there are occasionally going to be times when lines are crossed. It is essential that when something does go wrong that people feel supported in calling it out. We would call on everyone in the industry to recognise this.

“When a line is crossed there must be avenues in place for those affected to call out bad behaviour, and know that they are going to be supported in doing so. That is one of the most important things I want people to take from this whole issue – that it is right and correct to come forward and make your voice heard, and no one should feel threatened or intimidated in doing so.

“This issue is about far more than just what happens in the weighing room. This is potentially a seminal moment for the sport, one where we stand up together and say that conduct of this nature simply cannot be tolerated in any environment.

“How we respond to it as an industry will be extremely important. We have an opportunity now to change the sport for the better.”

Robbie Dunne bullied and harassed Bryony Frost, disciplinary panel rules

Jockey Robbie Dunne has been given an 18-month ban, with three months suspended, after being found in breach on all four counts of conduct prejudicial to horseracing after the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority ruled he had bullied and harassed fellow rider Bryony Frost.

Dunne was charged with seven breaches in total, four of conduct prejudicial to horseracing and three of violent and threatening behaviour, with all but one of those charges denied. The 36-year-old, who was not given a financial penalty, was told there were “a combination of factors” which meant his punishment was above the entry point.

Bryony Frost, in action at Warwick on Thursday
Bryony Frost, in action at Warwick on Thursday (Adam Davy/PA)

An independent three-person panel, chaired by Brian Barker QC, found the four prejudicial conduct breaches to have been proven, while the latter three are yet to be considered.

The majority of the incidents in question took place in 2020, when Dunne was found by the panel to have threatened Frost by promising to “put her through a wing (of a fence)” and he was also accused of using misogynistic language such as “f****** whore”, “f****** slut” and “dangerous c***” towards her.

Barker said: “Our conclusion on the whole of the evidence is that a course of deliberate conduct over a significant period of time has been revealed.

“This has progressed from distasteful targeting to deliberate harassment on and off the course and onwards to occasional cases of dangerous bullying.

“We find that the words used on September 3 were, as a promise, to cause real harm – over and above the usual jockey mantra of ‘murdering’.

“On the examination of Ms Frost’s evidence and demeanour we find her to be truthful, thoughtful and compelling.

“By taking her complaint to the authority she has broken the code (of the weighing room), knowing that her isolation – and rejection by some – was inevitable.”

British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London
British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London (John Stillwell/PA)

He went on: “In acknowledging after the Southwell race Mr Dunne believed that Ms Frost was the cause of his mount’s death and that he had suffered a fall, we are unable to accept Mr Dunne’s sweep of denials, criticisms and his reasons.

“A man who in the view of one of his own witnesses was “a p*** taker” and who regarded himself as one of the elders of the weighing room and someone who expected his view to be heeded.

“Behind the four elements set out in rule (J) 19 we find those proved.

“I’d like to make two further observations. The type of excessive language used towards Ms Frost was totally unacceptable, whatever the frustrations about her style and whatever the habits of the weighing room.

“Secondly, in reviewing the evidence given and their approach, by jockeys of repute, as well as by the valets – who probably find themselves in a difficult position – we have a real concern that what was referred to by Mr Weston as ‘the weighing-room culture’ is deep-rooted and coercive and that in itself is not conducive to the development of modern-day race-riding.”

Barker added: “In our view she (Frost) has supported (her case) in a number of areas. The first is the published comments on the Virtual Grand National, the second is the apology at Bangor, the third is the video of the encounter in the pull-up area at Stratford combined with the independent evidence of the fence attendant.

The culture inside weighing rooms has come under scrutiny
The culture inside weighing rooms has come under scrutiny (David Davies/PA)

“Also the acceptance of at least some offensive behaviour at Southwell which was followed by Ms Frost’s report to the BHA, and the evidence of Ms (Hannah) Welch (former amateur jockey), which we also found persuasive in admissible support.”

Addressing the leaked BHA report into the allegations and the suggestion that this may have prejudiced the hearing, Barker said: “It is an unfortunate fact that the preliminary process has been overshadowed by extraordinary and unprecedented leaks, either one leak or two leaks, of confidential information.

