When was jockey Eddie Ahern ‘warned off’?

Jockey, or rather former jockey, Eddie Ahern was ‘warned off’ for ten years at the end of May, 2013. Following a hearing of the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Ahern was found guilty of (i) conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice, (ii) intentionally failing to ensure a horse was ridden on its merits and (iii) of passing information for reward.

The charges related to the ‘laying’ of five horses between September, 2010 and February, 2011 – that is, betting against them to win – preventing his mount, Judgethemoment, from achieving the best possible placing in a two-mile handicap at Lingfield on January 21, 2011 and passing information to his co-defendant, former footballer-turned-owner Neil Clement. Clement, himself, was banned for 15 years.

At Lingfield, Judgethemoment led and soon spreadeagled the field but, having set unrealistic fractions, stopped to almost nothing with over half a mile to run and eventually trailed in last of the seven runners, beaten 35 lengths, and 15 lengths behind the sixth horse home. Ahern argued that, while ill-judged, his ride was not a deliberate attempt to lose and, with the support of the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), appealed the decision accordingly.

The appeal was dismissed, leaving Ahern in a position where he could no longer ride, or enter premises, such as racecourses or training yards, licensed by the BHA or associate with jockeys, owners and trainers, among others, until May, 2023. Champion apprentice in Ireland in 1997, at the time of his ban, Ahern had ridden a total of 1,252 winners on either side of the Irish Sea.

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