Jockey Freddy Tylicki, a former champion apprentice, has been confined to a wheelchair since a racing incident at Kempton in October of 2016. The 35-year-old has filed a £6 million (about US$6.77 million) lawsuit against rider Graham Gibbons, with Tylicki alleging that rider’s negligence breached the “duty of care” owed by one jockey to another.
Testimony in the case began on Monday in the High Court before Judge Karen Walden-Smith, according to BBC Sport.
Tylicki was on the stand to relive the moment of his life-altering injuries, watching video of the incident from multiple angles while on cross-examination by Gibbons’ attorney, Patrick Lawrence.
Tylicki and his mount, Nellie Deen, were against the inside rail, while Gibbons and the eventual winner Madame Butterfly were to the outside. Tylicki made a move to go up the inside, and there were several moments before the two horses made contact.
“After I squeezed and I couldn’t get upsides him, the pressure was just building up and building up and building up,” said Tylicki. “I took a pull and shouted ‘Gibbo.’ It was a shout for survival if I’m honest because I knew what was going to happen next. But there was no response.”
Gibbons’ defense contends that the contact was not caused by his actions, and instead was “a racing accident occasioned by the horses coming together, as described, as they travelled at speed around the bend.”
Gibbons’ attorney added: “If what we say is a racing incident of the type that occurred here, albeit one with absolutely tragic consequences for one of the jockeys concerned, if that type of incident will tend to generate litigation and interest from the lawyers, then it is not difficult to see that that will have multiple ramifications which may create all sorts of difficulties for professional sport, not just horse racing.”
The hearing is scheduled to continue for four more days, and will include testimony from Gibbons, as well as jockeys Jim Crowley and Pat Cosgrave, who also took part in the race. Top jockey Ryan Moore prepared expert testimony for Tylicki’s team, while Gibbons’ team will have testimony from steward and former amateur jockey Charlie Lane.
Read more at BBC Sport.
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