“In relation to that, the independent enquiry continues. The fact of that leak has led to both distress and unhelpful speculation.

“Fortunately in recent days most of those subsidiary matters have fallen away and as a result we now view that there has been a thorough public investigation and dissection of the core areas, which, looked at in totality, will be of great concern to many who love, support and enjoy the sport.”

In regards to the penalty imposed, which is effective immediately, with Dunne having seven days in which to lodge an appeal, Barker said: “We have taken our time to consider submissions that have been made, both from the BHA and from Mr Dunne. We will say this – professional athletes should behave in a professional way and I am afraid you haven’t.

“This was a deliberate targeting of a colleague whose vulnerabilities you exploited. Whatever your view of her style this was not the way to deal with it. Your behaviour was not appropriate in any sport.

“We have to consider both aggravating features and mitigating features. I view the aggravating features are that this was a deliberate course of conduct, in public, over a fairly long period, which had its desired effect.

“Your behaviour and language would not be tolerated in any other walk of life or workplace. Additionally, in the course of this hearing you have adopted an aggressive attack on her (Frost’s) personality in order to justify your actions. There has been little sign of understanding.

“Mitigation we have considered carefully, but we can’t, I’m afraid, give any credit to the limited plea that was made. We considered the leak, the leak would have had a negative impact on you and it was most unfortunate from every point of view. But nevertheless, the negative impact applied to everybody involved.

“We note that you were following a culture that seems to be approved of by your peers and we are particularly conscious that your livelihood will be significantly affected. We have taken particular notice to the medical report, we do understand your suffering at the loss of your best friend (Liam Treadwell).

“You meant to instil fear and humiliation and you succeeded. Your actions were not appropriate in an equal-terms sport, nor did they meet the expectations of acceptable behaviour.”

He added: “There are a combination of factors, in our view, that take this substantially above the entry point. We agree the appropriate approach is to give concurrent sentences, our view is overall that the appropriate sentence is one of 18 months suspension of licence. We did not consider a financial penalty to be appropriate.

“Taking into account a number of matters urged upon us, we do consider it is just to suspend three months of that term. You will understand the effect of this and the suspension will take place in the usual way.”

Bryony Frost had an emotional success at Warwick
Bryony Frost had an emotional success at Warwick (Adam Davy/PA)

Giving her reaction, Frost – who rode a winner at Warwick at almost the same time the verdict was announced – said in a statement she would “take a few days” for reflection before commenting further.

“I would like to thank every individual including the racing public that has supported me not only during the last couple of weeks but throughout,” she said.

“I wish now to take a few days to reflect on the outcome before I make any further comment. I ask the media to please give me and the people closest to me a few days of privacy. I need to focus on my upcoming rides over the weekend. Thank you.”

Robbie Dunne awaits verdict on allegations he bullied and harassed Bryony Frost

A verdict is expected by midday today as the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority prepares to rule on allegations jockey Robbie Dunne bullied and harassed fellow rider Bryony Frost.

Dunne denies all but one of the seven charges brought against him, although he disputes the language used in the admitted breach, and was present in High Holborn for five days as the hearing took place in front of a three-person panel.

The majority of the incidents in question were said to have taken place in 2020, when Dunne is alleged to have threatened Frost by promising to “put her through a wing (of a fence)” and is also accused of using misogynistic language such as “f****** whore”, “f****** slut” and “dangerous c***” towards her.

Bryony Frost with Greaneteen after victory in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday
Bryony Frost with Greaneteen after victory in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday (Steven Paston/PA)

In closing submissions on Wednesday, Roderick Moore, representing Dunne, told the panel he had issues with Frost’s credibility after the allegations made about Dunne’s misogynistic behaviour were not echoed unanimously by other female riders.

“I readily accept that Ms Frost was upset at times during her evidence to you last week, that was obvious,” he said.

“The panel needs to take considerable care when assessing her testimony and the weight that can be placed upon it, the fact that she was visibly upset does not mean that where she leads, the panel should necessarily follow.

“Ms Frost made a number of gender-based allegations. Those allegations were not supported in any meaningful sense by the six female jockeys who were interviewed by the BHA investigator.”

