Lynch free to ride in Britain for one-year period

Fergal Lynch is to be allowed to ride in Britain for an initial one-year period, the British Horseracing Authority said yesterday.

Lynch free to ride in Britain for one-year period

Lynch, 36, admitted to stopping a horse, Bond City, from winning at Ripon in August 2004, supplying inside information about six of his rides, and associating with the disqualified Miles Rodgers.

The former champion apprentice was fined £50,000 in July 2009 and agreed not to ride in Britain for at least a year as part of a plea bargain agreement with the BHA.

He has been granted permission to ride in Britain under BHA rules as an overseas jockey, initially for a probationary period.

The decision to lift the restriction was made by the BHA and followed the receipt of an application from Lynch, together with extensive written submissions, and subsequent interviews with the jockey and his representatives.

The lifting of this restriction will be subject to on-going review.

His bid to regain a jockey’s licence in Britain had been refused by a licensing committee of the BHA in March 2011.

The committee rejected his application as it felt he was not a suitable, or “fit and proper”, person.

He has, however, been free to ride in Ireland, after he was granted a licence by the Turf Club in April 2012.

Lynch, who was cleared of race-fixing charges in December 2007 following the infamous collapse of the Old Bailey trial, subsequently started a new career as a jockey in the United States.

He moved to America in 2008, and was a leading rider at Philadelphia Park until July 2009, when the racecourse’s licensing authority decided it would not approve him as a jockey unless he obtained a British licence.

Lynch was then granted a licence to ride in Spain, where he claimed a first European winner in May 2011, after which he began riding in Ireland later that month on his Spanish licence.

Between September and November 2011, Lynch also rode in France and Germany.

Lynch’s solicitor, Harry Stewart-Moore, said his client was “a changed man” and that he was determined to “rebuild his reputation’ in British racing.

Stewart-Moore said in a statement: “Fergal is absolutely delighted at the BHA’s decision to lift the ban on him riding in Britain on a conditional basis.

“It has been a long process but Fergal would like to thank the BHA for the thorough and fair manner in which it has been conducted.

“It has been nearly six years since Fergal has ridden in this jurisdiction.

“But for those who have followed him over that period, it will be clear that he is a changed man having ridden in Ireland and in other jurisdictions all over the world with a great deal of success and, more importantly, without incident or any questions being raised regarding his conduct or integrity.

“He is extremely keen to rebuild his reputation in Britain and to try and repay part of his huge debt to British racing by adding to it as a committed and honest sportsman and by working with young jockeys to help ensure that they do not make the same mistakes that he did.”

Lynch must participate in a BHA integrity education video, after which his proposed comeback has been earmarked at Ayr next Monday.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox