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Personal Injury in Horseracing: Court Finds Jockey Guilty of Reckless Disregard For Safety

Friday, 28 January 2022 By Harry Stewart-Moore

On 31 October 2016 four jockeys fell from their horses at approximately the midway point of the 3.20 race at Kempton Park[1] (Race) as a consequence of what is known in racing as ‘interference’ (which term, in this instance, referred to contact between horses during the Race). Three of the jockeys who came down were fortunate to sustain relatively minor injuries. Frederik Tylicki however sustained serious career-ending and life-changing injuries including a T4 AIS paraplegia meaning that he is paralysed from the chest down and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Mr Tylicki brought a personal injury claim in the High Court (Tylicki v Gibbons) against another jockey in the Race, Graham Gibbons, alleging that Mr Gibbons was in breach of his duty of care to Mr Tylicki and that the incident was caused by Mr Gibbons’ negligent riding.

The central issue in the proceedings was ‘whether what happened was just a “racing incident”, amounting to a very unfortunate accident with tragic consequences as [Mr Gibbons] contends, or whether the actions of Mr Gibbons were such that he is liable for the injuries sustained [by Mr Tylicki].’[2]

The court ultimately found that Mr Gibbons’ riding in the Race met the threshold for liability in negligence.

This article examines the case and how it intertwines with the previous Caldwell precedent. It goes on to delve into the impact of the case on the threshold for determining negligence in sport.

Please note that the author represented Mr. Tylicki in his claim against Mr. Gibbons

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Harry Stewart-Moore

Harry Stewart-Moore

Harry Stewart-Moore is a Partner at Stewart-Moore Solicitors specialising in sports and commercial disputes. His firm represented Frederik Tylicki in his claim against Graham Gibbons


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