Kirsty Milczarek overturns two-year ban on appeal

Kirsty Milczarek is free to ride again after succeeding in her appeal against a two-year ban imposed by the British Horseracing Authority in December.

A BHA corruption investigation found Milczarek in breach of two rules relating to her ride aboard Obe Gold at Lingfield on 15 August 2009.

But the appeal board said in a statement that the original decision "cannot stand and her appeal succeeds".

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey confirmed she could now reapply for her licence.

"As soon as she reapplies and all the paperwork is sorted she will be able to ride," Mounsey commented.

Milczarek was found in breach of the old Rule 201 (v), which concerned anyone who is "guilty of or conspires with any other person for the commission of, or connives at any other person being guilty of, any corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to racing in this or any other country".

She had also been found in breach of former Rule 243, which concerned "passing information for reward", following the conclusion of a lengthy investigation into a betting ring said by the BHA to have been masterminded by two registered owners, Maurice Sines and James Crickmore.

Milczarek had reportedly been told Obe Gold could be difficult in the stalls and not to take the blindfold off until the last possible moment, but the panel found that she removed it four seconds before the stalls opened.

By the time the stalls opened, the horse dived to its left - slamming her shoulder into the upright causing an injury which the disciplinary panel said would then have affected her ride.

At the initial disciplinary panel hearing, Milczarek was found not guilty of a breach of Rule 157 (intentionally failing to ensure that a horse is run on its merits) but in breach of Rule 201 (v).

Her solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said: "She's very gratified.

"I think they may fast-track her licence application as obviously she has been banned for a period of time that she shouldn't have been. She will technically have to reapply."

Paul Scotney, director of integrity services, compliance and licensing for the BHA, said in a statement: "We accept the decision of the appeal board to allow the appeal of Kirsty Milczarek.

"It is the role of the appeal board to consider such appeals and additional evidence when presented.

"However, we stand by the original decision to include the race as one of the 10 under scrutiny on account of the extraordinary betting patterns and the pattern of communication around the race."

As a consequence of Milczarek's successful appeal, the penalties for both Sines and Crickmore were reduced to 13 years disqualification, from the original penalty of 14 years.

Unlicensed individual Nick Gold had the disciplinary panel ruling that his exclusion should not be considered for seven years reduced to five years.