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Ambrose McCurtin (Rider) Appeal – Limerick 19th April 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Mrs. Caroline Corballis and Ms. Kate Horgan convened at Tipperary Racecourse on Thursday 6th May 2021 to consider the appeal of Ambrose McCurtin (Rider) against the severity of the suspension imposed by the Stewards at Limerick on 19th April 2021.

On the day, following the running of the Crecora Mares Maiden Hurdle, the Stewards found Mr. McCurtin, rider of Delightfantastic, in breach of Rule 212A(ii) in that his mount cannot be seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain from the horse timely, real and substantial efforts to achieve the best possible placing and suspended him for 21 racedays.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. McCurtin was that the sanction imposed was unduly severe given his record.  

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. McCurtin and Mr. John J. Walsh, trainer of Delightfantastic. The committee also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. McCurtin accepted he was in breach of Rule 212A(ii) but felt that the penalty was too severe for his error of giving the horse a bad ride. He stated that his mount was hanging badly and as a result of him doing lighter weights later on the card he was weaker than he should have been and was unable to ride the mare to the best of his ability. Mr. McCurtin stated that he apologised to Mr. Walsh immediately after the race for not giving the mare a good ride and expressed his disappointment at letting Mr. Walsh and the owners down but felt that a suspension of 21 racedays was close to two calendar months and this would have a massive impact on him for a number of reasons. He concluded that he was trying to do his best on the mare but just wasn’t strong enough and he reported to the Clerk of the Scales on the day that his mount was hanging left.

Mr. Walsh said that Mr. McCurtin was an integral part of his team but expressed his dissatisfaction with the ride on this occasion. Mr. Walsh stated that, in his opinion, the poor ride was as a result of Mr. McCurtin doing light weights on the same day which is something he has advised him against.

Having considered the evidence, Mr. Wachman stated that having reviewed the race and considered the evidence the Appeals Body accepted some mitigating factors and they reduced the suspension to 14 racedays and as the appeal was partially successful they ordered that his deposit be refunded. Furthermore, they advised Mr. McCurtin to be conscious of taking rides at lighter weights than he would comfortable. The Appeals Body also reduced the suspension of Delightfantastic to 50 days.

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward.

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