Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Robert Alan Hennessy Appeal Clonmel - 6 March 2014

The Appeals Body (Division Two) N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Peter Reynolds and Sean Barry met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co Kildare on Thursday, 27th March 2014 to consider the appeal of Robert Alan Hennessy, trainer of Mister First (FR).  The appeal was against the decision of the Stewards at Clonmel on 6th March 2014 not to promote his horse to first place following the running of the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase.  The Stewards had held an enquiry into possible interference after the final fence involving Mister First (FR) and the winner More Madness but left the result unchanged.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Robert Alan Hennessy were that the Stewards were incorrect in their assessment of the interference caused and the fact that it did alter the result of the race.

Evidence was heard from Ben Dalton, rider of Mister First (FR) and Ryan Treacy, rider of More Madness.  Film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence, Ben Dalton said that he was going very well approaching the final fence but that he suffered continual interference from just after that obstacle to the finishing line.  He said that as a result his mount was carried way off his racing line and lost considerable ground in the process.  He said he was denied a clear run and was unable to use his stick in his right hand.  He concluded by saying that he was satisfied he would have won the race if his horse was allowed to run straight.

In his evidence, Ryan Treacy accepted that his horse continued to veer left but that it didn’t affect the result.  He said More Madness is a tough horse and that he picked up every time Mister First (FR) got close to him.  He concluded by saying that More Madness was going away again at the finishing line.  In response to questions from Andrew Coonan, Ryan Treacy said that he was unaware that Mister First (FR) was on his outside.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that, on the balance of probabilities, the interference caused by More Madness improved his placing with regard to Mister First (FR), and as a result the placings were reversed.  The amended result now reads:-

First:  Mister First (FR) 

Second:  More Madness

Third:  Hidden Crack (GB)

Fourth: Carloswayback

The Appeals Body were critical of the evidence given by Ryan Treacy which they described as “not consistent”.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Robert Alan Hennessy was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley, Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Terence O’Brien, trainer of More Madness, was represented by Patrick Kennedy, Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.


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