In response to the outcome of today’s appeal hearing in front of the independent Appeal Board, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have issued the below statement.
The appeal by Robbie Dunne was rejected by the independent Appeal Board, with the following conditions:
- The four breaches of Rule (J)19 originally found by the independent Disciplinary Panel have been adjusted to one overarching breach, which covers all offences
- Penalty reduced from 18 months suspension (three of which were suspended) to 10 months suspension (with no part suspended)
The suspension will now run from 10 Dec 2021 to 9 Oct 2022.
“The independent Appeal Board has today upheld the decision of the independent Disciplinary Panel that Robbie Dunne is in breach of Rule (J)19 in that his conduct was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain. We acknowledge their decision to amend the penalty he will serve and await the full reasons in relation to that aspect.
“This reduction in penalty in no way diminishes the recognition of the severity of the allegations that were brought against Mr Dunne. Indeed, it continues to send a clear message that conduct of this nature cannot be tolerated in any working environment within our sport.
“Following the original decision last year, the BHA released a statement which outlines our commitment to improving workplace standards, conduct and wellbeing. Work is continuing with industry colleagues to finalise the industry code of conduct, with a view to it going before the BHA Board in the first half of the year. A cross-industry working party has also been formed to look at ways of improving education and awareness around the standards of conducted expected across the sport.
“Once again, we recognise that this has been a challenging period for all involved in this complex and emotive case, and we ask that the privacy and wellbeing of both parties is respected as they continue to receive the support of the appropriate bodies and those close to them.
“We now await the Appeal Board’s written reasons before we can comment on any of the technicalities around their findings or any other matters associated with the hearing.”