JOCKEY Pat Cosgrave (photo) has been cleared to continue riding in Britain after the BHA’s disciplinary panel decided against reciprocating a four-month ban handed down by the Dubai stewards earlier this year, reports The Racing Post.
Cosgrave, 32, was handed a six-month ban by the Emirates Racing Authority – subsequently cut to four months – in March for improper riding. He was adjudged to have shifted his mount Anerobio to allow stablemate Vercingetorix a clear run to victory in the Jebel Hatta.
The BHA’s decision not to reciprocate a ban is unusual, though they set a precedent last year when a 56-day ban for Martin Dwyer imposed by the Royal Western India Turf Club was not upheld, and the move will likely strain relations between the British and Emirati racing authorities.
Having the ban not reciprocated was welcomed by Cosgrave, who was forced to sit on the sidelines until the start of May awaiting an appeal date with the ERA.
He told the Racing Post on Tuesday night: “Things went well, we got the right result and it went pretty smoothly in the end. I thought the ban was harsh in the first place, but didn’t really know how today would go – I tried not to think about it.
“I just put my case across and I’m glad the panel agreed with it. I’m glad it’s behind me. I want to look forward, and get on with my career and my riding.”
The decision not to reciprocate was described as “brave and correct” by trainer Jim Boyle, who has provided Cosgrave with over 250 rides over the last five seasons. He added via Twitter: “Delighted that sense has prevailed and @patcosgrave is free to continue riding.”
PJA chief executive Paul Struthers has been a staunch supporter of Cosgrave through the process. He tweeted: “I am thrilled to confirm that Pat Cosgrave has been successful with his non-reciprocation application.”
Upon learning the ban was only reduced and not quashed last month, Struthers launched an outspoken attack on the ERA, questioning whether jockeys could be assured a fair hearing and claiming pressure had been placed on the BHA in relation to the ban.
He said at the time: “While we are well aware that Australasian stewarding is different in style to European stewarding, and that their rules are not always the same as ours, some of the behaviours and processes that we witnessed fell far below the standards one would expect from a fair and reasonable regulator.
“The result is that we have serious misgivings about the Rules and stewarding in Dubai and do not believe that jockeys can be assured of a fair hearing.”
Such factors may have been taken into consideration by the BHA panel, though its reasoning has yet to be revealed.
When declining to reciprocate Dwyer’s ban last year the BHA’s view was the Indian hearing had been procedurally unfair.
Photos by Andrew Watkins.
More about the Pat Cosgrave banning below: