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H.J. Horgan (Rider) Appeal – Dundalk 16 January 2024

The Appeals Body, Mr. Robert Dore (Chairman), Mr. Peter Reynolds and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday, 29 January 2024 to consider the appeal of H.J. Horgan (Rider) against the decision of the Raceday Stewards at Dundalk on Tuesday 16 January 2024.

Following the running of the Gateway Hotel Dundalk Race & Stay Handicap, the Raceday Stewards found Mr. Horgan, rider of  Havana Notion (GB), in breach of Regulation 10.3(g) in that he had used his whip with excessive frequency. Having considered his record in this regard the Raceday Stewards suspended Mr. Horgan for 16 racedays.

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

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Horgan and Mr. Joseph O’Brien, Trainer and Master of Mr. Horgan. The Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Horgan explained that he had used his whip one strike over the limit for corrective purposes. Mr. Horgan stated that his mount has a tendency to hang and his final strike was to avoid interference in the closing stages. Mr. Horgan accepted that this was his fourth breach of Regulation 10.3 since July.

The panel also considered a brief submission by Mr. O’ Brien in his capacity as Master to Mr. Horgan. Mr O’Brien stated that he believed Mr. Horgan was continually correcting his mount who was hanging throughout the race. Mr O’Brien accepted the penalty guidelines that are in place but felt that at least one strike was for preventative measures.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decision of the Raceday Stewards to impose a suspension of 16 racedays. The committee also found Mr Horgan in breach of Rule 19A(viii) in that this was a frivolous appeal and imposed a fine of €1,000. Furthermore, the committee also found Mr. Horgan in breach of Rule 272(ii) in that his evidence was misleading and imposed a fine of €1,000 in this regard.

The appeal was presented by Mr. Horgan, accompanied by Mr. O’Brien. The IHRB was represented by Paul Deegan, IHRB Stipendiary Steward and Ms. Clíodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing Legal and Compliance.

Suspension Dates: 31st January, 2nd 9th, 14th, 16th, 23rd February, 1st, 8th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 30th March, 3rd, 5th April

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