Bryony Frost subjected to ‘foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language’

Opening statement of BHA hearing outlines Frost’s claims against Robbie Dunne

Bryony Frost was subjected to ‘foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language’ from  fellow jockey Robbie Dunne, a British Horseracing Authority hearing was told on Tuesday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Bryony Frost was subjected to ‘foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language’ from fellow jockey Robbie Dunne, a British Horseracing Authority hearing was told on Tuesday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

 

Robbie Dunne was said to have used “foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language” towards Bryony Frost as the first day of his hearing in front of the British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel got under way on Tuesday.

Much of the day was taken up by the panel addressing legal issues in camera, meaning only the BHA’s representative Louis Weston had chance to make his opening statement in which he outlined Frost’s claims.

He said Dunne had behaved in a “bullying, harassing” manner to Frost and used “foul, sexually abusive and misogynistic language towards her and threatened to cause her serious physical harm by injuring her at the racecourse” – conduct he said was “prejudicial to the integrity, good conduct and good reputation of horse racing”.

Weston said the issue between the two riders started in the period 2017 to 2019 when Dunne behaved “inappropriately” in that he “displayed his naked self [to Frost] in a way that was unacceptable” on leaving a sauna in the weighing room.

Frost “stood up” to Dunne telling him it was unacceptable, leading them to “fall out” and for Dunne to start to “mock, tease and bully” Frost in front of others, with Weston citing an alleged incident while she was being interviewed after her victory aboard Frodon in the Ryanair Chase and a tweet regarding the 2020 Virtual Grand National – an action Dunne conceded was “unprofessional”.

Weston showed three videos illustrating incidents on course, with one showing Dunne riding over to Frost after a race had finished at Stratford, with the jockey pulling down his face mask to speak while pointing his finger towards her.

A British Horseracing Authority hearing was told that Robbie Dunne behaved in a “bullying, harassing” manner to fellow jockey Bryony Frost Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
A British Horseracing Authority hearing was told that Robbie Dunne behaved in a “bullying, harassing” manner to fellow jockey Bryony Frost Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Dunne is reported to have said: “You’re a f***ing whore, you’re a dangerous c*** and if you ever f***ing murder [cut across] me like that again, I’ll murder you.”

Weston stated the BHA had received a statement last week from a fence attendant at Stratford that day, saying he could not “make out all the conversation but did hear Dunne calling Frost a “f***ing slut”, with Dunne said to have apologised for "calling [Frost] names" a few days later.

The BHA representative said that at Uttoxeter last August Dunne told Frost at the start before a race: “I’m going to stop you murdering everyone, I’m going to murder you”, before telling her at Southwell on September 3rd: “The next time I ride against you, I promise I will put you through a wing”.

Prior to Weston laying out the BHA case, Dunne accepted one charge relating to Southwell, although his representatives, Roderick Moore and instructing solicitor Daryl Cowan, added there are “factual issues between the parties as to what happened on that occasion that will be explored”.

Weston outlined Frost had discussed her concerns with her family before lodging a complaint with the BHA, with trainer Neil King having witnessed her “upset” too.

When interviewed by BHA investigators, Dunne said he “had words” with Frost at Southwell after the fatal fall of Cillian’s Well, admitting he said: “I’ll do it to you someday, that’s the only way you’re going to learn”.

Dunne also stated someone had called him to threaten to “break his legs” on September 7th.

Weston highlighted five points in Dunne’s statement, saying the rider was attempting to “blame” Frost for the situation and described her riding style as “the very reason upset has been caused” – something the BHA representative described as “shameful”.

In his statement, Dunne said male nudity was part of the environment in the male changing room, but Weston underlined valets are based in the male area of the weighing room and said Dunne put the “obligation on women jockeys to make the adjustment, not him”.

Weston cited Dunne’s “belief that senior jockeys can lecture junior jockeys” was “a recipe for bullying”.

The case continues on Wednesday, with Dunne’s legal team expected to make their opening statement and Frost set to give evidence.