Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Oliver McKiernan / R.C. Colgan / Whatever Jacksays Referral

Punchestown – 11th December 2011

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), John G. Moloney and Sean Barry met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 23rd January 2012 to consider the referrals of Oliver McKiernan (trainer) and R.C. Colgan (rider) following the running of the Ladbrokes Supporting Longford GAA Beginners Steeplechase at Punchestown on 11th December 2011 as the Stewards were unable to conduct an enquiry into the running and riding of Whatever Jacksays, as Mr. McKiernan had left the racecourse.

Evidence was heard from R.C. Colgan and Oliver McKiernan, while recordings of the race were also viewed.

In his evidence R.C. Colgan said that his instructions were to “drop in, creep away and do your best”. He said that the horse was “quirky” and also referred to a number of issues, which had arisen when he was schooling the horse the previous week.  He said that the horse was slightly put off by a faller at the first fence and that he wouldn’t have been in the first five but for the fact that there were two fallers at the fourth last. He was convinced that the horse had obtained his best possible placing and that he wouldn’t have finished any closer if he had been any harder on him.  He said that his horse became tired on the soft ground.

In his evidence Oliver McKiernan confirmed the instructions as outlined by R.C. Colgan. He said he was satisfied with the ride. He reiterated what Mr. Colgan had said that the horse was quirky and that he had run out the previous week while schooling. He said that he was a small horse and wasn’t a good traveller. He stated that he was happy the horse had obtained its best possible placing. In conclusion he described the horse as difficult, inconsistent and frustrating.

Having considered the evidence the Committee noted the explanations.  However, the Committee also noted that R.C. Colgan is capable of riding with more vigour and stressed the importance of him doing so in the future.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stewards Secretary, Turf Club.


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