BHA clear jockey Richie McGrath of corruption

Richie McGrath won the 2003 Scottish National on Ryalux. Picture: PA

Richie McGrath won the 2003 Scottish National on Ryalux. Picture: PA

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Scottish Grand National-winning jockey Richie McGrath has been cleared by the British Horseracing Authority of all corruption charges following a hearing last month.

McGrath, who won the 2003 Scottish National on Ryalux, faced allegations he passed on inside information used for betting purposes and that he had not ridden his mounts on their merits. The BHA investigation covered 57 races between October 2009 and April 2012. 
McGrath and former owner Mark Aspey went before a BHA disciplinary panel in March, but they have both now been cleared of all corruption charges.

The jockey has instead been found in breach of a far lesser offence, that of giving a horse “a schooling run” aboard Rumble Of Thunder at Fakenham on 
1 January, 2011. Schooling a horse in public carries an entry point penalty of a 14-day suspension, with a range of between ten to 18 days, whereas McGrath could have been banned for ten years if found guilty of corruption.

Seven people were named when the BHA charges were revealed last September, including former trainer Kate Walton. The charges against Walton and four other unlicensed individuals were, however, dropped a week before they were due to face a disciplinary inquiry.

McGrath has not ridden in public since he suffered a back fracture in a fall at Hexham in March 2014. Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, hopes the jockey can “now start to rebuild his career, injury permitting”.

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