Racing: Bridgwater to sue owner over dismissal

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David Bridgwater yesterday underlined his determination to make a fresh start as a freelance jump jockey despite taking legal action over his sacking by the owner Darren Mercer.

Bridgwater quit his job as Martin Pipe's stable jockey during last season, eventually linking up with Mercer, who had taken his horses away from the champion jumps trainer. But Mercer terminated the agreement on 30 May prompting Bridgwater, who is currently recovering from a broken left arm, to sue for a reported pounds 28,500. A High Court writ has been issued.

"My agreement with Mr Mercer has been terminated and I will be riding freelance when I come back from injury," Bridgwater said. "I just want to get on with my career, the whole thing winds me up. I want to get back to riding horses."

Mercer, meanwhile, has indicated he will contest the action. "I am very, very surprised. No monies are due to him and any proceedings which are issued against me will be vigorously defended," he said.