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G.M. Hussey (Trainer) and J.A. Nash (Trainer) Referral – Roscommon 23rd May 2022

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. Nicholas Wachman and Mr. Noel McCaffrey convened via Zoom on Wednesday, 21st June 2022, to consider the referral of Gerard Hussey (Trainer) and James Nash (Trainer) following the Tulsk Apprentice Handicap at Roscommon on 23rd May 2022.

On the day, the Stewards wished to enquire into the behaviour of Maccliff, trained by Mr. Hussey, prior to the start of this race where Maccliff had to be dismounted and led to the start by his rider, Nathan O’Sullivan. The Stewards considered evidence from Mr. Hussey and Mr. O’Sullivan and also noted a request by Mr. Hussey for the horse to be led to the start but as Mr. Nash, Master of Mr. O’Sullivan, was not present on the day, the matter was referred to a Senior Racing Official for further investigation.

At the Referral Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Hussey and Mr. Nash.

In his evidence, Mr. Hussey outlined some of the characteristics of Maccliff. He stated that Maccliff had previously been led to the start in her races but that once she arrived at the start and was led into the Starting Stalls without the jockey that she would never pose any difficulties from there on. He explained that he was aware of Mr. O’Sullivan through Mr. Nash and that he felt Maccliff would be a very good first ride for him as she is very straightforward during her races. Mr. Hussey confirmed that he was aware of Rule 153(vi) which states that a horse which requires to be led to the start would not be regarded as a reasonably manageable ride for a 10lbs claiming Apprentice however, he stated that he thought that meant with the rider on the horse.

In his evidence, Mr. Nash confirmed that he had spoken with Mr. Hussey about Mr. O’Sullivan’s suitability to ride the horse and was aware that the horse needed to be led to the start. Mr. Nash said he had reviewed the form of the horse and with all the information he had and on the understanding that the horse was going to be led to the start and loaded without a rider, Mr. Nash felt that Maccliff was a suitable ride for Mr. O’Sullivan. He stated that Mr. O’Sullivan has plenty of experience and regularly schools over hurdles and fences and he would not put his safety at risk.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Hussey was in breach of Rule 153(vi) in that a horse which required to be led to the start is not regarded as reasonably manageable and therefore would not be considered a suitable ride for a 10lb claiming Apprentice Rider. Having considered Mr. Hussey’s record in this regard, they imposed a fine of €200. Furthermore, the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Nash was in breach of Rule 153(vii) in that when a 10lb claiming Apprentice Rider is booked to ride in a race it is the responsibility of his Master to ensure that his intended mount is a suitable ride. Having considered Mr. Nash’s record in this regard, they imposed a fine of €200.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor.

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