Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

S.P. Davis (Rider) - Appeal - The Curragh, 16th Sept, 2018

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Mrs. Justice Leonie Reynolds (in the chair), Mr. Sean Barry and Mr. M.C. Hickey met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Friday 28th September, 2018 to consider the Appeal of S.P. Davis (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at The Curragh on 16th September, 2018.

On the day, following the running of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Bold Lad' Sprint Handicap, the Stewards received a report from the Clerk of Scales, Ms. Avena O’Keeffe, that Mr. Davis, rider of Tresorier (GB) had weighed in at 1.6lbs overweight. Evidence was heard from Mr. Davis who stated that he was riding at his minimum weight and had rehydrated after weighing out. Having considered the evidence the Stewards were satisfied that Mr. Davis was in breach of Rule 231 by failing to draw the correct weight. Having taken his good previous record into consideration the Stewards suspended him for 1 raceday.

The grounds of Appeal lodged by Mr. Davis were that while he accepted he weighed in over the weight and that he had a drink after weighing out, he was unaware at the time of the enquiry, until he was told subsequently by the Valet, that Tresorier’s (GB) trainer, John James Feane had swapped girths without him being reweighed.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Davis and Mr. Feane. The Appeals Body also considered a transcript of the original evidence.

In his evidence, Mr. Davis confirmed that he was unaware until after the enquiry had taken place that the girths had been changed by the trainer. He accepted that he would still have weighed in overweight even if the girths hadn’t been changed but that it would have been under the threshold for a one day ban and that a caution was the appropriate penalty for the breach of rules.

In his evidence, Mr. Feane accepted that he had changed the girths as the original girths didn’t fit. He said that it is possible that Mr. Davis may not have heard him when he said the girths had been changed as he was on his way to the parade ring at the time and was probably more focused on the upcoming race. He said there wasn’t time to reweigh after the girths were changed.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body said that they were prepared to accept Mr. Feane’s version of events with regard to the change of girths. They confirmed that Mr. Davis was in breach of Rule 231. In arriving at penalty, the Appeals Body noted that there was a difference of 0.4lbs between the girths that Mr. Davis had weighed out with and the girths that he rode with in the race. In view of this they allowed the appeal and reduced the penalty imposed to a caution. They stressed the importance of both Mr. Davis and Mr. Feane familiarising themselves with the relevant rules dealing with weighing out. 

The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance.


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