The panel also heard that Moore felt it would be unfair to judge Dunne independently to what is generally deemed acceptable in the weighing room at present.

“The way the weighing room is should not come as big news to anyone, there are BHA officials coming in and out all of the time,” he said.

“What would be grossly unfair is to make a judgement of Mr Dunne against a scenario that isn’t the real one.

“If something needs to change, that’s for the future, that’s a policy matter, a political matter.”

Robbie Dunne in action at Aintree on Saturday
Robbie Dunne in action at Aintree on Saturday (Tim Goode/PA)

Louis Weston, representing the BHA, took issue with the acceptance of a hostile weighing-room culture and highlighted Moore’s perceived attempts to prove that Frost was unduly sensitive to this environment.

“To point to her just being intolerant of nice Mr Dunne’s behaviour, that is a hopeless case and a very unfortunate one to put across. It isn’t acceptable,” he said.

“If what is being said, when you come to determine this case, there is a weighing room culture that allows jockeys to threaten serious injury to another or their horse, to call another a whore, a slut and a slag, then that culture is one that is sour, rancid and one that we say should be thrown out and discarded. Its time, if ever it had its time, has gone.

“It is breathtaking, properly breathtaking, to hear Mr Dunne’s friends speak of their tolerance of that conduct.

“It’s amazing that anyone in this sport is saying that it’s OK. You cannot have a sport that is open to men and women if it is tolerated that they get called a whore at work. It is so far beyond the pale, it doesn’t come down to a slight judgement, it is miles beyond the pale.”

Fence attendant ‘totally clear’ on details of alleged Stratford conversation, panel in Dunne hearing told

A fence attendant present during Robbie Dunne’s alleged verbal attack on Bryony Frost following a race at Stratford described the incident as “beyond memorable” and “very aggressive” during day three of a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary hearing.

The hearing, which is being held at High Holborn in London, relates to seven individual charges brought against Dunne for prejudicial conduct and violent and threatening behaviour.

The jockey denies all charges of prejudicial conduct and two of the three of violent and threatening behaviour, with the majority of the incidents in question taking place on racecourses in 2020.

Robbie Dunne
Robbie Dunne (David Davies/PA)

The attendant, who gave evidence via video call but was not named, has worked on British racecourses and point-to-point tracks for 14 years and was present during an alleged altercation at Stratford on July 8 last year, where Dunne is accused of having said: “You’re a f***ing whore, you’re a dangerous c*** and if you ever f***ing murder (cut across) me like that again, I’ll murder you.”

The witness in question told the hearing he recalled Dunne pulling up his mount and then calling Frost “a f***ing slut” and was adamant of the details of the conversation when under cross-examination from Dunne’s legal representative, Roderick Moore.

“To me it was a quite a long sentence that was indistinguishable to begin with, but then the volume was raised and the level of aggression was raised,” he said.

“He spat out those three words that I’ve listed (you f***ing slut).

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. None at all. My wife heard it the same, when we had a discussion about it in the car on the way home after racing, we were both of a mind that they were exactly the words that he used.

“I’ve reported to you 100 per cent what I recall, what I recalled at the time and what I still recall now. It is totally clear in my mind, there is no ambiguity, none.”

Stratford racecourse, where a fence steward alleges to have witnessed an incident between Frost and Dunne
Stratford racecourse, where a fence steward alleges to have witnessed an incident between Frost and Dunne (Tim Goode/PA)

The attendant also referenced the statement of jockey Adam Wedge, who was present at the time and later told BHA investigators the exchange was “nothing out of the ordinary”.

“There were other jockeys within what I would describe as earshot, and it is quite a significant point to me that they’ve not come forward as witnesses,” the panel were told.

“In my mind, they would absolutely have heard the same as I heard, they would have been closer to him than I was.

“What might be ordinary to him (Wedge) might be very different to what is out of the ordinary to a general member of the public.

“That’s between him and his conscience, I know that my conscience is clear. That’s the very reason why I’ve submitted this witness statement, I know what was said, I know the manner in which it was delivered.

