Jock & Trainer Banned For 14 Years

In for the high jump after BHA find that conspiracy existed

Steven Gagan jumped

Steven Gagan jumped

Steven Gagan, a former jockey, and Elliott Cooper, a former trainer, have each been banned from racing for 14 years by the British Horseracing Authority for a series of offences under the anti-corruption rules, including an incident in a race at Musselburgh when Gagan deliberately fell from a horse to ensure that it could not win.

Stuart Trevaskis, an associate of Gagan and Cooper, has also been banned from the sport for 11 and a-half years.

The incident which led to last Thursday’s verdicts occurred in a selling hurdle at Musselburgh in January 2012, in which Gagan was due to ride Kickahead, the 9-2 second-favourite, for trainer Ian Williams. Kickahead, who had been forecast to start as favourite, was a significant drifter in the pre-race betting, and Gagan was unseated from the gelding early in the race.

Williams, who was unhappy about the manner of Gagan’s unseating, contacted the BHA’s security department after the race to record his concerns. 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.

Following a hearing earlier this year, the BHA’s disciplinary panel decided that Gagan, Cooper and Trevaskis had conspired in this instance and on two other occasions to lay horses on the basis of inside information. The additional races involved Platinum, at Fakenham on New Year’s Day 2012, and Quell The Storm, at Cartmel in August 2011.

The disciplinary panel’s view of Gagan’s performance in Kickahead’s race at Musselburgh was stark.

“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.”


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