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Quo vadis, Pierre-Charles Boudot?

On 8 May 2021, he was seen in action for the last time, at the Lyon-Parilly racecourse. Since then, the career of Pierre-Charles Boudot, one of the most successful French jockeys of recent years, has been interrupted. Whether it is also over or can be continued is another matter altogether. For Boudot will not be seen in the next few weeks and possibly months either.

For, as was recently announced, France Galop has suspended him for another six months. The reason for this is a court case against the three-time champion jockey because of rape allegations. Boudot was charged in May and suspended for three months after being accused of rape by a working female rider after a party in Cagnes-sur-Mer in February. He denies all the allegations. His suspension was extended by six months in August due to the seriousness of the allegations and was due to end on 11 February.

France Galop has now opted to extend his suspension as a "precautionary measure" but said it could be "lifted early or extended in light of elements brought to the attention of the sports commissioners".

A statement released by the regulator said the jockey had decided to "refrain from practising his profession in order to devote himself to his defence" and the suspension did not "call into question the presumption of innocence of the person concerned".

Boudot`s biggest win came in 2019 when he won the Prix de l`Arc de Triomphe with Waldgeist for Ammerland and Newsells Park studs, and he has ridden winners around the world, including in the Breeders` Cup Mile in 2020 with Order Of Australia. In the UK, he triumphed in the 2019 Coronation Stakes with Watch Me and the 2020 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with The Revenant.

In 2021, Boudot`s legal team vigorously denied the allegations against him, with lead counsel Florence Gaudilliere saying, "His resolve is stronger than ever. He categorically denies the allegations". So his biggest battle remains in full swing, whether how the matter plays out is for the courts to decide. In any case, France Galop was right to suspend Boudot in the meantime, because first all the allegations have to be clarified. Racing is secondary in this matter for now.

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