Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Rachael Blackmore (Rider) Appeal – Tipperary, 22nd July, 2018

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Michael Hickey (in the chair), Tom McDonogh and Derek Pugh met at the Stewards room in Galway Racecourse on Thursday 2nd August 2018 to consider the Appeal of Rachael Blackmore (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Tipperary on 22nd July 2018.

On the day, following the running of the Packie Downey Memorial Rated Novice Steeplechase, the Stewards interviewed Rachael Blackmore, rider of Classic Theatre, concerning her use of the whip in the closing stages of the race. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards found Rachael Blackmore to be in breach of Regulation 10.3(f) in that she used her whip with excessive frequency and Regulation 10.4 in that she failed to give her mount time to respond to the whip. The Stewards suspended Rachael Blackmore for 5 race days and ordered her to attend RACE for 1 day’s tuition on the correct use of the whip.

The grounds of Appeal lodged were that the Stewards were incorrect in their interpretation of the Rules and Guidelines with regard to whip use and Regulation 10 and that in fact Ms. Blackmore is not guilty of an offence.

Evidence was heard from Rachael Blackmore. The Appeals Body also considered a transcript of the original enquiry and reviewed film footage of the incident.

In her evidence, Ms. Blackmore explained her use of the whip and attributed her use of the whip down the shoulder to trying to keep her mount straight and also to keep the other horse involved in the finish from leaning in. She said she felt she was not in breach of any rules.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the findings of the Stewards at Tipperary that Ms. Blackmore was in breach of Regulation 10.3(f) in that she used her whip with excessive frequency and Regulation 10.4 in that she failed to give her mount time to respond to the whip.

In view of the submissions from Ms. Blackmore and Andrew Coonan on penalty, the Appeals Body reduced the suspension from 5 race days to 3 race days (August 9th, 11th and 12th) and confirmed that she also must attend RACE for 1 day’s tuition on the correct use of the whip. They ordered that her appeal deposit be returned but that she must contribute €250 towards the IHRB costs.

Rachael Blackmore was represented by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Wolfe Tone House, Naas Town Centre, Naas, Co. Kildare.

The case was presented by Hugh Hynes, Stewards Secretary.


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