Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Thomas Gibney / Shahrafi Appeal

Thomas Gibney / Shahrafi Appeal
Wexford, 11th June 2010

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Paul F. Ronan and Con O’Mahony met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 10th August 2010 to consider the appeal of Thomas Gibney, trainer of Shahrafi, against the decision of the Stewards at Wexford on 11th June 2010 when, following the running of the Mount Leinster Maiden Hurdle, Shahrafi was suspended for 60 days for an unacceptable performance.

The grounds of appeal were that:-
(i) The jockey did not ride to instructions at Wexford and therefore the horse was not given a fair chance.
(ii) The jockey who rode the horse at Punchestown on its previous run failed to report a matter to the Stewards which affected the horse’s performance.

Evidence was heard from Thomas Gibney and S.W. Flanagan who rode Shahrafi on his previous run at Punchestown on 26th May 2010.  In his evidence, Mr. Gibney stated that Shahrafi ran poorly at Punchestown on 26th May as a result of suffering interference when two horses fell.  This caused him to lose interest with the result that he became tailed off.  Mr. Gibney also stated that he thought this matter had been reported to the Stewards at Punchestown but subsequently learned that it had not.  He further stated that the horse ran poorly at Wexford as the rider totally disregarded the instructions given to him.

S.W. Flanagan told the Appeals Body that the horse became very nervous at Punchestown as a result of seeing the two fallers early on and that he jumped slowly thereafter.  He said the horse had ability.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and found Thomas Gibney in breach of Rule 212(b) as a result of the horses run at Wexford.  In mitigation Mr. Gibney said that the horse had ability on the flat and had been placed twice in his last four runs including when finishing second at the Curragh on the previous Sunday.  Having considered the submissions made by Mr. Gibney, the Appeals Body suspended Shahrafi from all races under I.N.H.S Rules for 60 days with immediate effect.

The case was presented by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.


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