In recent months, Bryony Frost has made headlines as the plaintiff in a case brought by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) against fellow jockey Robert ‘Robbie’ Dunne after allegations of ‘bullying and harassment’. In December, 2021, an independent disciplinary panel at the BHA found Dunne guilty on four counts of conduct ‘prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horse racing’ and banned him for 18 months, three of which were suspended.
However, in happier times, Frost, 26, has made a habit of breaking records since riding her first winner under Rules, Current Event, trained by Rose Loxton, in the Northern Area Point-To-Point Association Scottish Foxhunter Chase at Musselburgh in February 2015. Two years later, she won the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on Pacha Du Polder, trained by Paul Nicholls.
Frost became conditional jockey to Nicholls in the summer of 2017 and went on form a successful association with novice chaser Black Corton, on whom she would win six races that year, culminating in her first Grade 1 victory in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. In 2018/19, she rode 50 winners, more than enough to ride out her claim and win the conditional jockeys’ title. In March, 2019, she rode Frodon to victory in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, making her the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race at the March showpiece.
Lo and behold, on Boxing Day, 2020, Frost was at it again, winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on the same horse to become the first female jockey to win that race, too. Coincidentally, she also brought up 175 career winners, making her the most successful female National Hunt jockey in British history.Whether she continues to flourish in the wake of the latest unseemly episode only time will tell but, for her sake, and the sake of horse racing in general, let’s hope so.