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Jockey Fergal Lynch fires out stark warning to rookies

By Frank Brownlow

Fergal Lynch has taken several wrong turns in his racing career - but is determined that youngsters entering the game stay on the straight and narrow.

The British Horseracing Authority just last August lifted a ban preventing Lynch from riding in Britain.

The Derry rider was banned from the sport after admitting to stopping Bond City winning at Ripon in August 2004.

Lynch was cleared of race-fixing charges in 2007.

The BHA yesterday released an integrity education video featuring the jockey and intended to show the risks and pitfalls of becoming involved in corrupt practices. In the video Lynch (37) speaks candidly about his experiences of being caught up in corruption, the mistakes he made, what it cost him, the lessons he has learned, and gives advice to others who may find themselves in a similar situation.

Lynch said: "I hope that this video will help the BHA to prevent young jockeys from making the same mistakes that I did.

"I just hope that those who watch the video will realise that getting involved with the wrong people just isn't worth it, and that there are ways to get help - something that I was not aware of at the time."

He added: "I'm delighted to be licensed again in Britain. I'm aware of the mistakes of my past and the damage I caused to horseracing, but I'm now looking forward to the future and riding full-time here in Britain."

Adam Brickell, BHA director of integrity, legal and risk, said: "The inspiration to produce this video came from our dealings with the England and Wales Cricket Board, who carried out a similar exercise featuring Mervyn Westfield, who was banned from cricket for five years in 2012 for spot-fixing.

"We approached Fergal Lynch to help with the video owing to the high-profile nature of his story and the damage it caused.

"Fergal was a young jockey with the world at his feet but the mistakes he made derailed that career, caused him to leave the country and suffer a heavy financial penalty.

"He is well placed to tell young jockeys and trainers about the cost of being embroiled in betting corruption."

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