“To me, the word ‘bullying’ implies a longer-term thing, but this was a very personal, very aggressive statement that, in my experience on racecourses, is very much out of the ordinary.”

Although the attendant told the panel that swearing is commonplace on racecourses and not an unusual happening for him to witness in his role, he distinguished this alleged event as particularly notable and stated that he would have come forward of his own volition had he been aware of the issues between the two parties.

“We didn’t realise at the time that there was trouble between these two individuals, had it been so then we would have raised it immediately as an issue,” he said.

“This was a standout incident in our experiences on racecourses, it was beyond memorable.”

The panel also heard the evidence of former jockey Hannah Welch, who alleged that Dunne had verbally abused her following a race in November 2018.

Upon her return to the weighing room, Welch told the panel that Dunne had shouted and sworn at her and had continued to do so despite the fact that she was crying.

Welch conceded there can be tension in the weighing room due to the competitive nature of racing, but told the panel that she regarded Dunne’s behaviour to exceed the normal heated atmosphere between sportspeople and that it had partially been responsible for her decision to stop riding.

“In the incident involving Mr Dunne, the fact that he stood very close in front of me and raised his voice and used swear words in a manner to intimidate me, I think that makes it different,” she said.

“This incident has played on my mind a lot, ever since it happened. I was incredibly upset afterwards and it was a contributing factor to me giving up National Hunt racing. It’s not something easily forgotten. When the BHA contacted me to ask, I had a very clear recollection of events.”

Bryony Frost at Leicester whilst the third day of the BHA hearing was underway
Bryony Frost at Leicester whilst the third day of the BHA hearing was underway (David Davies/PA)

Welch’s recollection differed from Dunne’s, who claimed that he had rebuked her for arriving late at the start of the race and that he had not confronted her afterwards.

“My recollection is that the confrontation in the weighing room was because, in his opinion, I had cut him up on the top bend and he was shouting and swearing at me,” Welch told the panel.

“Definitely shouting at me, definitely swearing, standing very close in front of me. I was crying and he did not stop. As I say, he was accusing me of cutting him up, which was very unfair considering the stewards made no enquiry into it.”

Moore suggested that Dunne had not witnessed Welch crying, to which she responded: “Well, that is incredible.”

Moore also put forward that if the alleged altercation had happened, Dunne would have been challenged by another jockey or valet had the situation “crossed a line”.

“That is the problem, he wasn’t (challenged). He definitely wasn’t,” she told the panel.

“Do you think that shouting and swearing at a young girl isn’t crossing a line?”

Welch was then asked if she had considered reporting the alleged event at the time, to which she told the panel that fears of not being taken seriously and the potential consequences of coming forward had stopped her from doing so.

“I thought it would not be regarded as a serious enough incident and I thought it would have retributions for me if I continued riding, that the other jockeys might not particularly like the fact that I had reported an incident like this,” she said.

The panel also heard from former BHA head of integrity Chris Watts, who denied Moore’s suggestion that he was “good friends” with Frost’s father Jimmy and told the panel that he had only met Jimmy Frost and his wife on one occasion and that it was in the process of the investigation.

Watts also told the panel that his resignation from his post earlier in the year was unrelated to the case and stated that he did not know how excerpts of the report collated prior to the hearing had been leaked to newspapers.

Neil King was also called upon to give evidence to the panel, with the trainer recollecting the moment that Frost broke down and told him about her alleged issues with Dunne.

“I remember Bryony coming into my kitchen and I could see there was something wrong with her, with that she just burst out into tears,” he said.

“When I calmed her down she then told me what had happened.”

Runners and riders at Huntingdon racecourse
Runners and riders at Huntingdon racecourse (Tim Goode/PA)

King was also asked about an alleged exchange between himself and Frost following a race at Huntingdon on May 21 2019, when Petite Jack was beaten into fifth after starting as the favourite when ridden by Frost.

Moore suggested to King that Frost, who was sharing a lift home with Tom Scudamore, was so upset by a phone call from the trainer that Scudamore later felt compelled to text her words to the effect of “don’t worry, tomorrow’s another day”.

“I can’t recall that at all,” King told the panel.

