Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Ms. Lisa O'Neill (Rider) Appeal - The Curragh, 26th Aug, 2018

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Robert Dore (in the chair), John Murphy and Joseph M. McGrath met in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Thursday, 6th September, 2018 to consider the Appeal of Ms. Lisa O’Neill (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at The Curragh on 26th August, 2018.

On the day, following the running of The Tipperary Crystal “Rose” Ladies Invitational Handicap, the Stewards interviewed Ms. O’Neill, rider of “Miro”, concerning her use of the whip in the latter stages of the race. Having considered the evidence and viewed a recording of the race, the Stewards found that Ms. O’Neill was in breach of Regulation 10.4 as a result of using her whip without giving her mount time to respond. After taking her record into account the Stewards suspended her for five race days.

The grounds of Appeal lodged was that the decision of the Stewards on the day was wrong.

Evidence was heard from Ms. Lisa O’Neill. The Appeals Body also considered a transcript of the original evidence and viewed a recording of the race.  

In her evidence, Ms. O’Neill outlined the sequence of events which occurred in the race and explained why she used the whip in the manner she did. She submitted that she did not feel she was in breach of the rule and that she had allowed sufficient time between strides so as to give her mount time to respond.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that the Stewards on the day were correct in finding that Ms. Lisa O’Neill was in breach of Regulation 10.4. However, having considered a submission from Patrick Kennedy on penalty, they reduced the penalty imposed from five racedays to three racedays (September 14th, 15th & 17th). Using their powers under Rule 260(a), they ordered that the suspension should commence on 14th September 2018. They also ordered that 50% of her appeal deposit (€250) be forfeited as a contribution towards the IHRB’s costs.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Head of Raceday Operations. Ms. Lisa O’Neill was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co., Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles Townparks, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


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