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J.J. Slevin (Rider) Appeal Punchestown, 10th December 2017

The Appeals Body, Mr. Justice Joseph Finnegan (in the chair), N.B. Wachman and John Moloney, met on Tuesday, 19th December 2017 at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare to consider the appeal of J.J. Slevin, Rider against the decision of the Stewards at Punchestown on 10th December 2017.

On the day, following the running of the K Club Handicap Steeplechase, the Stewards interviewed J.J. Slevin, rider of Flynsini, concerning his use of the whip in the closing stages of this race. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence the Stewards found J.J. Slevin to be in breach of Regulations 10.3 (f) and 10.4 in that he used his whip with excessive frequency and force, and without giving his mount time to respond. Having considered his record in this regard, the Stewards suspended him for 5 racedays.

The grounds of the appeal were that he was not overly or unnecessarily hard on the horse in a long-distance race on a particularly harsh winter afternoon where the horse was responding.

Evidence was heard from J.J. Slevin. The Appeals Body viewed a recording of the race and a transcript of the evidence given at the original enquiry. They also considered submissions from Kevin Power, on behalf of J.J. Slevin and Paul Murtagh, on behalf of the Turf Club.

In his evidence, J.J. Slevin outlined how the race was run. He said his horse kept responding to the whip. He accepted that some of his whip use in the latter parts of the race may have been in desperation but that he always thought that the horse had a chance of winning. J.J. Slevin also outlined the efforts he has made in recent times to improve his whip style.

In his submission, Kevin Power said that J.J. Slevin accepted that he was in breach of the regulation insofar as it related to the frequency of the whip use and giving the horse time to respond. He said that J.J. Slevin did not accept he used the whip with excessive force in the context of the way the race was run.

In his submission, Paul Murtagh outlined why he believed the appeal should be dismissed.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and ordered that the penalty of 5 racedays (26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 31st December) remain in place. They also ordered that he attend RACE for 1 day’s tuition on the correct use of the whip. In arriving at their decision, they stated that the Stewards could have imposed a higher penalty on J.J. Slevin to reflect his record.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Head of Raceday Operations and Cliodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. J.J. Slevin was represented by Kevin Power, Maurice Power, solicitors, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

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