Dwyer successful in BHA application
Martin Dwyer has succeeded in his application to the BHA not reciprocate the 56-day ban he was handed in India.
The decision not to impose the Indian suspension brings to a close a sequence of events which at one stage saw Dwyer have his ban increased to eight months on an initial appeal.
However, that sentence reverted to 56 days on a second appeal to the Indian authorities last month and the disciplinary panel of the BHA has now agreed not to impose the ban at all in this country.
Dwyer was originally suspended by the Royal Western India Turf Club after it ruled the jockey did not ride the filly Ice Age on her merits in a race at Mahalaxmi racecourse.
A head-on video of the race showed Ice Age drift towards the rail in the closing stages, during which time Dwyer's mount bumped the eventual runner-up and caused the jockey to snatch up his mount.
RWITC stewards called an inquiry and announced the horse was to be deemed a non-starter, with all bets refunded.
The Derby-winning rider has always maintained that he was innocent of any wrong-doing, and that his mount had not moved correctly and had suffered a nosebleed during the race.
Dwyer said: "I'm pleased and relieved it's all over because it has dragged on for eight months. I fought it the whole way and I'm pleased I've come out the right side.
"It's not been great. I've been going backwards and forwards to India the whole year and have had it hanging over me with the thought of not being able to earn a living with a young family.
"It has just been awful but with the help of Paul Struthers and the Professional Jockeys Association, as well as Graeme (McPherson, barrister) and Andrew (Chalk, solicitor) doing a great job, they have helped me through a tough time.
"I've said exactly the same thing on the day of the race, the day after and every day since that I didnt do anything wrong. The filly was beaten because she didn't run in a straight line, and the reason she didn't run in a straight line was because there was something wrong with her. I've always defended my ride.
"I think my time in India has probably come to a close - I probably wouldn't be welcomed back there anyway. It's sad in a way because I've had some great times there."
Dwyer went on: "I think the best thing I did was to keep going back in person and defending my ride, even though a lot of the hearings weren't even recorded.
"I'm so grateful for all the support from everybody, and without the backing of the PJA and Paul (Struthers) I probably would have given up months ago.
"I didn't hide behind the BHA, I fought it tooth and nail and I was forced to go to the BHA, and they agreed with me.
"There was a lot of evidence which I know will come out. I can't say a lot about that until the panel has shown its reasoning."
Struthers said jockeys should remain careful about deciding whether to ride in India.
He said: "Our advice to them is that it's not our job to tell our members what to do, but what we do say is to be very, very cautious who you are going to ride for, and if you are planning going out, we advise them to come and speak to us first.
"I don't know of any jockeys definitely planning to go (this winter). There'll be one or two that may go, but I know of jockeys that definitely aren't going that otherwise would have done."
Struthers added: "The decision not to reciprocate the suspension brings to an end to what has been a particularly stressful and worrying period for Martin and his family. Martin is thankful to everyone who has expressed their support and particularly to Graeme McPherson QC who represented him."
Jamie Stier, director of raceday operations and regulation for the BHA, said: "As signatories to the International Agreement the BHA's starting point is to recognise the principle of reciprocation of penalties incurred by British riders abroad. However, this is in the expectation that the individual is afforded the tenets of natural justice.
"In this particular case, it was our view that these basic principles were not upheld by the RWITC and this was reflected in the BHA's presentation to the disciplinary panel.
"Consequently, the BHA supports the decision of the disciplinary panel not to reciprocate the suspension imposed by the RWITC on Martin Dwyer.
"It was the BHA's view that there were a number of areas during the process which fell short of being demonstrably fair and were not in accordance with the principles of natural justice. One such example being the decision of the RWITC stewards to make a finding that Ice Age had not been run on her merits and declare her a non-runner, before conducting an enquiry and hearing from Martin Dwyer.
"We will be sharing with the RWITC the concerns the BHA set out to the disciplinary panel."