A HORSE trainer from Yorkshire has been banned from the racing world for almost eight years after being found guilty of an attempted ringing scandal.
Robert Tierney, from Scarborough, has been warned off until February 2016 after an investigation was launched by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the sport's governing body, into a point-to-point event.
The BHA yesterday announced the ban after Tierney, along with point-to-point rider Charles Gundry, a former master of the Middleton Hunt, and horse dealer Roger Marley, based at Langtoft, near Driffield, were all found guilty of conspiring to commit a fraudulent practice.
The charge related to an attempt to substitute Max 'n' Limbo, owned by Marley, for Tierney's horse, called Quintin, at the Staintondale Hunt point-to-point on April 17, 2006.
Marley's wife, Ruth, was found to have aided and abetted her husband, Tierney and Gundry in the attempted scam.
Following a four-day hearing of the BHA's disciplinary panel last month, all four were also found guilty of attempting to mislead officials during an investigation into the attempted ringing.
BHA spokesman Paul Struthers said: "Allegations of ringing are among the most serious in the horseracing world. However, the motivation behind this particular case is unclear.
"No evidence has been uncovered that any of those who took part made any financial gain. But we are nonetheless sending out a clear message that any attempts to carry out ringing will not be tolerated, and the punishments are severe."
Tierney is already serving a six-year ban for a similar ringing offence, but it was announced yesterday that he has been warned off for a further five years for the Staintondale Hunt case.
However, the BHA decided to allow three years of the suspension to run concurrently with a further two-year ban imposed.
It means that he will not be able to visit any of the nation's racing circuits or trainers' yards or associate with anyone involved in racing until February 2016.
Marley, the horse's owner and a former National Hunt rider, has been warned off for two-and-a-half years although he is allowed to continue with his sales and pre-training business until the end of the year.
His wife was banned for one year, with Gundry, the horse's intended rider, picking up the same penalty.
A veterinary surgeon at the Staintondale Hunt event was unable to identify Quintin through its vaccination certificate, and the horse was prevented from running.
Suspicions were aroused and charges were then brought against Tierney and his son Richard, a Malton-based point-to-point rider, in connection with an Old Raby Hunt event on February 5, 2006.
The father and son were also charged with swapping the same two horses at a Brocklesby Hunt point-to-point event on February 11, 2006.