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Mr. J.W. Hannon (Rider) Referral – Duhallow (F) Kildorrery Point to Point 19th February 2023

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Robert Dore (in the chair), Mr. John Murphy and Mr. Noel McCaffrey  convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 28th February 2023 to consider the referral of Mr. James Hannon (Rider) following an incident after the 6-Y-O & Upwards Geldings Maiden.

Following an investigation by a Senior Racing Official into an apparent physical altercation between Mr. Hannon and Mr. M.J. O’Connor, the matter was referred to the Referrals Committee for consideration.

At the Referral Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Hannon, rider of Dontrushslowtouch and Mr. O’Connor, rider of Dromleigh. The committee also watched a recording of the incident.

In his evidence, Mr. Hannon stated that he was going down to the last fence aboard his mount Dontrushslowtouch when Dromleigh, ridden by Mr. O’Connor, crossed him almost causing his mount to fall. Mr. Hannon explained that he was angered by this manoeuvre and felt that Mr. O’Connor could have made more of an effort to straighten his mount and that the emotion of the situation took over. Mr. Hannon accepted that he exchanged words with Mr. O’Connor and grabbed his shoulder to reiterate that he had almost caused his mount to fall. Mr. Hannon described the incident as regrettable.

In his evidence, Mr. O’Connor said that he was surprised by Mr. Hannon’s actions as they were both senior riders and were good friends for many years. Mr. O’Connor added that he was unsure of why Mr. Hannon was so upset as he felt he had jumped the last fence two to three lengths ahead of Mr. Hannon’s horse.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Hannon in breach of Regulation 22(xv) in that he had acted in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing and suspended him for 21 Point to Point Racedays.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor.

Suspension Dates: 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th March, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 30thApril, 1st, 6th, 7th and 14th May.

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