Horse racing-British regulator concerned over Dunne's appeal hearing

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(Reuters) - The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has concerns over the handling of Robbie Dunne's appeal hearing, in which the jockey's ban for bullying and harassing fellow rider Bryony Frost was reduced from 18 months to 10, it said on Thursday.

The BHA plans to review the framework of the independent appeal board, which described Dunne's behaviour as "reprehensible and disgraceful" but in March shortened his penalty to 10 months, with three months suspended.

The regulatory authority said it considered the original punishment to be appropriate but accepted the decision, adding that it required "considerable courage" for Frost to call out Dunne's behaviour.

"While it is fair to point out that both sides received an opportunity to articulate their arguments before the independent appeals board, the BHA is aware of the criticisms of the tone and management of the appeal board hearing, and recognises and shares these concerns," the statement added.

"It is the BHA's view that such panels, as well as having the appropriate legal skills and experience, ought also to be appropriately diverse and inclusive at all times."

The appeals board said the impact of Dunne's bullying and harassment on the wider public and the racing community was found to be overstated by the disciplinary panel.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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