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Paul Carberry Appeal - Down Royal, 2 Nov 2012

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), John Powell and Philip Caffrey met at the Stewards Room, Naas Racecourse, Co. Kildare on 10th November 2012, to consider an appeal lodged by Paul Carberry, rider of Johannisberger, against the severity of the ban imposed by the Stewards at Down Royal on 2nd November 2012, following the running of The Porter & Co. Beginners Steeplechase, where he was found to be in breach of Rule 212(a)(i), for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse was given a full opportunity to win or of obtaining the best possible placing.

Evidence was heard Paul Carberry and Noel Meade, trainer of Johannisberger.  The Appeals Body also considered written evidence from Ger Kelly, veterinary surgeon.  Film recordings of the race were also viewed, as were recordings of the horse’s previous run at Limerick on 14th October 2012.

In his evidence Paul Carberry said that Johannisberger made a noise during the race and that he was trying to hold on to him for as long as he could.  He said his horse was tired coming to the last and made a bad mistake there.  He said the horse had nothing to give on the run in and the more he pushed the slower his horse got.  He accepted that he eased up close to the line for a few strides before pushing the horse again but he said he couldn’t be certain that his horse would have been third even if he had kept pushing. He also referred to the horse’s previous run at Limerick and said that he ran the same way there producing nothing when the pressure was applied.

In his evidence Noel Meade said that the horse has had two wind operations and that he doesn’t produce much when he comes under pressure. He said the horse has reduced airway capacity and his respiratory function is compromised.  In his view the horse was “out on his feet” when he made a mistake at the last and that he couldn’t be sure that his rider easing up for a few strides on the run in made any difference.  He said that his rider had done everything he could to get his horse to the line.

The written evidence from Ger Kelly confirmed the evidence given by Noel Meade with regard to the surgery and reduced airway capacity.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body noted that there was additional evidence available to them today that was not available to the Stewards at Down Royal, namely the evidence given by Noel Meade and Ger Kelly in relation to the horse’s veterinary difficulties including his compromised airway capacity and film recording of the horse’s previous run at Limerick. They accepted that Paul Carberry was doing his best to look after the horse in difficult circumstances and that the rule breach that occurred merited a penalty at the lower end of the scale. As such they allowed the appeal and reduced the penalty imposed from 5 race days to 3 race days (November 17th, 20th and 21st).

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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