Dean McKeown unlikely to ride again after his licence is withdrawn

  • Jockey Dean McKeown has had his licence to ride removed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with immediate effect.

    Mr McKeown was found guilty of breaching the non-trier rule by stewards in dramatic fashion at Southwell yesterday (Tuesday 4 November).

    His licence has been withdrawn indefinitely by the BHA to “protect the integrity of racing”. He looks unlikely to ride again.

    The veteran jockey was riding the Richard Whitaker-trained Rascal In The Mix in the 6f maiden auction.

    The stewards held an enquiry into the running and riding of the horse after she finished 5th, 5 lengths behind the winner Denton Diva on the basis that she started slowly and was “tenderly ridden” in the home straight. They were also alerted to unusual betting patterns involving the horse before the race.

    When interviewed by the stewards Mr McKeown stated that his instructions were to “jump out, get handy and ride the race as he found it.”

    He said that this was the filly’s racecourse debut and that she was nervous in the stalls at home. He added that the filly was a slow starter.

    He stated that Rascal In The Mix “would not have finished closer for more vigorous riding.”

    The stewards report stated that Mr Whitaker “felt her chances in the race had been compromised by starting slowly, but was satisfied with the rider’s efforts.”

    After hearing evidence from both Mr McKeown and Mr Whitaker, watching video recordings of the racing and reading a report by the vet, the panel found the jockey guilty of breaking the non-triers rule and referred the case to the BHA.

    Just 2 weeks ago the jockey was warned off for four years for corruption — involving the laying of 11 Paul Blockley-trained horses to lose between March 2004 and December 2005.

    Mr McKeown’s 4-year ban is due to come into effect on 13 November.

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