“The horse disappointed that day, but I didn’t hold Bryony responsible for it.”

The hearing recommences on December 7.

Bryony Frost subjected to ‘foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language’, BHA panel told

Robbie Dunne was said to have used “foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language” towards Bryony Frost as the first day of his hearing in front of the British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel got under way on Tuesday.

Much of the day was taken up by the panel addressing legal issues in camera, meaning only the BHA’s representative Louis Weston had chance to make his opening statement in which he outlined Frost’s claims.

He said Dunne had behaved in a “bullying, harassing” manner to Frost and used “foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language towards her and threatened to cause her serious physical harm by injuring her at the racecourse” – conduct he said was “prejudicial to the integrity, good conduct and good reputation of horse racing”.

Bryony Frost celebrates victory at Cheltenham
Bryony Frost celebrates victory at Cheltenham (Paul Harding/PA)

Weston said the issue between the two riders started in the period 2017 to 2019 when Dunne behaved “inappropriately” in that he “displayed his naked self (to Frost) in a way that was unacceptable” on leaving a sauna in the weighing room.

Frost “stood up” to Dunne telling him it was unacceptable, leading them to “fall out” and for Dunne to start to “mock, tease and bully” Frost in front of others, with Weston citing an alleged incident while she being interviewed after her victory aboard Frodon in the Ryanair Chase and a tweet regarding the 2020 Virtual Grand National – an action Dunne conceded was “unprofessional”.

Weston showed three videos illustrating incidents on course, with one showing Dunne riding over to Frost after a race had finished at Stratford, with the jockey pulling down his face mask to speak while pointing his finger towards her.

Dunne is reported to have said: “You’re a f***ing whore, you’re a dangerous c*** and if you ever f***ing murder (cut across) me like that again, I’ll murder you.”

Weston stated the BHA had received a statement last week from a fence attendant at Stratford that day, saying he could not “make out all the conversation but did hear Dunne calling Frost a “f***ing slut”, with Dunne said to have apologised for “calling (Frost) names” a few days later.

Robert Dunne, pictured at Uttoxeter
Robert Dunne, pictured at Uttoxeter (Mike Egerton/PA)

The BHA representative said that at Uttoxeter last August Dunne told Frost at the start before a race: “I’m going to stop you murdering everyone, I’m going to murder you”, before telling her at Southwell on September 3: “The next time I ride against you, I promise I will put you through a wing”.

Prior to Weston laying out the BHA case, Dunne accepted one charge relating to Southwell, although his representatives, Roderick Moore and instructing solicitor Daryl Cowan, added there are “factual issues between the parties as to what happened on that occasion that will be explored”.

He denies similar charges at Stratford on July 8 and Uttoxeter on August 17 2020, and also denies bullying and harassing her between February 12 and September 3. He is accused of conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of horse racing.

Weston outlined Frost had discussed her concerns with her family before lodging a complaint with the BHA, with trainer Neil King having witnessed her “upset” too.

When interviewed by BHA investigators, Dunne said he “had words” with Frost at Southwell after the fatal fall of Cillian’s Well, admitting he said: “I’ll do it to you someday, that’s the only way you’re going to learn”.

Dunne also stated someone had called him to threaten to “break his legs” on September 7.

British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London
British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London (John Stillwell/PA)

Weston highlighted five points in Dunne’s statement, saying the rider was attempting to “blame” Frost for the situation and described her riding style as “the very reason upset has been caused” – something the BHA representative described as “shameful”.

In his statement, Dunne said male nudity was part of the environment in the male changing room, but Weston underlined valets are based in the male area of the weighing room and said Dunne put the “obligation on women jockeys to make the adjustment, not him.”

Weston cited Dunne’s “belief that senior jockeys can lecture junior jockeys” was “a recipe for bullying”.

The case continues on Wednesday, with Dunne’s legal team expected to make their opening statement and Frost set to give evidence.

Plans agreed to improve and modernise weighing-room facilities

Plans have been announced by the British Horseracing Authority to improve and modernise weighing-room facilities across all British racecourses.

A delegation of jockeys, racecourses and the BHA have been working since March to agree a programme of objectives aimed at meeting the current and future needs of jockeys of all ages and genders.

