Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

J.P Murtagh Appeal Hearing

J.P. Murtagh Appeal – Leopardstown – 3rd September 2011

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), N.B. Wachman and Valerie Cooper met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 9th September 2011 to consider an appeal from J.P. Murtagh, rider, against the severity of the ban imposed by the Stewards at Leopardstown on 3rd September 2011 when following the running of the Leopardstown.com Handicap he was suspended for four race days for careless riding.

J.P. Murtagh’s grounds of appeal were that the offence did not warrant a four day ban, taking into account his excellent record for careless riding suspensions this season.

Evidence was heard from J.P. Murtagh and Eddie Byrne, authorised rider’s agent for J.P. Murtagh.  Videos of the race were also viewed as were videos of two other races that J.P. Murtagh rode in where there were similar incidents.

In his evidence J.P. Murtagh said that he felt that the penalty was harsh bearing in mind what occurred.  He said that he had just begun a maneuver when another horse leaned across.  As a result he had to take corrective action and went across in front of Aznavour which stumbled.

Eddie Byrne gave details of J.P. Murtagh’s disciplinary record and of the penalties handed out in 2011 for careless riding.  He said the penalty given to J.P. Murtagh was the heaviest penalty for this offence in the current year.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body reduced the four race day ban to two race days (17th and 18th September).  In arriving at their decision, they felt that the penalty imposed was harsh bearing in mind what occurred and the explanations provided by J.P. Murtagh.  The Appeals Body also noted that in arriving at their decision they had material available that was not available to the Stewards on the day.

The case was presented by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.


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