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Gerard O’Leary (Trainer) Appeal – Laytown 8th September 2022

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Mr. Laurence McFerran (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. Michael C. Hickey convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Thursday 15th September 2022, to consider the appeal of Mr. Gerard O’Leary (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Laytown on 8thSeptember 2022.

On the day, the Stewards interviewed Mr. O’Leary concerning the conduct of True Artist who refused to race and having considered the evidence suspended True Artist from running for a period of 60 days using their powers under Rule 14(iii).

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. O’Leary was against the severity of the sanction.

At the Appeal Hearing, the committee considered evidence from Mr. O’Leary.

In his evidence, Mr. O’Leary explained that the horse had always been very highly strung but had given no indications of any issues at the start of a race until he stood in the stalls in a race at Gowran Park in May 2021. Mr. O’Leary confirmed that True Artist refused to race at The Curragh earlier this year and again at Clonmel. He said that after Clonmel he decided to run the horse in National Hunt races where he doesn’t envisage any issues with the horse starting but due to the unique nature of Laytown he gave him another chance in a Flat race which didn’t work out and the horse will not run on the Flat again.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body acknowledged Mr. O’Leary’s intention to only run the horse in National Hunt races and reduced the suspension on True Artist to 30 days.

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

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