Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Peter Fahey (Trainer) Appeal - Tipperary, 8th Oct, 2018

The Appeals Body (Division One), Mr. Andrew Cody, (in the chair), Mr. Joseph M. McGrath and Mr. N.B. Wachman met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Monday 22nd October 2018 to consider the Appeal of Peter Fahey (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Tipperary on 8th October 2018.

On the day, following the running of the Follow Tipperary Races on Facebook Mares Maiden Hurdle, the Stewards enquired into the running and riding of Gone Galavanting, ridden by E.M. Roche, and trained by Mr. Fahey. Evidence was heard from the rider and Paul Harrison, Authorised Representative for Mr. Fahey. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that the trainer and rider had breached Rule 212 (A). As a result, the Stewards fined Mr. Fahey €2,000 and suspended Gone Galavanting for 42 days. They also suspended E.M. Roche for 5 racedays and ordered that he forfeit his riding fee.

The grounds of Appeal lodged by Mr. Fahey were that in his opinion the horse ran on its merits and his instructions to the rider was that the horse should be ridden to finish in its best position. Mr. Roche did not appeal his penalty.

Prior to determining Mr. Fahey’s appeal, the Appeals Body considered a request from Mr. Fahey’s legal representative, Andrew Coonan to adjourn the hearing as he had only received papers yesterday from Mr. Fahey.

The Appeals Body considered the timelines and noted that the request for an adjournment had only been received by the IHRB at 4.53pm on Sunday, 21st October, and that the IHRB was not consenting to the adjournment. They also noted that Mr. Fahey had confirmed his availability to attend today’s appeal at an early stage and that Mr. Fahey had not notified the IHRB that he was being legally represented with the result that the IHRB had not forwarded any papers to Mr. Coonan.

Having taken all matters into account, the Appeals Body refused the request for the adjournment on the basis that it is the Trainer’s responsibility to liaise with his legal representative.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Fahey. The Appeals Body viewed a recording of the race and also considered a transcript of the original evidence.

In his evidence, Mr. Fahey referred to the rider’s experience which he said was limited. He noted that he was a 7lb claimer that only had in the region of 20 rides and had only ridden one winner. He said that the riding instructions were to settle in the second part of the field, get the horse jumping well and do the best he could.

Mr. Fahey said that the horse had poor form prior to her run at Tipperary and that she had finished in the rear of the field in her first three runs before running slightly better on her last run. He expressed a view that the horse had obtained her best possible placing and, in his view, could not have finished second. He noted that the rider of the second horse had looked around and eased up on the run to the finishing line which enabled his horse to finish closer than she should have.

Mr. Fahey referred to Mr. Roche’s riding style and said that he was not as strong as the other riders in the race. He said that when he tries to be stronger, he can lose balance and control. He said he was thrilled with the way he rode her and that this run represented the horse’s best performance to date. He also said that Mr. Roche did everything he could to finish as close as he could and that there was not one occasion where he stopped riding or took a pull. He added that if the rider tried to be more forceful at an earlier stage or resorted to using his whip, the mare may have become unbalanced and it may have had a negative effect on the horse. Mr. Fahey concluded by stating that he had not breached any rule and neither had the horse.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body allowed the appeal. They noted that they fully understood how the Stewards arrived at their decision on the day but that there were exceptional circumstances that needed to be considered namely that the horse was ridden the way she was due to the inexperience of the rider rather than for any other reason and it was on this basis that the appeal was allowed. In view of this, they also found that it was unfair to impose any suspension on the horse and ordered that it be lifted.

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


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