William Buick’s 30-day suspension was upheld
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Scott Burton 8:00PM 18 JUL 2016
A FRENCH civil tribunal has denied William Buick emergency leave against the rest of a 30-day suspension handed down by Chantilly stewards, following legal action launched against France Galop the day after he remarked that he considered the matter closed.
Buick was originally banned for the mandatory 15 days after being found guilty of dangerous riding on Highlands Queen, when adjudged to have caused the fall of Pierre-Charles Boudot from Amandine in the Prix de Diane Longines.
That punishment was swiftly doubled when Buick uttered the word “corrupt” to each of the officials present in the inquiry.
An emergency civil case was launched by Buick’s legal team on July 1, despite the release of a statement on his behalf by employers Godolphin less than 24 hours earlier in which the jockey spoke of his contrition and that he considered “the episode now closed,” following his unsuccessful appeal in Paris.
Restriction of trade
Buick’s lawyers argued that the 30-day suspension at the height of the season amounted to a restriction of trade and would cause a serious loss of earnings.
Such civil procedures are not open to jockeys in Britain but have previously been used successfully in France to delay and even overturn bans imposed by France Galop.
After an emergency hearing in front of the Administrative Tribunal in Cergy-Pontoise on Monday morning, an appeal judge rejected Buick’s request to have the ban suspended.
Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson said: “William decided to contest the ban handed down by France Galop in a subsequent appeal. The hearing was today and, as I understand it, the action was not successful. I do not wish to comment any further as he was not riding a Godolphin horse at the time.”
Buick declined to comment when contacted by the Racing Post on Monday evening.
The rider’s decision to launch legal proceedings appears not to be consistent with the sentiment expressed in a statement of June 29, when he said: “Following my hearing with the French racing authority this morning my appeal has been dismissed and the episode is now closed.
“I deeply regret my actions and will not repeat this again. I acted in the heat of the moment through frustration and I am very remorseful that I will miss an important period of the season.”
Out on a high
After his unsuccessful appeal Buick bowed out on a high when winning the Coral-Eclipse aboard Godolphin’s Hawkbill on the eve of his ban.
But the 27-year-old has subsequently been absent for Newmarket’s July Meeting and will not return until after Saturday’s Qipco King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Festival next week.
Buick took the ride on the Yohann Gourraud-trained Highlands Queen on the eve of a separate three-day ban and had intended to spend the time in Spain.
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