Hayley Turner has been suspended from riding for three months after the opening of an internet betting account saw her charged by the British Horseracing Authority with a breach of the rules governing betting by jockeys.
Britain’s most successful woman jockey officially retired from the saddle at the end of the 2015 turf season and after initially establishing a media career with At The Races and ITV Racing, Turner recently opted to return to race riding in France.
However, Turner’s decision to open an online account following her initial retirement prompted a BHA inquiry as she technically still held a licence, leaving the rider in breach of the rules.
She was said to be “absolutely devastated at her mistake” and “deeply embarrassed” by the situation when charges were announced earlier this month.
Hayley Turner enjoyed a successful summer working for ITV during the Flat season (John Walton/PA)
The ban takes immediate effect, although Turner is not disqualified,meaning she can still visit and work on racecourses and other licensed premises.
Jamie Stier, chief regulatory officer at the BHA, said: “It is a strict requirement under the rules of racing in Britain that licensed jockeys do not place bets on any races.
“It is simply not appropriate to the public’s perception of the sport’s integrity that those who are licensed to ride in races should be able to bet on the sport, even on races in which they are not participating. This is consistent with other major sports.
“The case was heard by an independent disciplinary panel who are responsible for determining the penalty.
“Hayley Turner has made a full admission and apology regarding the rules breaches she has committed, and the BHA’s position was that it is appropriate that this should be considered mitigation when it comes to determining a penalty.
“The guideline entry point for an offence of this nature is an 18-month disqualification.”
Hayley Turner was awarded an OBE from the Queen last year for services to horseracing (Jonathan Brady/PA)
A contrite Turner said: “At the end of the day I made a huge mistake and have to suffer the penalty as I did break the rules.
“The problem was I saw myself as a television pundit rather than as a jockey, which explains as to why I started betting while working on ATR and on ITV.
“Three months is a long time and I do think it is quite harsh, especially as I have a mortgage to pay, but I have just got to take it on the chin.”
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