Sports

Disciplinary case against Robbie Dunne to begin on November 30th


The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said on Monday that the long-awaited hearing of a disciplinary case against the jockey Robbie Dunne, who is the subject of a complaint of bullying by his fellow rider Bryony Frost, will begin on November 30th, with five more days set aside for the case if necessary.

Dunne will face a series of charges at next week’s hearing, several of which fall within the scope of Rule (J)19, covering conduct prejudicial to horse racing.

In addition to an overall charge that he engaged in “bullying and harassing a fellow licensed jockey between 13 February 2020 and 3 September 2020”, further charges relate to alleged incidents at Stratford on July 8th, 2020, Uttoxeter on August 17th, 2020 and Southwell on September 3rd, 2020.

The BHA’s case is that Dunne’s behaviour on the days in question involved “verbally abusing and threatening a fellow jockey”, and was a breach of both Rule (J)19 and J(20), which covers “acting in a violent or improper manner”.

Fatal fall

The existence of a possible disciplinary case involving Frost first became apparent after her success on Frodon in the Grade One King George VI Chase at Kempton on December 26th, 2020, the highlight of the Christmas programme. It was then reported in February that the complaint was against Dunne, and involved a race at Southwell last September in which Dunne’s mount, Cillian’s Well, suffered a fatal fall.

Extensive details of the case were then revealed when a 120-page report, compiled by BHA investigators looking into Frost’s complaint, was leaked to the Sunday Times last month. This included an alleged threat by Dunne to “hurt” Frost during a race, which followed an earlier threat to “put [Frost] through a wing [of a fence]”.

Evidence

The report also suggested investigators had struggled to obtain evidence from other jockeys, and that “there is a cultural issue [in the weighing room] in which threatening behaviour is condoned and not reported”.

Dunne denied the allegations against him when interviewed by the investigators and neither rider has made any comment since the report was leaked last month. – Guardian



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