LONDON (Reuters) - Jockey Eddie Ahern was banned for 10 years on Wednesday after being found guilty of three breaches of British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rules following a corruption inquiry.
The 35-year-old was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice, intentionally failing to ensure the horse Judgethemoment was ridden on its merits at Lingfield in January 2011 and of passing information for reward, the BHA said in a statement on its website (www.britishhorseracing.com).
Former West Bromwich Albion soccer team defender Neil Clement was banned for 15 years and fined 3,000 pounds ($4,500) after being found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice, placing a lay bet on a horse which he then owned and failure to provide phone records to the inquiry.
Judgethemoment, ridden by Ahern, finished last of seven runners in a two-mile handicap, having been well clear at the halfway stage. Ahern's explanation was that he misjudged the pace and did not realize he was so far ahead.
But the BHA disciplinary panel said it "could not accept that a jockey of Ahern's experience, especially on the all-weather at Lingfield, could have made an error of such an extent".
Ahern plans to appeal both the disciplinary panel's findings and the severity of the suspension. ($1 = 0.6647 British pounds)
(Writing by Alison Wildey; Editing by Ed Osmond)