Freddy Tylicki's case against Graham Gibbons to be heard in court this week
A huge week for racing-related hearings starts on Monday, with opening arguments expected to be made at the High Court as Freddy Tylicki sues Graham Gibbons over the 2016 fall at Kempton that ended his riding career and left him paralysed.
As revealed by the Racing Post in April, Tylicki will seek to persuade a judge that Gibbons owes him damages, having allegedly caused the fall by steering his mount across in front of Tylicki's, who then clipped heels.
With the BHA due to open a hearing on Tuesday into whether Robbie Dunne bullied Bryony Frost, it is a momentous week for anyone interested in the question of what duties are owed by jockeys to each other.
It is believed that Tylicki's is the first case between riders to reach a courtroom for 20 years, since Peter Caldwell sued Adrian Maguire and Mick Fitzgerald for spinal injuries he suffered at Hexham in 1994.
Caldwell was unsuccessful, the judge reportedly describing the incident in question as reflecting "the cut and thrust of serious horseracing" and suggesting that in order for a jockey to win such a case, he would have to prove the responsible rider was guilty of more than a simple error of judgement.
Documents lodged in court by Tylicki's solicitors claim that Gibbons "rode dangerously and caused serious interference" to Tylicki's mount, Nellie Deen, either deliberately or "by riding in a way that was likely" to endanger the other man's safety.
Tylicki is said to have tried to alert his rival to the imminent danger by shouting: "Gibbo!" in an effort to "discourage him from persisting on his path into the space alongside the rail which was legitimately occupied" by Nellie Deen.
Defence arguments lodged on behalf of Gibbons, who denies liability, state he was unaware of the position of Tylicki's horse on his inside "until around the time at which the horses first made contact" and specifically deny that he caused Madame Butterfly to move into the path of Nellie Deen. Instead, it is claimed that Tylicki "rode his horse forward ... in circumstances in which there was insufficient room between the defendant's horse and the rail for the claimant's horse to be able to travel safely through".
Ryan Moore, three times champion Flat jockey, is expected to be called as an expert witness by Tylicki's side; he did not take part in the Kempton race.
Jim McGrath, a stablemate of Tylicki's at Sky Sports Racing, is also expected to give evidence. The defence are reportedly relying on the expert evidence of Charlie Lane, a steward and former amateur jockey who rode the Fulke Walwyn-trained Columbus to win the Grand Military Gold Cup in 1988.
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