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J.A. Heffernan (Rider) Appeal – The Curragh 7th June 2023

The Appeals Body, Mr. Peter Allen (Chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday, 19th June 2023 to consider the appeal of Seamus Heffernan (Rider) following the decision of the Raceday Stewards at The Curragh on Wednesday, 7th June 2023.

Following the running of the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Handicap, the Raceday Stewards found Mr. Heffernan, rider of Almuhit, in breach of Regulation 10.3(i) in that he had used his whip without giving his mount at least three strides to respond and having considered his record in this regard they suspended him for five racedays.

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

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Heffernan. The Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Heffernan stated that his mount had come off the rails and was angling outwards when Mr. Heffernan heard shouting from riders behind him alerting him to their close proximity. Mr. Heffernan further stated that he needed a quick response from his mount to avoid interference occurring, and that he used his whip in such a manner as would prevent interference.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were satisfied that Mr. Heffernan had used his whip to avoid interference occurring and they therefore allowed the appeal.

Mr. Heffernan represented himself in the appeal hearing. The IHRB was represented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor.

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