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leif
21 Oct 21 23:03
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Date Joined: 26 Jun 08
| Topic/replies: 5,992 | Blogger: leif's blog
Former National Hunt jockey says bullying ‘made my life hell’
Rider inspired to go public by Bryony Frost’s bullying allegations


A former National Hunt jockey has spoken for the first time about what he says was a campaign of physical and verbal abuse by a weighing-room valet that ultimately led him to walk away from the sport.

The former rider says he decided to talk about his experiences, which occurred in the late 1990s, after the Sunday Times report of the leading jockey Bryony Frost’s complaint alleging bullying and intimidation by her fellow rider Robbie Dunne, which Dunne denies.

“He took a big dislike to me and he just generally made my life hell, every single time I was in the weighing room,” he says of the valet. “I had faeces put in my bag regularly, equipment spat on, I was referred to only as ‘fat ****’ or ‘fatty’, I was never called by my name. And it was systematic, he was threatening me all the time, every time I went into the weighing room.

“One time, I was doing a really low weight, so I was very weak as well, and in the washing machine room he pinned me up against one of the machines, grabbed me by the testicles and was squeezing really hard (Whoops) and said: ‘I bet you like that, fat ****, don’t you?’

“I went to the stewards in tears. I said: ‘I’ve just been assaulted,’ and they just did nothing.” Surprised

In addition to enduring regular bullying by the valet, the former rider says he witnessed bullying of other staff members at stables where he worked and was subjected to a humiliating initiation ceremony at a leading yard where he started his career in racing as a teenaged stable lad.

“Two senior lads came and got us out of the hostel,” he says. “They chained us to a fence, arms and legs spread out in a star shape and naked, put washing-up liquid on our heads so it would go in our eyes. Then they rubbed everything they could find into us, into our private parts, horse **** all over us, and hosed us down with cold water. There were people watching and they left us there after and went off to watch TV. Sad

“At another yard, there was a girl people were hateful to. They used to pick on her non-stop, calling her names, putting her on horses she didn’t have the ability to ride. They thought it was hilarious.”

The former jockey rode during the 1990s and into the early 2000s and says he still carries mental scars from his time in the weighing room.

“At the end, I think it affected my ability to control my weight,” he says. “I was really conscious of my body shape. I was a shy lad, and I ended up believing I was this fat **** who shouldn’t be riding horses.

“I loved horse racing, I loved the job, but it still affects me now. I have dreams about it, but if I can help to stop someone going through what I went to, I’d want to do that.”

A British Horseracing Authority spokesperson said on Thursday: “The BHA is not aware of these allegation and so not in a position to comment, but there are a number of ways to raise concerns about conduct or behaviours in the sport, including via representative bodies, the BHA or the sport’s confidential RaceWISE reporting service.

“Any complaints raised through these routes can be made in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously and that appropriate action will be taken.

“In addition, the BHA is working with jockeys and other industry participants to develop a code of conduct for British racing. The code will be designed to endorse the many positive behaviours that exist within the weighing room and other areas of the sport, such as the well-documented camaraderie of elite athletes participating in a risk sport. It will also be designed to deter any negative behaviours that may arise, ensuring that anyone who witnesses or is on the receiving end of poor conduct, feels confident and comfortable in calling it out.”

Details of the BHA’s investigation into Frost’s claims of bullying and intimidation against Dunne, dating back several years, were published last weekend and include alleged threats made by Dunne after the death of a horse he had been riding in a race at Southwell on 3 September 2020, when Frost also had a ride.


https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/oct/21/former-jockey-alleges-that-weighing-room-abuse-drove-him-from-horse-racing
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Report glentoby October 21, 2021 11:23 PM BST
Hi leif,hope you are well.Just browsing the above it sounds like the valet either knew or suspected the jockey was batting for the opposition i.e when he squeezed his nuts and said he bet the jockey enjoyed it?

Sounds like there was more to it than simple dislike?
Report glentoby October 21, 2021 11:23 PM BST
Hi leif,hope you are well.Just browsing the above it sounds like the valet either knew or suspected the jockey was batting for the opposition i.e when he squeezed his nuts and said he bet the jockey enjoyed it?

Sounds like there was more to it than simple dislike?
Report GLASGOWCALLING October 21, 2021 11:26 PM BST
The jockey in question is well known, he has since moved on to competitive cycling.

