BHA Levies Heavy Penalties Against Three

Former jockey Steven Gagan and former trainer Elliott Cooper banned for 14 years.

The British Horseracing Authority has banned a jockey and trainer for 14 years and one of their associates for 11 1/2 years for violations of racing rules, including conspiracy to commit a corrupt practice.

Former jockey Steven Gagan is disqualified for 14 years for "breaches of the rules relating to the conspiracy to commit a corrupt practice, stopping horses, passing inside information, and failing to supply phone records for an unregistered phone."

The same 14-year prohibition was levied former trainer Elliott Cooper for the same corrupt practice and inside information charges, as well as "laying his own horse and causing and encouraging Gagan to commit breaches of the rules."

Owner Stuart Trevaskis is barred for 11 1/2 years for rules violations relating to conspiracy to commit a corrupt practice.

The BHA began an investigation that led to the disciplinary actions following a hurdle race at Musselburgh in January 2012. According to the investigative report, Gagan was aboard 9-2 second choice Kickahead, listed as being owned by Trevaskis and trainer Ian Williams, when he was unseated early in the race.

Following the race, Williams contacted the BHA security office to express concerns about the circumstances surround Gagan's unseating. Also, the BHA had already begun looking at suspicious betting patterns in the race.

A subsequent investigation found that Trevaskis had risked nearly £26,000 to win nearly £7,000 on the Betdaq betting exchange when Kickahead failed to win.

"It was a six-horse race and the gelding was settled last in the field," the panel's findings report. "It was kept at the rear but in contact with the second group. At the fourth flight of hurdles the film shows Gagan leaning his weight over to the right as he clears the hurdle and then he proceeds to slide off the right side of the gelding removing his left foot cleanly from the stirrup.

"He simply made no effort to stay in the saddle and tamely fell off the gelding as it galloped away from the hurdle. The panel concluded he purposefully fell off the gelding. There was no other credible explanation for his unseating."

The disciplinary panel also found that Gagan, Cooper, and Trevaskis had conspired on two other occasions to lay horses on the basis of inside information.