Animal Aid

Animal Aid Calls on Police to Prosecute Jockey

Posted 8 January 2008

On 12 December, jockey Edward 'Eddie' Ahern whipped his horse, Marsam, with such frequency and excessive force that weals appeared on the Thoroughbred's flesh. Such was the extent of the beating and the unusual circumstances surrounding the offence that the jockey was reported to the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Disciplinary Panel, which found him guilty of bringing racing into disrepute – the first time such a judgment has been reached in relation to an incident occurring on a racecourse itself.

Ahern was found to have deliberately breached whip regulations in order to trigger a ban early in the year, before major races. It is a particularly cold, self-serving and calculated form of cruelty towards an animal.

Animal Aid has written to Nottinghamshire Police Chiefs pressing for a prosecution of Ahern under the Animal Welfare Act, 2006 on two counts:

  • He caused the horse to suffer unnecessarily.
  • He failed in his Duty of Care to the animal.

The evidence used by the BHA in their disciplinary proceedings contains key evidence that could be used to proceed with a prosecution. This includes photographs, video footage and veterinarians' reports. We will keep you informed with the progress of the case.

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