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Newmarket's former jockey Freddy Tylicki calls for tougher stance on dangerous riding after High Court judge rules in his favour



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Newmarket-based former jockey Freddy Tylicki has called for harsher penalties for jockeys who ride dangerously after a High Court judge ruled in his favour in a case he brought against another rider.

Mr Tylicki, now a successful bloodstock agent and television racing pundit, was left paralysed from the waist down as the result of a racing fall at Kempton in 2016 which Judge Karen Walden-Smith said jockey Graham Gibbons was responsible for.

Thirty-five-year-old Mr Tylicki, a former champion apprentice jockey, had sued Mr Gibbons in the landmark £6 million damages case claiming he was responsible for the four-horse pile up which left him in a wheelchair. It was the first time a jockey had successfully made a claim against a fellow rider for an incident during a race.

Freddy Tylicki pictured in 2014.
Freddy Tylicki pictured in 2014.

In her written ruling, handed down last week, the judge said: “In this case, the actions of Mr Gibbons riding Madame Butterfly on 31 October, 2016, colliding with Nellie Deen mounted by Mr Tylicki, were not mere lapses of concentration or attentiveness. The actions of Mr Gibbons were, for the reasons I have found, and based on the detailed evidence I have scrutinised, undertaken in reckless disregard for the safety of Mr Tylicki.”

But she added: “I stress that the threshold of liability for negligence is a high one and has been determined as made out in this case on its own particular facts. The finding does not set a precedent, either within horse racing, or in sport generally.”

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) stewards at Kempton did not issue Mr Gibbons with any penalty for his riding in the race in which the incident occured.

But, speaking on Sky Sports Racing, Mr Tylicki said: “I think there should be harsher punishments for interference. The stewards should be implementing the rules that are written. It would make the sport safer and cleaner if everything was harsher.

“It’s been a long wait but I’m hoping a lot of good will come out of this and make a safer and cleaner sport in the long run. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me and what I had to go through in the aftermath on anyone.

“Finally, I’ve had my enquiry and I was very happy, and relieved, with the outcome of it. It’s brought a lot of closure for me.”

The amount of compensation paid by Mr Gibbons’ insurers will now be for the two sides to negotiate.