Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

J.W. Kennedy (Rider) Appeal - Down Royal, 2nd Nov 2018

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Mr. N.B. Wachman, (in the chair), Mr. Joseph M. McGrath and Mr. John Murphy met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Tuesday, 13th    November, 2018 to consider the Appeal of J.W. Kennedy (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Down Royal on 2nd November 2018.

On the day, following the running of the Allianz Handicap Hurdle, the Stewards interviewed Mr. Kennedy, rider of Sir Ector (USA), concerning his use of his whip in the closing stages of this race. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered his evidence, the Stewards were of the opinion that Mr. Kennedy was in breach of Regulation 10.3 (f) in that he had used his whip with excessive frequency. Having taken his previous record into consideration, the Stewards suspended Mr. Kennedy for ten racedays.

The grounds of Appeal lodged by J.W. Kennedy was that he did not use his whip in contravention of the Regulations and taking into account the circumstances of the race, his use of his whip was appropriate and in all the circumstances a suspension of ten days was excessive.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Kennedy. In his evidence, he outlined what had occurred during the race and referenced that much of his whip use was with the whip in the backhand position. He also added that much of his whip use could be considered flicks, and he gave the horse plenty of time to respond. The Appeals Body also viewed a recording of the race and considered a transcript of the original evidence.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that the Stewards on the day were correct in finding Mr. Kennedy in breach of Regulation 10.3(f) in that he had used his whip with excessive frequency. However, having considered a submission from Andrew Coonan on penalty, they reduced the penalty imposed from ten racedays to eight racedays (November 17th, 18th 22nd, 24th, 25th, 28th, 29th and 30th). They also ordered that the appeal deposit be refunded, but that Mr Kennedy should make a €200 contribution towards the IHRB’s costs.

Mr. Kennedy was represented by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Wolfe Tone House, Naas Town Centre, Naas, Co. Kildare.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Head of Raceday Operations.


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