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J.P. Spencer (Rider) Appeal – The Curragh 1st July 2023

The Appeals Body, Mr. N.B. Wachman (Chair), Mr. Peter Law and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 11th July 2023 to consider the appeal of Jamie Spencer (Rider) following the decision of the Raceday Stewards at The Curragh on Saturday, 1st July 2023.

Following the running of Pretty Polly Stakes, the Raceday Stewards found Mr. Spencer, rider of Via Sistina, in breach of Rule 214  in that he had ridden carelessly and having considered his record in this regard they suspended him for six racedays.

The appeal lodged by Mr. Spencer was against the severity of the sanction imposed. 

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

In his evidence, Mr. Spencer confirmed that it was always his intention to give his mount plenty of room on the outside so that she could get rolling and get into top stride, as the way the track was riding on the day with a strong tail wind and drying conditions were making it difficult to make up ground. Mr. Spencer outlined that he had partnered Via Sistina five times and this was the first time that she had ever leaned to the right. Mr. Spencer suggested that as her other runs were on softer ground that once the pace increased it was possibly the drier ground that had caused her to lean right on this occasion. Mr. Spencer explained that he put his weight onto his left rein and used his whip for two corrective measures down the shoulder while keeping her off the other horses as best as he could. Mr. Spencer stated that safety is paramount to him and that his intention was to prevent interference and his body language proved that. He concluded that it was his opinion there was nothing else he could do to keep his filly any straighter.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the suspension imposed on the day.

Mr. Spencer was represented by Stephen Lanigan O’Keefe S.C, instructed by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors. The IHRB was represented by Ms. Clíodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance and Mr. Colman Sweeney, IHRB Stipendiary Steward.

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