Jockey found guilty in Bryony case

Torbay Weekly

An independent inquiry has found jockey Robbie Dunne guilty on four counts, brought by the British Horseracing Authority, of 'bullying and harassment' of South Devon's No.1 UK female rider Bryony Frost.

The verdict, after a hearing spread over the past two weeks, was announced on Thursday.

The case has gripped the sport for months, and the outcome has come down firmly on the side of Frost, 26, from Buckfastleigh.

Irishman Dunne was found guilty of 'conduct prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horse racing', with the panel chair Brian Barker QC referring to 'distasteful targeting and deliberate harassment on and off the track, and occasional cases of dangerous bullying'.

Barker said the panel was 'unable to accept Mr Dunne's sweep of denials, criticisms and denials'.

It also had 'real concern' about a National Hunt weighing-room culture that was 'deep-rooted and coercive'.

Frost, who was described by the panel as 'truthful, thoughtful and compelling', had reported Dunne for a series of alleged incidents over several years.

The case has shone a light on the jockeys' weighing-room and how female jockeys are treated, especially since it was revealed that three valets had refused to work for Frost at Fontwell Park this week after they had given evidence to the inquiry.

The panel is set to hear arguments from the BHA and Dunne's legal team before announcing what penalties might be imposed.