Robbie Dunne, National Hunt jockey, did bully, threaten, and harass Bryony Dunne the most successful woman rider in Britain, according to a British Horse Racing Authority disciplinary committee.

Dunne, 36, has been found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the reputation of horse racing in his treatment of Frost, 26, which could result in a fine of up to £15,000 and a ban up to three years.

He was accused of abusing his rival allegedly calling her a ‘whore’, ‘slut’ and ‘c***’ at various races last year and threatening to ’put her through a wing [fence]’ at Southwell.

After a hearing lasting a week, the ruling will rock National Hunt Racing to the core. The case shines a light on bullying and misogyny that went unreported by staff or jockeys.

In a sport that prides itself on offering an even playing field for men and women to compete against each other, Frost’s testimony has raised difficult questions about weighing room culture.

A QC-led three-person independent panel was told that Dunne was a self-appointed enforcer of 1950s traditions among jockeys, who police each other’s behaviour in a dangerous sport.

Brian Barker QC (chair of the panel) reported on the first section of their judgment.

“This ranged from disturbing targeting and deliberate harassment to sometimes cases of bullying and even dangerous bullying.

Robbie Dunne (pictured) was accused of abusing and threatening Bryony Frost

Frost claimed that she was bullied and harassed by her fellow jockey

Robbie Dunne, (L) was accused verbally abusing Bryony F Frost (R) 

Dunne was accused of threatening Frost to put him “through a wings” and also threating to chop up the female jockey, a practice known as “murdering” in jump racing. 

Barker said, “We are satisfied with the September 3 words.” [at Southwell] were a promise to cause real harm were over and above the usual ‘jockeymantra’ of ‘murdering’. ‘

Jockeys lined up to dispute Frost’s account of what was said when and cast doubt on her claims of bullying, but the panel has believed the evidence of the female rider.

The case against Dunne concerned three races last year – Uttoxeter, Stratford and Southwell – when he was accused of abusing Frost and threatening to hurt her.

However, Frost claimed these incidents were in fact a culmination of years of mocking and bullying because she had the temerity to stand up to his Dunne’s alleged lewd behaviour.

In announcing the decision today, Mr Barker added: ‘On the examination of Miss Frost’s evidence and demeanour we find her to be truthful careful and compelling and in taking her complaint to the authority she has broken the code knowing that isolation and rejection by some was inevitable.’

Dunne, racing at Newbury in January, faced six charges under two BHA rules during a hearing

Dunne faced six BHA charges during Dunne’s January racing at Newbury.

Under British Horse Racing Authority regulations, Dunne was charged with six offenses.

Two rules were broken in connection to the events at Uttoxeter and Stratford, according to him.

He is accused of bullying and harassing a fellow jockey in violation of rule J19. These charges were all denied by the jockey.

The panel found that he had violated J19 in all cases. 

Dunne was also accused of violating rule J20. It is claimed that he was acting in a violent and improper manner by abusing another rider. These charges are still under review by the panel.

At Southwell, the male jockey accepted the charges. Dunne admitted he said to Frost at Southwell, ‘I’ll put you through a wing’, but argued it was a commonly used phrase in racing and intended as a rebuke, not a threat of actual harm.

Frost, pictured racing at Hereford earlier this month, was reduced to tears during the hearing

Frost was seen racing at Hereford earlier in the month and was brought to tears by the hearing

Dunne will be punished by the panel.

The range of punishment for breaking Rule 19, acting in a way that is prejudicial to horse racing, is a fine of between £1,000 and £15,000 and a ban from one month to three years.

For breaching Rule 20, if that is proven, by acting in a violent of improper manner, the punishment is a ban up to 21 days and a fine of between £100 and £5,000.

The story of how it all unfolded 

September 2020: Bryony Frost complains to BHA over her treatment by Robbie Dunne.

December 26th: Frost speaks out about negative emotions in the weighing area after she won on Frodon her King George VI Chase victory.

February 12, 2021: After his mount Cillian’s Well was killed at Southwell in September, details emerge about an angry altercation between Frost and Dunne.

January 24, 2019, Racemail: Frost has concerns about her treatment since June 2019, when Frost got into a verbal dispute with Johnny Farrelly at Uttoxeter.

April: Chris Watts, BHA’s head of integrity, completes his 120 page report on Frost’s claims. Dunne was informed that he would be facing criminal charges.

October 17, 2017: A leaked Watts report appeared in Sunday newspapers. Frost’s statements are detailed, with claims of Dunne problems back in 2017 and threats against Frost. Dunne and his legal team claim that the BHA has lost control over the investigation.

November 24, 2020: Dunne was charged with harassing and bullying a fellow jockey during three races in 2020.