Kieren Fallon

Kieren Fallon

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jockey Fallon Struck by Owner Following Race

Owner alleged rider caused interference with his horse at Lingfield.

Kieren Fallon, the six-time champion jockey of Britain, was struck in the face by an owner of another horse following a £50,000 seven-furlong race on Polytrack at Lingfield Park, England, on Saturday, March 20. 

The 45-year-old was unsaddling Elna Bright, who finished tailed off last of the 10 runners after being nearly pulled up following an incident in the race with over half a mile to go, when the incident occurred..

Elna Bright, a 5-1 chance, the 3-1 favorite The Scorching Wind, partnered by the current champion jockey Ryan Moore and another horse came close together. Elna Bright lost his action, while The Scorching Wind finished ninth and was never able to get into a challenging position.

David Reynolds, joint owner of The Scorching Wind, attacked Fallon and was later escorted off the racecourse premises by security staff.

Fallon said: "Unfortunately, you are not able to retaliate, but I used to do some boxing in my younger days and I know how to defend myself. Luckily, he has been escorted out and we can move on. He needs to take some boxing lessons, anyway. 

A report from the racecourse stewards stated: "The stewards called before them Kieren Fallon, the rider of Elna Bright, accompanied by Brett Johnson, the trainer, Vanessa Buckman, the groom, and Peter Crate, the owner, in connection with an incident that took place in the unsaddling enclosure after the race.

"It had been alleged that David Reynolds, the part-owner of The Scorching Wind, had assaulted Fallon and Crate and had been involved in a fracas with Johnson.

"The stewards also called before them Stuart Williams, the trainer of The Scorching Wind, in order to positively identify the alleged assailant, and David Gardner, a security steward, as a witness.

"The stewards subsequently called before them Reynolds, who admitted to assaulting Fallon and being involved in a fracas with Crate and Johnson.

"Having heard evidence from the various parties, the stewards referred the matter to the British Horseracing Authority."

Reynolds, who blamed Fallon for causing interference to The Scorching Wind, has since apologized to Crate and Johnson but not to Fallon. He could face a ban of up to 12 months or a hefty fine if found guilty of violent conduct by the BHA.

 Crate said of Reynolds: "He came at Fallon like a whirlwind and struck him on the side of the face.

 "I got in there with Brett Johnson and he caught me too, before the racecourse security stepped in. We were only looking at my horse, who has been badly struck into.

"You certainly don’t expect to be attacked at the races."

Fallon has been dogged with controversy through much of his career.