Robbie Dunne appeals Bryony Frost bullying ban: How the BHA case unfolded and what happens next? | Racing News


As jockey Robbie Dunne appeals his 18-month ban for bullying and harassing fellow rider Bryony Frost over a seven-month period, here is a look at how the BHA investigation unfolded.

The appeal

Dunne has appealed his 18-month ban for bullying and harassing Frost. It is the latest development in a story that stretches back over nearly two years.

At a hearing in London, which took place over six days in November and December last year, Dunne was found guilty of all four charges of conduct prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of racing, including bullying and harassing Frost.

He had faced a total of seven charges, admitting one charge of acting in a violent or improper manner towards Frost.

Timeline of events

February 13, 2020 Dunne is alleged to have ridden in a ‘deliberately intimidating’ way towards Frost during a race at Leicester. The alleged incident forms the start of the time period which the BHA will later investigate.

April 4, 2020 – Dunne sends a tweet shortly before the Virtual Grand National, appearing to target Frost’s horse Yala Enki. It reads: “If Yala Enki wins this cartoon race, wonder will the interview be as far fetched as they do be in the real race?”

July 8, 2020 – Dunne and Frost exchange words at Stratford racecourse following a race, in which Dunne claims Frost caused interference. A fence attendant later gives evidence to the BHA hearing, claiming to hear Dunne abusing Frost in a “very personal, very aggressive” manner.

August 17, 2020 – Before a race at Uttoxeter, Dunne allegedly tells Frost: “I’m going to murder [racing term for cut across] you.” In his testimony, Dunne denied saying that to Frost.

Jockey Robbie Dunne (PA)
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Dunne was found to have threatened Bryony Frost by promising to ‘put her through a wing (of a fence)’

September 3, 2020Frost and Dunne are involved in an angry confrontation following a Southwell race, in which Dunne’s mount, Cillian’s Well, suffered a fatal fall.

September 7, 2020 – Dunne claims to receive a phone call from someone with a “West Country accent” threatening to break his legs.

September 15, 2020 – Frost formally lodges a complaint against Dunne with the BHA.

December 26, 2020 – After victory in the King George VI Chase on Frodon, Frost speaks of “issues that need to be sorted out”, which are “hard for me to chat about”.

Bryony Frost
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Frost formally lodged a complaint with the BHA in September 2020

April 2021 – BHA’s then head of integrity Chris Watts completes his 120-page report into Frost’s allegations.

October 17, 2021 Watts’ leaked report appears in the Sunday Times and details Frost’s statement with allegations of problems with Dunne back to 2017 and threats he had allegedly made against her. Dunne’s legal team accuse the BHA of losing control of the investigation.

November 22, 2021 BHA formally charges Dunne with conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of horseracing and acting in a violent or improper manner and confirms dates for hearing.

November 30, 2021 Dunne admits one charge of acting in a violent or improper manner towards Frost as hearing begins.

December 9, 2021 – Dunne found guilty of all four charges of conduct prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of racing, including bullying and harassing Frost, by a BHA disciplinary panel in London.

January 6, 2022 The BHA publishes its written reasons for Dunne’s ban, in which the panel conclude Dunne’s actions were a “deliberate, unwarranted targeting of a colleague over a considerable period of time”.

January 20, 2022 – Dunne lodges an appeal against the “finding and penalty imposed on him by the disciplinary panel”.

What happens next?

The BHA’s 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 announced in due course.

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





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