Hollie Doyle 'intimidated' by stewards during probe that led to six-day ban for jockey's use of whip

TOP jockey Hollie Doyle says she felt 'intimated' by stewards during a probe that led to her getting a six-day ban.

Doyle, who came third in last year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, said she was 'repeatedly interrupted and spoken over'.

The jockey was banned for her use of the whip on Echo Brava during a race at Kempton on January 30.

Doyle admitted she made a 'massive mistake' in striking the horse on the flank three times inside the final furlong.

But she said her treatment by stewards during the inquiry into her ride was one of the reasons she appealed.

Doyle, who rode 151 winners in 2020, said: "I'm fairly thick-skinned but I felt pretty intimidated in the inquiry.

"I was repeatedly interrupted and spoken over. I accepted I had hit the horse short unintentionally but I couldn't get a word in.

"The tone in which I was spoken to backed me into a corner and left me no way to describe the incident.

"That's one of the reasons I opted to appeal. I would hate for a younger jockey to feel the way I did."

Describing her use of the whip, Doyle said: "I didn't want to give him a hard time and tried to cajole him along. I gave him a little reminder and I've tried to only flick him rather than hit him hard.

"It was a small misjudgement. I was trying to encourage him gently and that altered my technique.

"I love horses and the last thing I would want to do is strike the horse short."

Doyle, who will compete in the world's richest horse race, the £14.6m Saudi Cup at the end of this month, lost her appeal.

A British Horseracing Authority spokesperson said: "It's important all parties involved in a stewards' inquiry have faith in the process and feel that they are given the opportunity to state their views in an objective environment.

"We are grateful to Hollie for raising the concerns she had following her experience at Kempton."

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