Weighing rooms and changing-room areas will now be reconfigured in line with the new standards, while some of the upgrades are immediate priorities such as the introduction of key safeguarding measures to provide private changing and shower facilities for jockeys, particularly for under-18s.

The safeguarding changes will be implemented by February 2022, and all racecourse saunas will be permanently closed or removed. Saunas have been out of action since the resumption of racing in June 2020 following the introduction of Covid protocols.

Other adaptations such as private changing and shower facilities, a shared communal rest room, a new communal working space for valets and flexibility to adapt changing room sizes will all be in place by October 2024.

Discussions are also taking place with trainer and jockey representatives about future weight structures. Since the pandemic jockeys have been able to take advantage of additional weight allowances.

BHA chief operating officer Richard Wayman said: “These agreed upgrades are the product of cross-industry collaboration, with jockeys, racecourses and the BHA working together since the beginning of this year.

“The recommendations, which have been endorsed by industry leaders, will deliver substantive improvements to meet the evolving requirements of a modern weighing-room environment, catering not just for today’s human athletes, but also future proofing for the next generation.”

PJA executive director (racing) Dale Gibson said: “Having consulted with our members, the PJA supports the permanent closure of saunas. Eighty-eight per cent of the 190 jockeys who responded to our recent survey voted for their removal, with just eight per cent wanting them to remain.

“The Covid Weight Allowance structure is currently being debated amongst industry representatives, with no immediate changes agreed it is vital that it remains in some shape or form.”

Robbie Dunne to face BHA disciplinary panel hearing next week

Allegations of bullying and harassment against jockey Robbie Dunne will be heard by the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority next week.

Six days have been set aside for the hearing, at which Dunne has been charged with conduct which the BHA considers “is prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horse racing in Great Britain by bullying and harassing a fellow licensed jockey” between February 13, 2020 and September 3, 2020.

The case is finally being heard after months of investigation and after contents of a lengthy BHA report into the allegations and culture in the weighing room were leaked to a newspaper last month, potentially putting the case – which centres around a complaint made by Bryony Frost – in jeopardy.

Following that dramatic development, the Professional Jockeys Association called on the BHA to bring an end its investigation – “however unsatisfactory that is” – as they believed a fair hearing had become impossible.

Bryony Frost, pictured at Hereford racecourse
Bryony Frost, pictured at Hereford racecourse (David Davies/PA)

The hearing is now set to go ahead, starting at 9.30am on Tuesday week, and will be held in person at BHA headquarters in London.

The independent disciplinary panel will consider whether Dunne was guilty of “conduct prejudicial to horse racing” and of “acting in a violent of improper manner” by “verbally abusing and threatening a fellow jockey” at Stratford on July 8, at Uttoxeter on August 17 and at Southwell on September 3.

If found guilty, the entry point for conduct prejudicial to horse racing is a fine of £2,000 or withdraw/suspend/disqualify a licence for three months. The range for the penalty is a fine of £1,000 to £15,000 and a ban from one month to three years.

For violent of improper conduct, the entry point is a four-day ban for a jockey with the range being one to 21 days.

The six days set aside for the hearing are November 30 to December 2 and December 7-9, if required.

Cheltenham stewards offer Blackmore advice following dramatic novice chase

Rachael Blackmore was offered advice by the Cheltenham stewards as to what action she might take in the future should there be a repeat of the circumstances surrounding the dramatic match race for the SSS Super Alloys Novices’ Chase.

Blackmore’s mount had been headed by My Drogo, after setting the pace, when the odds-on favourite came down at the second-last fence.

Gin On Lime made a mistake and sprawled on landing, but Blackmore managed to keep the partnership intact, pick the Henry de Bromhead-trained mare up and get her to jump the final obstacle safely to claim the prize.

Gin On Lime and Rachael Blackmore jump the last at Cheltenham
Gin On Lime and Rachael Blackmore jump the last at Cheltenham (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Had Blackmore parted company with Gin On Lime the two-horse race would have been declared void. In November 2009, the British Horseracing Authority introduced new safety rules with jockeys no longer being allowed to remount horses after the start of a race.

