Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Integrity Portal

Paul Gilligan (Trainer) and Jack G. Gilligan (Rider) Appeals – Cork 9th April 2023

The Appeals Body, Ms. Susan Ahern (Chair), Mr. Robert Dore and Dr. Tom McDonogh convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday 26th April 2023 to consider the appeals of Paul Gilligan (Trainer) and Jack G. Gilligan (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Cork on Sunday 9th April 2023 to fine Paul Gilligan €2000, suspend Jack G. Gilligan for 12 racedays and forfeit his riding fee, and to suspend Bobbisilver for 42 days.

On the day, following the running of the O’ Flynn Motors Mallow (Mares) Maiden Hurdle, the Raceday Stewards enquired into the Running and Riding of Bobbisilver. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence the Raceday Stewards found both Paul Gilligan and Jack Gilligan in breach of Rule 212A(ii) in that they failed to obtain from the horse a timely, real and substantial effort to obtain the best possible place.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Paul Gilligan and Jack Gilligan was that the Stewards on the day erred in their decisions.

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Jack Gilligan and Paul Gilligan and the committee also watched a recording of the race.

Jack Gilligan stated that this was his first time to ride Bobbisilver in a race, that he had ridden her at home and she had caused no problems at home prior to this race. Jack Gilligan added that the mare ran well in the early stages of this race but in the home straight she lugged in and out behind horses. Following the running of the race, Mr. Gilligan said that he thought that the mare was lugging due to running green, however he is now of the opinion that she had done so due to the issues highlighted following veterinary examination post-race.

Paul Gilligan provided a Veterinary certificate from Cork Racecourse Veterinary surgeon, Mr. Eamon Halton. Mr. Halton’s certificate was produced following a scope at Cork Racecourse which indicated the highest possible score for tracheal mucus. Further reports provided from the Irish Equine Centre and VPG Cork demonstrated evidence of Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage and severe equine asthma. Paul Gilligan further stated that he was disappointed with how the mare had run considering her previous win in a point to point in March, but he is now of the opinion that the mare was sick and had run below expectations.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body delivered the following decision:

“The Panel has had an opportunity to consider all of the evidence and to make a determination. In relation to the appeal by both Jack Gilligan and Paul Gilligan arising out of the Stewards Decision from the O’ Flynn Motors Mallow Mares Maiden Hurdle of the 9th April 2023, which found both parties in breach of Rule 212A, this panel has determined that the appeal for both of the Appellants should be allowed. The Veterinary evidence is overwhelming, and the Committee are of the view that had the Stewards on the day been in receipt of this evidence they would not have come to the decision that they did, and as a consequence of the overwhelming nature of the Veterinary evidence this panel considered it was not necessary to go further and pronounce separately on the Running and Riding issue.”


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

Jack Gilligan was represented by Mr. Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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