One of horse racing’s most successful female jockeys Bryony Frost makes claims of bullying culture at heart of sport – as regulator probes allegations against fellow rider Robbie Dunne
- Bryony Frost, 26, has become the golden girl of British Horse Racing
- In September last year, she claims rider Robbie Dunne accused her of causing the fatal fall of his horse
- Frost alleges Dunne has called her abusive names and made threatening insults
- An investigation by the regulator has found evidence of a toxic culture, where ‘it is the reporting of such behaviour that is considered unacceptable’
One of Britain’s top female jockeys is back in the spotlight after shocking details emerged about a complaint of bullying and harassment against a fellow rider.
Bryony Frost, 26, the daughter of 1989 Grand National winner Jimmy, galloped to victory last December at the King George VI Chase at Kempton – one of the most prestigious races in the sports calendar.
But Frost’s success came just months after filing a complaint against fellow jockey Robbie Dunne, 42, to the British Horseracing Association (BHA), The Times reports.
On one occasion in July last year, Frost claims Dunne called her ‘a f****** whore’ and a ‘dangerous c***’.
It was followed by another alleged outburst last September at Southwell, when she claims Dunne accused her of causing the fatal fall of his horse Cillian’s Well by drifting across him during the race.
Dunne disputes Frost’s claims against him and said he had ‘definitely not’ used the alleged expressions.
Bryony Frost, pictured here back in March 2019, enjoyed tremendous success in 2020
A screenshot of the incident on September 3 last year, when Dunne’s horse suffered a fatal fall
The BHA’s investigation report, seen by The Times, was published in April and runs to 120 pages long.
In her complaint, Frost described how an argument took place in Stratford on July 8 last year after she and her horse Wisecracker finished second, while Dunne and Cillian’s Well came in sixth.
Giving a summary of Frost’s account, the BHA report stated: ‘Ms Frost recalls Mr Dunne saying something on the lines of “you’re a f****** whore, you’re a dangerous c***… if you ever murder me like that again, I’ll murder you”.
‘Ms Frost says she was ‘very shaken’ by what had occurred and for the first time, ‘got really upset’ by Mr Dunne’s behaviour.’
But Dunne gave a different version of events. He said that he had words with Frost ‘after she came from the middle of the track and cut me off’.
The report added: ‘When asked what had been said, Mr Dunne stated “just like what are you doing? You can’t be doing things like that.”
Bryony Frost arrives at the red carpet during the BT Sport Industry Awards back in 2018
What happened in the incident that sparked the racing row?
The incident on September 3 at Southwell happened in a handicap chase.
Dunne accused Frost of letting her horse Wisecracker drift as it went over a jump.
He believed it had jumped to the left out of a straight line over a fence which caused his horse Cillian’s Well to tumble to the ground.
That horse also brought down another, Dragon Khan, which appeared to then go on to trample over Dunne and his animal.
Cillian’s Well died after it was said to have been taken back ‘in the stable haemorrhaging’.
It prompted Dunne to confront Frost and accuse her of riding carelessly.
According to the report, the term ‘murdered’ is used by jockeys to describe a rival cutting across them.
Things between Frost and Dunne came to a head at the RC Racing Club Handicap Chase in Southwell on September 3 last year, when Dunne’s mount fell and had to be euthanised.
According to the BA: ‘Ms Frost states that she was in the weighing room and hour after the race … Ms Frost alleges that Mr Dunne said to her, “The next time I ride against you, I promise I’ll put you through a wing’.
‘Ms Frost recalls asking Mr Dunne what his problem was with her. Mr Dunne responded, “My problem is you murder f****** everyone and I promise you the next time, we ride against each other I am going to hurt you.”’
In his interview, Mr Dunne accepted there had been an argument at Southwell, telling the BHA: ‘[There was] one incident when we came back in, her careless, improper riding caused my horse to die at Southwell.
‘I says to her, “I’ll put you through – I’ll do it to you someday… that’s the only way you’re gonna learn.’
Asked by the BHA to explain what he meant by this, he is reported to have said, ‘What she does – cutting up’.
The report stated: ‘The BHA has concluded that the making of threats such as this within the weighing room is not an unusual occurrence and goes unchecked.
‘The content of Ms Frost’s supplemental statement very much suggests it is the reporting of such behaviour which is considered unacceptable and not the behaviour itself.’
Neither Dunne nor Frost could be reached for comment today. The BHA has declined to comment about an ongoing case.
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