Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Stewards Enquiry - Growise Champion Novice Steeplechase, Punchestown, 24th April 2018

Further to the enquiry into an incident approaching the last fence involving Al Boum Photo (FR), ridden by Paul Townend and Finian’s Oscar, ridden by R.M. Power, the following is a summary of the evidence given by both riders.  The summary will be appended to the enquiry report.

In his evidence, R.M. Power outlined what occurred. He said that he was coming to win his race before the last and was carried out. He described the incident as unfortunate and said he had no idea why it happened. He said he was not aware of any reason which would indicate that the fence was being bypassed.

In his evidence, Paul Townend said that he was riding with his head down between the last two fences and heard roaring on his left which caught his attention. He thought he had to bypass the fence but didn’t know which side to bypass on. He panicked and commenced his move to bypass the fence on the right side but then realised there was nothing on the fence to indicate a bypass was needed and tried to correct his actions but it was too late. He accepted in hindsight that there were no bypass procedures in place. He said he made a genuine mistake and apologised for what occurred.


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