Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Donnacha O’Brien (Rider) Appeal Galway, 28 July 2015

The Appeals Body (Division Two) N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Edward Flannery and Mrs. J.O. Onions met in the Stewards Room, The Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare on Sunday, 9th August 2015 to consider the appeal of Donnacha O’Brien, rider, against the severity of the penalty imposed by the Stewards at Galway on 28th July 2015.  On that date the Stewards found the rider to have ridden carelessly in the Topaz Mile Handicap.  As a result he was suspended for three race days.

Evidence was heard from Donnacha O’Brien, while a number of submissions from A.P. O’Brien (Master of Donnacha O’Brien) were considered.  Film of the race was also reviewed.

In his evidence, Donnacha O’Brien accepted that he was guilty of careless riding and that he could have taken a pull to avoid causing interference.  However he said if he did that other horses would have come in on top of him from the outside. 

In his submission, A.P. O’Brien suggested that Donnacha O’Brien caused the interference as a result of receiving interference from his inside which caused his horse to become unbalanced and drift out.  He said that the rider had to pull out or he would have been brought down and what he did was to avert a disaster.

Having considered the evidence and the submissions, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and ordered that the original penalty of three race days (August 12th, 13th & 15th 2015) stand.

The case was presented by Hugh Hynes, stipendiary steward.


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