Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Shane Foley (Rider) Appeal – Fairyhouse 5th July 2017

The Appeal Body (Division 1) Joseph Finnegan (in the chair), Robert Dore and John Powell met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, 13th July 2017 to consider the appeal of Shane Foley, rider against the decision of the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 5th July 2017.

On the day, following the running of the fairyhouse.ie Handicap, the Stewards interviewed him, in relation to his conduct at the start where he appeared to strike his mount prior to being loaded into stalls. Having viewed the recording of the incident and considered the evidence, the Stewards found he was in breach of Rule 272 and having taken into account his record, suspended him for seven race days.

The grounds of appeal lodged were that he (Shane Foley) did not breach Rule 272 and did not act in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horse racing.

Evidence was heard from Shane Foley and the Appeals Body also reviewed film footage of the race and the transcript of the stewards’ enquiry. The Appeals Body also considered an email from Noel Meade, trainer of the horse concerned.

In his evidence, Shane Foley outlined the background to what occurred. He said the horse was unruly on the way to the start and that he stopped suddenly and jinked as he arrived at the stalls. He felt that by doing what he did, he was able to control the horse better. He accepted that he could have dealt with the situation differently and that the horse did react to the strikes. He also accepted that he hit the horse down the flanks. In the circumstances of what occurred he did not feel he was in breach of Rule 272.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and taking into account his excellent record, they reduced the penalty from seven race days to five race days (19th 20th 22nd 23rd and 24th July 2017). In arriving at their decision on penalty, the Appeals Body stated that the reduction related to the rider’s specific circumstances in this case and in normal circumstances they agreed with the decision of the Stewards that the appropriate penalty for such an offence was seven race days.

They also ordered that Shane Foley’s deposit be refunded but that he make a contribution of €200 towards the Turf Club’s costs.

The case was presented by Shay Quinn, Stipendiary Steward and Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal and Compliance. Shane Foley was represented by Andrew Coonan, Solicitor, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.


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