Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Integrity Portal

Mr. L.P. Gilligan (Rider) Appeal – Limerick 1st December 2020 – Reconvened

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Peter Law (in the chair) Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. N.B. Wachman convened at Naas Racecourse on 2nd March 2021 to consider the Appeal of Mr. L.P. Gilligan (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Limerick on 1st December 2020.

On the day, following the running of the John Thomas McNamara Series (QR) Handicap Hurdle, the Stewards suspended Mr. Gilligan for 10 racedays having found him in breach of Rule 212A(ii), in that his mount, Oneknightmoreihope, was not seen to be the subject of timely, real and substantial effort to achieve its best possible placing and that the rider had not been seen to make the efforts required by this sub-rule.

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

When the Appeals Body initially convened on 14th December 2020, Mr. Patrick Kennedy, solicitor, on behalf of Mr. Gilligan, made a number of submissions with regard to the fairness of Rule 212. As a result of these submissions, the Appeals Body adjourned the matter to enable both parties to make further submissions and it was agreed that these submissions would be considered by a different panel of the Appeals Body. Subsequently, the Appeals Body (Division 2), Mr. Justice Raymond Groarke (in the chair), Mr. Peter Law and Mrs. Justice Siobhan Keegan convened via Zoom on 29th January 2021 to consider these submissions. Having considered the submissions with regard to the fairness of the rule, the Appeals Body found that they could not support the argument made by the Appellant which is effectively to strike down part of the Rules as unfair, unreasonable and irrational. The Appeals Body also found the Appellants complaints of the Rules themselves being Ultra Vires and in breach of contract must also fail.

At the reconvened Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Gilligan, Mr. Jack Gilligan, Rider, and submissions from Mr. Noel Glynn, Trainer, and Mr. Simon Torrens, Rider. The panel also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Liam Gilligan stated that his horse finished in the best possible position on the day. He said it wouldn’t have been possible for his mount, Oneknightmoreihope, to have beaten the winner. He described his mount as being quirky during his races and that he had to nurse the horse along by running the bit through his mouth, changing his hands and squeezing with his legs from the third last hurdle. He noted that the horse had a very high head carriage and he went no quicker to the line once asked for more of an effort. He stated that Oneknightmoreihope’s trainer, Mr. Glynn, was very pleased with the ride on the day and if any person watching the race looked at the previous runs of the horse they would be very satisfied with the ride on this occasion and understand he achieved his best possible place. He concluded that since the horse won his next start at Naas, he has since gone back to his old way of running and disappointing connections.


In his evidence, Mr. Jack Gilligan described the characteristics of the horse. He said he rode him for the first time when winning on him in Naas on 14th December and was well briefed by Liam Gilligan on how to ride him. He said the horse seemed to relish the application of cheek pieces for the first time on this occasion but he had a high head carriage and wasn’t an easy ride.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were not satisfied that Mr. Gilligan was in breach of Rule 212(a)(ii) and they allowed the Appeal.


The case was presented by Ms Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance. Mr. Gilligan was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Copyright © 2018, I.H.R.B, All Rights Reserved.