Troubled jockey and triple Derby winner Kieren Fallon has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud along with ten others, including two other jockeys, Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch. A ban of one year was imposed on each of Fallon and his two co-accused by the Horse Riding Association, and upheld on appeal firstly by an independent panel chaired by High Court judge Sir Roger Buckley and subsequently by the High Court. All three jockeys face the same police charge for conspiracy to defraud in a case not expected to reach the courts until next year.
The bans were the latest development in a two-year City of London police investigation, the early days of which coincided with the appointment of Paul Scotney, a former detective himself, as the Jockey Club's head of security. This appointment was seen by many as heralding a change of attitude among racing's regulators, signalling a new "get tough" approach towards corruption. Scotney has established a sophisticated operation, including a computerised network for keeping track of suspect activity, and has benefited from the cooperation of major bookmakers as well as several court rulings allowing him access to the mobile phone records of those under suspicion.
It may take up to two years for Fallon's charges to be heard by a court. Since his ban, the Irish and the French horse riding authorities have indicated that they would not prevent Fallon from riding. This is only small consolation for Fallon however, who is not expecting to be allowed into America for the Breeders’ Cup in November, and can only watch British racing from the sidelines at least until his case comes to court.