The Bryony Frost Affair Part 4 – The Inevitable occurs

When Bryony Frost first reported being a subject of bullying in 2021, a lot of the actions by UK horse racing organizations looked like circling the wagons. The PJA, in particular, acted in a totally offhand way, initially issuing statements that mocked Frost’s allegations and predicament, and even ended up issuing a statement of support, allegedly from female jockeys, that no female jockey could remember being involved in. In my world, when statements are anonymous and nobody will sign their name to them, that strongly suggests a cover-up.

Although Robbie Dunne, alleged to be the bully, was eventually banned, the entire UK racing industry seemed to treat the incident as an unfortunate accident that could have been avoided if Bryony Frost had just kept quiet about it.

AT the time, I pointed out that Bryony Frost did have other options if she found the results intolerable, such as riding in Ireland or France (she speaks excellent French because of spending time in France as a student).

After 3 years of watching her opportunities in the UK dwindle steadily, to the point where she has only ridden 26 winners this past season, Bryony has had enough of being marginalized. She is moving her main base of riding to France with immediate effect to become the retained jockey for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, who are expanding their racing operations.

Paul Nicholls, who along with Lucy Wadham was the most supportive of Frost in the UK, including giving her the opportunity to ride Group 1 winning races on Frodon, hit the nail squarely on the head in his comments about Bryony. Despite being incredibly popular with the media and the public, not enough owners and trainers were willing to hire her.

This is a colossal PR and marketing blunder by UK horse racing. It is a horrible look, and I am amazed that the female jockey community does not form their own jockey’s association and inform the PJA “screw you”. The PJA did nothing to support Frost, only reluctantly agreeing that she had been bullied, and leading figures in the jockey community such as AP McCoy merely came up with bullshit rationalizations instead of admitting “we have a problem”. The PJA is about much use as a chocolate teapot for supporting UK female jockeys.

I do not expect Bryony Frost to return to the UK, except possibly to ride horses for her new employers in big UK races. UK racing showed that it did not care about a popular and media-savvy jockey being bullied almost out of the sport.



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