12/12/2008 12:00AM

Fallon obtains California exercise rider's license


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Former British champion jockey Kieren Fallon, who is currently suspended from riding because of a drug infraction, has been granted an exercise rider's license in California, according to a ruling released by the Hollywood Park board of stewards on Friday.

Fallon, 43, met with stewards Albert Christiansen, Kim Sawyer, and Randy Winick on Thursday and Friday, seeking the opportunity to exercise horses in the mornings. He was granted a license on Friday, with the condition that he "be evaluated and comply with guidelines set forth by the Winners Foundation," the ruling states. The Winners Foundation aids people in the horse industry with substance-abuse problems.

Fallon's license was issued after the Hollywood Park stewards contacted French officials over the terms of Fallon's suspension, which ends next September. Christiansen said that the existing suspension prevents race-riding, and does not prevent Fallon from exercising horses in the mornings.

Fallon has won six riding titles in Great Britain, most recently in 2003. Fallon will be able to ride in Europe in September 2009, following the completion of an 18-month suspension for failing a drug test in France.

Fallon was banned from riding in Britain in July 2006 on charges of conspiracy to defraud by "fixing the outcome of horse races" in 2002 and 2004. He was later cleared of those allegations in October 2007.

A native of Ireland, Fallon has won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf twice - in 2003 with Islington and 2004 on Ouija Board.