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Ben Martin Coen (Rider) Appeal – Naas 28th March 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Mr. Michael Hillman and Mr. N.P. Lambert convened at Gowran Park Racecourse on Thursday 8th March 2021 to consider the appeal of Ben Martin Coen (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Naas on 28th March 2021.

On the day, following the running of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, the Stewards found Mr. Coen, rider of New York Angel, in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly and having considered his record suspended him for one raceday.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Coen was that the Stewards on the day erred in their decision.

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Coen. The committee also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Coen outlined that his mount, New York Angel, was making her racecourse debut and was a big raw filly. He said that he had followed Blazing Star, ridden by Mr. Colin Keane throughout the race and then went on the outside about two furlongs from home when joining the leader Empress Josephine, ridden by Mr. Seamus Heffernan. He said that the horses were running into a strong headwind and were getting tired and thus rolling around as a consequence and as Empress Josephine rolled towards the running rail, both New York Angel and Blazing Star followed. Mr. Coen accepted that his mount drifted for nine strides before he corrected her by putting his hands on the reins but stated that no interference took place until the ninth stride, at which point he put his hands on the reins and straightened his mount as quickly and effectively as he could.

Having considered the evidence, Mr. Justice Hunt stated that the Appeals Body needed to consider two matters. Firstly, if there was interference or not and in this instance they felt interference was evidenced by the fact that Mr. Keane had to check and his path was interfered with. They then needed to consider the cause of the interference and if it was unavoidable and therefore accidental or could Mr. Coen have prevented the interference. The Appeals Body were satisfied that the Stewards did not err in their decision on the day as Mr. Coen allowed a situation develop over nine strides and failed to take steps to prevent the interference, therefore he was in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly and they confirmed his suspension of one raceday.

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward. Mr. Coen was represented by Mr. Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, County Tipperary.


Date of Suspension: 11th April

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