Dunne ‘blaming victim to justify vile threats’
RIDER ACCUSED OF BULLYING FEMALE JOCKEY FROST
ROBBIE DUNNE was yesterday accused of ‘victim blaming’ to justify ugly flareups in the weighing room as a BHA disciplinary hearing into allegations he bullied and harassed fellow jockey Bryony Frost opened in London.
Dunne, 36, is accused of conducting a campaign of intimidation against Frost stretching back to 2017, with the focus on three race days at Stratford, Southwell and Uttoxeter last year.
Dunne pleaded guilty to verbally abusing and threatening a fellow jockey on one of those days, when he allegedly launched a foulmouthed volley at Britain’s most successful female jump jockey after blaming her for the fatal fall of his mount Cillian’s Well at Southwell on
September 3. His legal team added there were ‘factual issues between the parties as to what happened on that occasion that will be explored’.
A breach of that rule carries a maximum three-week ban. The charge of acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing, which Dunne also faces, carries a potential three-year suspension.
Louis Weston QC, representing the BHA, attacked Dunne’s claim that the reason for his outburst was that 26-year-old Frost’s riding had endangered colleagues. Weston said: ‘Mr Dunne says Bryony Frost’s style of riding is crucial to this case as it is the very reason upset has been brought.
‘That is a shameful comment in a case where someone has admitted threatening a fellow professional.
‘He seems to be saying that he, as a jockey with his level of experience, is entitled to make threats of injury to another as part of an education process — that Miss Frost, a more successful jockey, needs his correction and guidance.’
The hearing was told ill-feeling began after Dunne had paraded naked in front of Frost in the male changing room. Weston said Frost had challenged Dunne when he started ‘making jokes about his sexual relations with other women jockeys’. He added: ‘They fell out and that led him to start to mock and tease her and bully her in front of others.’
Weston described an alleged incident at Stratford on July 8, 2020, when Dunne was angered by Frost’s riding, approaching her after a race and saying, ‘You’re a f ***** g whore and a dangerous c*** and if you murder me (cut across me) like that again I will murder you.’
A statement from a fence attendant supporting Frost’s position will be presented to the hearing, which could run for six days.
Weston claimed that at Uttoxeter last August, Dunne told Frost: ‘I’m going to stop you murdering everyone, I’m going to murder you.’
He added: ‘We say he has used foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language and threatened to cause her harm. No proper regulator could allow such conduct to go on.’
Dunne’s legal team will open day two of the hearing this morning by laying out his defence, after which Frost will appear as a witness.