Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Mr. P.W. Mullins (Rider) & Mr. R. Deegan (Rider) Referral Listowel, 12th September 2018

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Nicholas Wachman (in the chair), Mr. John Murphy and Mr. Robert Dore met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Thursday, 11th October 2018 to consider a referral by the Stewards at Listowel on 12th September 2018.

On the day, the stewards wished to enquire into possible interference in the Listowel Vintners Association INH Flat Race involving Eileen O, ridden by Mr. P.W. Mullins and Doctor Duffy ridden by Mr. R. Deegan which occurred about one and a half furlongs from the finish where it appeared that Doctor Duffy ran short of room and fell. Owing to the injury sustained by Mr. Deegan in the fall, the IHRB Medical Officer informed the Stewards that Mr. Deegan was unfit to give evidence at the original enquiry and in the circumstances the Stewards referred the matter to the Referrals Committee.

Evidence was heard from Mr. R. Deegan and Mr. P.W. Mullins. The Referrals Committee also viewed a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Deegan stated that he could not remember anything that occurred during the race as he had suffered a concussion because of the fall and that any evidence he gave was based on subsequent viewing of the race.

Mr. Deegan referred to the incident and outlined what he thought may have happened causing his horse to fall. He said it appeared that there was a gap, which then tightened, and he subsequently fell. He said it appeared that his horse stumbled as it didn’t look like the normal clipping of heels.

In his evidence, Mr. Mullins referred to the fall of Doctor Duffy and said that he could not see the horse challenging on his inner though he accepted he was aware there was a horse there. He did not accept that the gap which appeared was wide enough for a horse to safely pass through. He accepted that there was slight contact between his horse’s hind quarters and the shoulder of Doctor Duffy but that there was no evidence that Doctor Duffy clipped heels.

In conclusion, Mr, Mullins said that he was not expecting Doctor Duffy to come into the gap as it wasn’t wide enough and the fact that both himself and Mr. Deegan were riding inexperienced horses was a contributory factor to what occurred. He was of the opinion that Doctor Duffy stumbled and fell, perhaps as a result of the horse putting his foot in a hole on the chewed-up ground. He said that he did not purposefully knock down Mr. Deegan’s horse.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found that Mr. Mullins was in breach of Rule 214(ii) as he failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference. They accepted that there did not appear to have been a clipping of heels. They also accepted that while there was slight contact between both horses it wasn’t a drastic manoeuvre. Taking the above facts into account, the Referrals Committee imposed a penalty of one raceday (25th October) on Mr. Mullins.

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


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