Jockey being sued by injured rival denies trying to ‘ride him off the track’

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A jockey is being sued by a former rival who suffered life-changing injuries after falling during a race has denied trying to “get him off the track”.

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Freddie Tillicki is bringing a High Court claim against Graham Gibbons for his fall during a race run at Kempton Park Racecourse on 31 October 2016 at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey.

Mr Tillicki was trampled after a mile off his mount in the first run and was left partially paralyzed and a permanent wheelchair user.


If his court case is successful, his lawyers say an assessment of the damages would be required, with a claim “worth several million pounds”.

His lawyers argue that Mr. Gibbons, who recklessly refuses to ride, drove his horse, Madame Butterfly, on the way to Mr. Tylicki’s Mount Nelly Dean, between his horse and the rail running along the edge of the track. was walking in the abyss because they made one. Turn right towards the house.

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They claim that Mr Gibbons, who eventually won the race, should have known that Mr Tylicki was “inner up the inner” and, if not, checked before allegedly colliding with horses and seeing Nelly Dean fall. was needed.

But giving evidence at the High Court in London on Tuesday, Mr Gibbons denied that he had attempted to block Mr Tillicki’s progress.

Freddy Tillicki (Mike Egerton / PA)

Lord Foulkes QC, for Mr. Tillicki, cross-examined Mr. Gibbons, saying that “he didn’t want this horse there so you stopped the horse and you tried to get him off the track”.

“No, that’s wrong,” replied Mr. Gibbons.

Mr Gibbons, 40, told the court that he was unaware of Nelly Dean near him until shortly before Mr Tillicki fell.

“I’ve never seen Nelly, Mr. Tillicki’s horse, until he cried out,” he said.

Mr Gibbons said: “When Freddie yelled at me I immediately looked over my right shoulder and I was shocked and shocked that there was a horse there.”

On Monday, Mr Tillicki said an earlier leftist movement by Mr Gibbons Mount had allowed him to go into the ditch, but Madam Butterfly “pressurised” him back to the rails.

Mr Gibbons said his horse at the turn “did not deviate from that line” by rail until the latter became “unbalanced” due to initial contact between Nelly Dean and Madame Butterfly’s rear quarter.

“I couldn’t believe there was a horse because there just wasn’t enough room for a horse,” he said.

A race at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey in October 2021 (John Walton/PA)

In his written witness statement before the court, Mr Gibbons said: “At no point did I knowingly or recklessly move my horse to the right to block the progress of Mr. Did not intentionally attempt to direct his filly towards the direction inside the rail.

“I was trying to get my filly to run around the turn in a safe and balanced way.”

In court, Lord Foulkes asked Mr Gibbons if he thought he was entitled to “cut him off”, Mr Gibbons replied: “No”.

Under cross-examination, Mr. Tiliki also denied drinking alcohol before the race.

The court first heard evidence from another race rider, Jim Crowley, who claimed he smelled alcohol on Mr Gibbons’ breath in the weight room, but admitted under questioning that there was no sign of him being “under the influence”. There was no signal.

Asked about the allegation, Mr Gibbons said it was “one person’s opinion”, adding: “There were 35 other jockeys in the weight room on the same day, none of them smelled of alcohol in my breath, Had there been a steward, he would have been alerted.”

In written submissions, Lord Foulkes said Mr Gibbons had previously received four drink-driving bans and had not raced since being suspended since December 2016 when he “took a urine sample from a young rider as his own.” I tried to pass”.

Asked why such details of his past were omitted from his written witness statements, Mr Gibbons said they were “public knowledge” and that he “didn’t need to hide anything”.

Mr Crowley also told the court that Madame Butterfly was “obviously off the rails” during the race and disagreed with a suggestion by Mr Gibbons’ lawyer Patrick Lawrence QC that “a gap enough for Mr Tylicki to go through safely”. “Never was.

He said that some initial “interference” with Nelly Deen led to her getting behind Madame Butterfly and “biting her heel”.

The court also heard from another jockey in the race, Patrick Cosgrave, who later told a steward’s interrogation that he felt Mr Tillicki was “ambitious” and “chanting it a bit” during the race.

But giving evidence of this, during which video footage of the race was played, he said that “apparently there was room for him to go”.

Mr Cosgrave said after the race he tried to adhere to a “code of conduct” among jockeys and “not get involved” and tried to “be as neutral as possible”.


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