Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Limerick Race Incident Referral - 21 June 2013

THE Referrals Committee, Mrs. J.O. Onions (in the Chair), Mrs. T.K. Cooper and Hugh Williams met in the Stewards Room at Tipperary Racecourse on Friday, 9th August 2013 to consider the referral of an incident which occurred in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden at Limerick on 21st June 2013. The incident, which occurred in the home straight, involved Two Auld Pals, ridden by Ronan Whelan, and Diamond Lucy, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue. As a consequence of this incident, Diamond Lucy appeared to clip heels and unseated her rider. The Stewards referred the matter on that day as Colm O’Donoghue was injured in the incident and was unable to attend the enquiry.

Evidence was heard from both Colm O’Donoghue and Ronan Whelan, while film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence, Colm O’Donoghue said that his mount was coming under pressure and was beginning to tire just before the incident occurred. He said that Two Auld Pals arrived upsides his horse to challenge, but that Ronan Whelan’s mount did not pick up as quickly as he had hoped and rolled in slightly after passing without being fully clear of his mount. He said as a result of that, Diamond Lucy clipped the heels of Two Auld Pals and came down. He concluded by saying that, in his opinion, the manoeuvre of Two Auld Pals rider was accidental.

In his evidence, Ronan Whelan said his mount was having her first run and ran green. He said he thought he was further clear of Diamond Lucy at the time his horse drifted and that he misjudged where Colm O’Donoghue’s mount was. He also said he did not anticipate that his mount would drift as quickly as she did. In conclusion he stated that what had occurred was totally accidental.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee was of the opinion that Ronan Whelan was guilty of careless riding and in breach of Rule 214. In view of his excellent record in this regard, the Committee severely cautioned the rider concerning his future riding.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stewards Secretary.


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