Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Thomas Sherry (Rider) - Application to review suspension - Banned Substance – Gowran Park, 4th June 2018

The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Philip Caffrey and Joseph M. McGrath convened in the offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Thursday, 25th April 2019 to consider an application by Mr. Sherry to review the suspension imposed on him at a hearing on 9th August 2018.

On the day the Referrals Committee had found Mr. Sherry in breach of Rule 277(i) as a   sample of urine taken from Mr. Sherry, Rider, during in-competition testing at Gowran Park Racecourse, Co. Kilkenny on 4th June 2018 were found to contain Benzoylecgonine (metabolite of cocaine). As a result, they imposed a penalty of a four-year suspension of Mr. Sherry’s licence to apply with effect from 10th July 2018. However, in view of the exceptional circumstances and the mitigating factors, they agreed that they would review the matter again in 2019, should Mr. Sherry reapply to the Committee, whereupon they would consider the issue of a partial suspension of the penalty, depending on evidence of Mr. Sherry’s positive engagement with medical, employment, counselling and associated matters at that time.

The Committee considered evidence from Mr. Sherry via Skype from Australia and also from Dr. Jennifer Pugh, IHRB Senior Medical Officer. They also noted the negative test results from random samples provided, at the request of the IHRB, by Mr. Sherry to Racing New South Wales.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee accepted Mr. Sherry’s positive engagement with medical, employment, counselling and associated matters. They noted that Mr. Sherry is now employed in Australia and wished to resume his race riding career there.

Taking all these matters into consideration, the committee found that Mr. Sherry had complied with all conditions and engaged fully and as a consequence decided to suspend the remaining part of his suspension with effect from 1st May 2019.

They asked it be noted that the suspension imposed on 9th August 2018 remains in place for four years with effect from 10th July 2018, albeit that the remaining part of the suspension has now been suspended. They also asked that it be noted that if Mr. Sherry reoffends for a similar offence regardless of where the offence is committed, prior to 9th July 2022, that the remaining part of the suspension will be imposed together with any other penalty that may be imposed for the new offence. They ordered that the suspension of the penalty is conditional on Mr. Sherry continuing to comply with any conditions imposed by Dr. Jennifer Pugh in relation to medical, counselling and associated matters. They also ordered that Mr. Sherry pay the costs of the B sample analysis.

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


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