Freddy Tylicki has claimed victory in the High Court against fellow former jockey Graham Gibbons over the fall at Kempton on October 31, 2016 that left him paralysed from the waist down.
The personal injury claim alleged that Gibbons was in breach of his duty of care when he moved his mount, Madame Butterfly, towards the inside rail in the race in question, causing Tylicki riding Nellie Deen to run out of room and clip heels.
At the conclusion of the five-day hearing, which saw jockeys Jim Crowley and Ryan Moore provide evidence in the High Court, it was deemed that a four-second period of reckless riding by Gibbons was adjudged to have led to the incident and fall.
Judge Karen Walden-Smith said: “In this case, the actions of Mr Gibbons riding Madame Butterfly, colliding with Nellie Deen mounted by Mr Tylicki, were not mere lapses of concentration or inattentiveness. 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.
“In the circumstances of this particular race, I have therefore found that liability has been made out. In making that finding, 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 horseracing or in sport generally.”
While the outcome of the case may well have longer-term repercussions for the Rules of Racing and the sport, the British Horseracing Authority was keen to explain the improvements that have been made over the last five years.
A statement released by the BHA on Wednesday afternoon said: “The incident in this case took place in 2016. Since this date there have been significant reforms to stewarding in Britain, including the implementation of a brand-new stewarding model which has modernised our approach with increased professionalism, mandatory competency-based training and assessment, increased penalties for interference, adjournment of enquiries where a rider is injured and cannot attend, and improved cameras and technology.
“However, this is an issue that we continually monitor and one area that we will of course discuss with our participants and their representative bodies in light of this judgement.”