Champion Jockey Kieren Fallon Is Banned by Court Injunction from Competing in the 2011 Derby Horse Race

By Blackshaw, Ian | The International Sports Law Journal, July-October 2011 | Go to article overview

Champion Jockey Kieren Fallon Is Banned by Court Injunction from Competing in the 2011 Derby Horse Race


Blackshaw, Ian, The International Sports Law Journal


Champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, has been banned by an English Court of Appeal injunction from riding in the 2011 Derby granted on the day of the race (4 June, 2011), just hours before it was due to be run. The Appeal Court overturned a ruling by the lower English Court (the High Court) the previous day refusing to grant the injunction on public interest - it is likely that punters had placed bets on the horse that Fallon was due to ride simply because he was the jockey and a three-times winner of the Derby - and restraint of trade grounds. The Judge saying, in that respect, that a jockey should be free to ply his trade.

The circumstances in which this intervention by the English Courts in the 2011 English Derby horse race occurred were as follows.

It appears that Fallon had entered into a written contract with the owner of a horse called 'Native Khan' to ride that horse exclusively in the Derby and not to ride any other horse in that or any other race in which 'Native Khan' was competing. The contract was entered into in April 2011 for a term of 12 months. Fallon announced 5 days before the 2011 Derby that he would not be riding 'Native Khan' but another horse entered in the Derby called 'Recital'.

According to the owner of 'Native Khan', Fallon was in in breach of his contract and sought an injunction against Fallon precluding him from riding Recital in the 2011 Derby, which is a classic annual horse race in the English racing calendar. As already mentioned, the owner lost in the High Court and appealed successfully to the Court of Appeal. …

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