| 9.8°C Dublin

Winston fails in appeal to get 22-day whip ban reduced

Robert Winston failed in his appeal to the British Horseracing Authority's disciplinary panel yesterday to get a reduction in his 22-day ban for excessive use of the whip which he incurred at Southwell a week earlier.

Winston hit his mount seven times behind the saddle and three times down the neck with the whip in the forehand position, something which was banned even before the new whip rules were introduced in October.

The use of the whip in the forehand down the neck can only be used in exceptional circumstances and the panel did not deem this occasion an 'exceptional circumstance'.

Because it was Winston's second offence in a 12-month period, what would normally have been an 11-day suspension was doubled to 22.

He is the fourth jockey to appeal against a ban since the new rules came in and, just like Ruby Walsh, Aidan Coleman and Dominic Elsworth before him, the disciplinary panel backed the original decision of the local stewards.

Today Paul Bittar, the new chief executive of the BHA, will get his first chance to hear directly from the jockeys on the subject of the whip when he meets a representation from the Professional Jockeys Association. Apart from Kevin Darley, chief executive of the PJA, he will meet jump jockey Andrew Thornton and George Baker from the Flat.

Meanwhile, Fergal Lynch has submitted an application to the British Horseracing Authority in a bid to regain his British riding licence.

Lynch, who was acquitted on alleged race-fixing charges in December 2007 when a trial at the Old Bailey collapsed, was given a £50,000 fine as part of a plea bargain with the BHA in 2009 after he admitted stopping a horse, supplying inside information about six of his rides, and associating with the disqualified Miles Rodgers.

"The application was made on Tuesday and we are awaiting the BHA's response," said Lynch's solicitor Rory MacNeice.

Irish Independent