Report glentoby October 21, 2021 11:27 PM BST
Laugh
Report glentoby October 21, 2021 11:27 PM BST
Laugh
Report salmon spray October 21, 2021 11:43 PM BST
Not really funny is it ffs.
Report GLASGOWCALLING October 22, 2021 12:03 AM BST
Come on,somewhat of a non story.
20 years after the event decides to
Speak out.????
Report salmon spray October 22, 2021 12:13 AM BST
Took some of Savile's victims longer than that.
Report GLASGOWCALLING October 22, 2021 12:18 AM BST
Just saying it's hard to give story's like this credence when nothing seemed to be said at the time.
Report Gagging October 22, 2021 12:22 AM BST
Not funny at all. Obviously it's a hard and potentially dangerous sport and we have all seen examples of great sportsmanship and camaraderie  between jockeys, but also occasionally dangerous moves, unintended or deliberate, even with ensuing verbals and fights. I can well believe some people [albeit a minority] in the weighing room are capable of the behaviours we are currently being told about, but these all need to  be investigated thoroughly and measures put in place to safeguard all whether female, male, young or old. I'm not in the slightest wish to be 'woke' but these alleged incidents shouldn't be tolerated by anyone, and I don't wish any money I have down to be lost because of intimidation or macho war games between jockeys. Women have latterly brought quite a bit to this sport - both sexes should be respectful and lines appear to have been crossed: there appear parts of the weighing room culture to be highly unpleasant and unhelpful and require closer supervision and action - senior jockeys should be educated and share some of this responsibility - it's not OK to write this offer as 'banter' and 'it's always been this way'.
Report Gagging October 22, 2021 12:26 AM BST
Glasgow - that's just rubbish - obv better if these things are complained of at the time, but some people can be so embarrassed or damaged that they take secrets to the grave. It's all perfectly credible, just harder to investigate when years have elapsed and some memories may get blurred. No smoke without fire...... imho.
Report penzance October 22, 2021 12:28 AM BST
Bullys,just cowards in packs.
Their 4rseh0les fall out when conronted
one to one.
Report doantwin2easy October 22, 2021 12:42 AM BST
If we had a penny for everyone that got bullied, picked on, or verbally abused 20-30 years ago (plus), we'd all be millionaires.

In terms of historical, only the most serious allegations of sexual or physical abuse will be investigated, or consequential.

Today is a different matter.
Report GLASGOWCALLING October 22, 2021 12:47 AM BST
Well said.
Report happysandwich October 22, 2021 1:24 AM BST
“One time, I was doing a really low weight, so I was very weak as well, and in the washing machine room he pinned me up against one of the machines,”

Me and Andrew walked through that room after the last race at Newmarket on Friday 8th October this year and we didn’t see anything going on that caused us anything to be concerned about.

Not may people know that - but it's true.
Report MJK October 22, 2021 6:18 AM BST
Obviously not a nice thing to happen to anyone but I'm always suspicious of people who use the 'if it helps someone else' lune, as its usually nit the reason the person is doing it. I would also assume the jockey in question wasn't very successful hence the reason he quit, but is blaming it on this instead. Again its not a nice thing to happen to anyone but it reminds me of people who blame any failing in life on what happened in school.
Report sageform October 22, 2021 8:07 AM BST
Quite simple. BHA put a microphone in the weighing room. It might stop all sorts of other things that go on in there. Fixing races anyone? It is a serious issue and jockeys have always been reluctant to report bad behaviour by their colleagues. Cameras may not be appropriate!
Report pandora1963 October 22, 2021 8:37 AM BST
when i was bullied at grammar school i got the sweetest revenge on my bully on the final day of school when i smashed him to bits, still the happiest day of my life
Report ballyregan October 22, 2021 9:30 AM BST
pro footballs even worse for bullying I  watched the crazy gang documentary on bt sport you must have to be some sort of strong character to have got through the ranks in that team
Report GEORGE.B October 22, 2021 11:28 AM BST
pandora196322 Oct 21 07:37
when i was bullied at grammar school i got the sweetest revenge on my bully on the final day of school when i smashed him to bits, still the happiest day of my life


This post reminded me of one of the classic Tales Of The Unexpected episodes starring John Mills, entitled Galloping Foxley, introduced here by Roald Dahl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BDVfEUReng
Report glentoby October 22, 2021 12:02 PM BST
The bullying described is called basic training in the Forces,regimental baths etc,you don't see many service personnel queuing up to tell a story of abuse and the ones that do are usually the ones that could not hack it,could be similar in racing.
Report salmon spray October 22, 2021 12:22 PM BST
When there isn't conscription the Armed Forces tend to attract a certain type of person. I'm sure you know more about that than me glentoby,but whatever you expect there ( and I appreciate you wouldn't want total wimps on the battlefield ) it's not acceptable in more normal work settings.
Report sageform October 22, 2021 12:29 PM BST
It is certainly not acceptable for jockeys to be abused in the weighing room before they go out for what might be a dangerous ride. They need to be 100% focussed on the job. If a valet is doing it then he should be banned.
Report The Management October 22, 2021 12:32 PM BST
glentoby22 Oct 21 11:02Joined: 12 Mar 06 | Topic/replies: 20,313 | Blogger: glentoby's blog
The bullying described is called basic training in the Forces,regimental baths etc,you don't see many service personnel queuing up to tell a story of abuse and the ones that do are usually the ones that could not hack it,could be similar in racing.


Yeah, it's all good. I mean it's not like it affected you mentally or turned you into a social pariah in later life, is it? WhoopsLaugh
Report elise October 22, 2021 12:36 PM BST
go easy, he was left with a permanent high pitched voice after an encounter whilst removing his cargo pants from tumble drier
Report glentoby October 22, 2021 12:38 PM BST
I thought you were aware of libel laws TM? Just because you are a seething envious mess of a failure does not make you immune!!!Surprised
Report Daryl Revok October 22, 2021 12:40 PM BST
Any news on the dozens of arrests that you've been threatening for months, Glenda?
Report glentoby October 22, 2021 12:41 PM BST
One wearing a tag as predicted!! hth
Report acey deucy October 22, 2021 2:19 PM BST
No not funny at all Glasgow...I got my balls greased when i first came into Racing as an apprentice about 40 Years ago it was totally  humiliating but par for the course back then.
Report 1st time poster October 22, 2021 2:23 PM BST
not right but its hardly an exclusive club ,you can add in
forces
police force
private school
every sports club/sport out there
prison
care homes
etc
Report GLASGOWCALLING October 22, 2021 2:37 PM BST
Shipyards.

Acey the point you and others are missing is that this is an unconfirmed story from 30+ yes ago. A  bloke had his balls squeezed !!!! Ffs if ever there was a Non Story it's this one, go down to your local police station Tonight and you will see rape victims, domestic abuse victims, people been mugged, !!! It's called life, just get on with it.
Report Blackrock October 22, 2021 7:05 PM BST
A complete and utter load of bolox Glasgow.

This jockey has come forward to relay his story of being a victim of bullying. It sounds a nightmare and obviously still preys on his mind. Not as if he will gain financially from releasing this story.

I fail to see why no other jockey in the weighing room didn't intervene in this case. Maybe they were a bunch of bottleless whankers. What this jockey should have done was take a baseball bat with him into the weighing room and proceed to bash phuck out of this bully. Wouldnt have happened again i assure you. But some people just don't have it in them to be like that.
Report Gagging October 22, 2021 8:43 PM BST
Sgae
Report Gagging October 22, 2021 8:54 PM BST
Sage, Blackrock - pretty much totally agree: I went through low level beatings, initiations etc at school and in the armed services and such in my youth and it didn't seem to scar me but we're a little better educated now and although i don't believe parents should be prosecuted if they occasionally resort to a smack or two, I wouldn't want my kids or grandkids going through what Bryony or this anonymous jockey are complaining of. Whatever is needed should be done to stamp out such outmoded behaviour and those who think its OK!  It really isn't OK and the whole weighing room has a responsibility in helping to clean up this dinosaur-like behaviour.
Report layemall October 22, 2021 9:09 PM BST
Has this appeared anywhere other than the Guardian?......sounds a bit suspect to me and since it is anonymous, it could have been written by anyone.....even an ambitious young wanna be reporter........of course please correct me if there is any evidence of this story being substantiated.
Report elise October 22, 2021 9:20 PM BST
there was a confirmation, jason weaver was said to have tweeted that the laundry room incident indeed happened, but the reason he didn't fight back was not because he was weak from wasting but because he had a cake in one hand and a ginsters in the other
Report sageform October 23, 2021 12:48 PM BST
There is a huge difference between single incidents of verbal or physical abuse in the heat of the moment and systematic intimidation of one individual by several others. The latter is totally unacceptable in any workplace.
Report saddo October 23, 2021 1:58 PM BST
elise 22 Oct 21 20:20 
there was a confirmation, jason weaver was said to have tweeted that the laundry room incident indeed happened, but the reason he didn't fight back was not because he was weak from wasting but because he had a cake in one hand and a ginsters in the other



Laugh
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