The British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary hearing into the jockey bullying case brought by Bryony Frost against Robbie Dunne came to a conclusion on Wednesday, reports the Racing Post, with the panel expected to have a final decision on Thursday. Dunne is officially charged with seven breaches of the rules of racing, four relating to conduct prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct, and good reputation of the sport, and three of acting in a violent or improper manner.
Dunne gave testimony on Tuesday, arguing that when he said he would “put her through a wing,” he didn’t mean it as a threat.
“It’s a common thing that’s said in the weighing room,” said Dunne. “Never once have I seen someone go through with it. It’s just a matter of speech . . . it wasn’t a threat, it was a figure of speech.”
Continuing the theme of Frost’s isolation since she filed her complaint, it was also revealed this week was that a group of valets at Fontwell Park had refused to work for Frost on Tuesday. Former jockey and master valet Chris Maude confirmed the boycott, according to a report in The Guardian.
“I think they’re upset that it’s been thought and been in the press that they condone any sort of bullying behavior,” Maude said. “I think they were very upset that their names have been in the press and they’ve found the whole thing quite harrowing to be honest. So they said they would rather not work for her today.”
In his closing statement, BHA representative Louis Weston said: “If what is being said, when you come to determine this case, there is a weighing room culture that allows one jockey to threaten another with serious injury to them or their horse, or to call another a whore, a slut or 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.”
He added: “It cannot be that Ms. Frost can be allowed to compete on a racecourse on a level playing field only to find when she comes back to the weighing room she’s met by Mr. Dunne acting out a role of some patriarchy re-enacting social attitudes of the 1950s in his capacity of self-appointed enforcer of traditions he perceives to be put in place in the weighing room. It’s just unacceptable.”
Read more at the Racing Post here and here. Read more at The Guardian here.
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