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J.C. Gainford (Rider) Appeal – Navan 22nd January 2022

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. John Murphy and Mr. N.B. Wachman convened at the Offices on Wednesday 2nd February 2022 to consider the appeal of Jordan Gainford (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Navan on 22ndJanuary 2022.


On the day, following the running of the Graigs Lane Maiden Hurdle, the Stewards found Mr. Gainford rider of Gino Drummer Boy, in breach of Rule 212A(ii) in that he had ridden the horse in such a way that the horse cannot be seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain from the horse timely, real and substantial efforts to obtain the best possible place and they suspended him for 10 racedays.


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


At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Gainford, Mr. Davy Russell (Rider) and Mr. Liam Sharp (Veterinary Surgeon). The committee also watched a recording of Gino Drummer Boy’s previous run at Punchestown and the race in question at Navan.


In his evidence, Mr. Gainford stated that his instructions from Mr. Elliott were to drop the horse in midway and get him settled, however he also had discussed the horse with Mr. Russell who rode him the previous day and Mr. Russell advised him to use his own initiative if he had to and to drop him in at the rear of the field and get him to finish well as he had failed to finish well at Punchestown previously. Mr. Gainford said that the horse had gone to the start freely at Navan and he therefore decided to drop him in further back and that he had to really take his time after the horse received a bump on jumping the second hurdle and lost four lengths. He added that the horse had slowly began to get back into the race and he was happy with how the horse was travelling in the backstraight but that he was hanging right. Mr. Gainford said he did have to ask his horse for more effort earlier than would be ideal at Navan but he was happy entering the straight that he was passing horses, albeit he was hanging badly. Mr. Gainford accepted that he could have finished a little bit closer but he was unable to take his hands off the reins as the horse was hanging so badly and in the circumstances he did his best by the horse and by himself.


In his evidence, Mr. Russell explained that he had ridden Gino Drummer Boy on his previous start at Punchestown. On this occasion he was ridden handily behind the leaders but Mr. Russell explained that he went from thinking he could win the race leaving the back straight to quickly trying to just get the horse placed before he dropped out disappointingly as he emptied every quickly. Mr. Russell said he was a big raw horse and he weakened for pressure and ultimately finished disappointingly. He added that he had spoken to Mr. Gainford before the race and had suggested that, despite Mr. Elliott’s instructions, maybe he would be better to drop him in further as a result of how he finished in the race at Punchestown.


In his evidence, Mr. Sharp stated that he examined the horse at 3.20pm on the day of the race and found the horse to be 1/5 lame on the right hind limb and was not tracking up straight which could have affected the performance of the horse. He added that there was no obvious area of pain, heat or swelling in the right hind limb.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were satisfied that the Stewards on the day did not err in their decision and dismissed the appeal and confirmed the suspension of 10 racedays. Furthermore, they cautioned Mr. Gainford for a breach of Rule 213(iv) in that he failed to report in the first instance anything which might have affected the running of the horse.


The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor and Mr. Gainford was represented by Mr. Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, County Tipperary.


Suspension Dates: 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 17th, 19th, 20th and 23rd February              

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