A report from the stewards following the race read: “An enquiry was held to consider the circumstances surrounding Rachael Blackmore, the rider of the winner, Gin On Lime, continuing in the race when her horse had made a very bad mistake at the penultimate fence.

“Blackmore and the veterinary officer were interviewed, and recordings of the incident were viewed. The veterinary officer stated that a post-race examination of Gin On Lime failed to reveal any abnormalities. The stewards noted Blackmore’s explanation that she felt the mare get to its feet quickly without any ill effects and having trotted soundly away, she was satisfied that Gin On Lime was fit to continue in the race.

“She was advised that in similar circumstances she should take more time to assess the welfare of her mount.”

Speaking immediately after the race, Blackmore – who in March became the first female jockey to be crowned leading rider at the Festival – said: “It was a very strange race and it was very unfortunate for the Skeltons what happened (with My Drogo), but the ball has fallen right for me I suppose.

“She just crumpled under me and it was quite a slow motion thing. She’s an extremely honest mare to go down and jump the last and canter over the line.”

BHA rule amendment to sign all racehorses out of human food chain

The British Horseracing Authority has amended its rules so that all racehorses entered to run in Britain must be signed out of the human food chain.

Announcing the change, which is to be brought into effect by January 1, 2022, the BHA stated that no entry for any horse would be accepted unless unless it had been declared as not intended for human consumption via the Weatherbys App and horse’s passport.

The rule will apply to all horses trained in Great Britiain, but the BHA is to liaise with other international jurisdictions and examine EU legislation to see if it is practical to include all international runners.

In Great Britain, being signed out of the human food chain also excludes horses from entering the animal food chain, which is regulated to the same standard.

James Given, Director of Equine Health and Welfare for the BHA, said: “British racing has in place a euthanasia code of practice to aid trainers and owners with end-of-life decisions. The guidance is clear that whenever possible, euthanasia should be performed at home or in suitable surroundings.

“The transporting of horses to an abattoir to be sold for consumption should not, in my view, be classed as euthanasia and is not an approach that we should tolerate in our sport, which is why a rule preventing this practice is a positive step.

“I am confident that most British trainers and owners agree with me on this and already observe this principle.”

BHA announces trainer Johnny Farrelly has been ‘permanently excluded’

Trainer Johnny Farrelly has been permanently excluded from racing, the British Horseracing Authority has announced.

Farrelly was judged to be in breach of the BHA’s safeguarding regulations following a five-day hearing of the National Safeguarding Panel, which followed a referral by the BHA to the NSP.

He was found in breach of six offences under Regulation 4 – headed ‘prohibited conduct and the protection of young persons and adults at risk’ – and one under Regulation 6, which is headed ‘supporting provisions’.

The BHA said Farrelly had been “permanently excluded from British racing with the right to review not before a period of seven years has elapsed”, with the exclusion beginning on October 5.

Farrelly has already signalled his intention to appeal against the finding.

Tim Naylor, director of integrity and regulation for the BHA, said: “Everyone who works in British racing must be willing to call out and stand up to any behaviours which fall short of the values of openness, inclusivity and respect on which our sport is built.

“We are extremely grateful to the people who came forward in this case to highlight the concerns which eventually led to today’s finding. It was as a result of the brave actions of these people, reporting concerns via the sport’s confidential RaceWISE reporting line, that we have been able to successfully bring this case to a conclusion.

“This was a lengthy and complex investigation which called deeply on the expertise of the sport’s dedicated safeguarding unit, who deserve great praise. It also utilised the independent expertise of the National Safeguarding Panel to ensure that any verdict was provided by a fully independent, specialised arbitration process.

“We cannot comment further on the details of the case as they are confidential and we are bound by the NSP’s rules around disclosure.”

Farrelly has trained five winners so far this year and has sent out 130 jumps winners and 19 Flat winners in total during his career.

In a statement issued on his behalf by the National Trainers Federation, he said: “I intend to appeal against today’s findings and will therefore make no further comment about the hearing.

“I would also like it to be known that a police investigation concluded with no charges in relation to my conduct.”