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Riders Appeal - East Down (F) 7th March 2020

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair) Mr. M.C. Hickey and Mr. Peter M. Allen convened at Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on 16th September 2020 to consider the Appeal of Mr. L.J. Murphy (Rider), Mr. S. Connor (Rider), Mr. P.G. McGuigan (Rider), Mr. J.C. Gainford (Rider), Mr. J.W. Kenny (Rider), Mr. A. Sinnott (Rider), Mr. B Lawless (Rider), Mr. A. Murphy (Rider), Mr. P.C. Bannon (Rider), Mr. D.N. Nevin (Rider), Mr. A.J. Fox (Rider), Mr. T Reilly (Rider), Mr. N. McParlan (Rider) and Mr. J.W. Hendrick (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at the East Down (F) Tyrella Point to Point fixture on 7th March 2020.


On the day, following the running of the Albert Bartlett 5 & 6 Year-Old Geldings Maiden, the Stewards suspended the aforementioned riders for two Point to Point days having found them in breach of Regulation 30(xi)(a) by attempting to line up for the start before being instructed to do so by the Starter, Regulation 30(xi)(b) by putting a horse into a trot or canter with a view to taking any advantage before the race is started and 30(xii)(b) by failing to comply with any instruction from the starter.


Evidence was heard from Mr. McParlan, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Connor, Mr. McGuigan, Mr. Michael O’Donoghue (IHRB Point to Point Official) and Mr. Craig Caven (Starter) and the Appeals Body also watched a recording of the start of the race.


In their evidence the riders stated that, in their opinion, the false start was caused by a number of the horses in the race being inexperienced and the starting area being a very confined space for the number of runners in this particular race.


In his evidence, Mr. O’Donoghue outlined his role as an IHRB Official on the day and the duties of the other officials at the fixture. He stated that Mr. Caven gave his address to the riders prior to the first race of the day and added that in addition to that, he himself briefed the riders prior to the third race and then attended the start of this race.


In his evidence, Mr. Caven confirmed that he had briefed the riders prior to the first race and stated that he was checking the starting tape as the horses were coming towards him which led him to shout “No, no, no” and raise the red flag for a false start prior to him having an opportunity to call the riders forward.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body, on the balance of probabilities, could not find any error in with the decision of the Stewards on the day and dismissed the appeal. They confirmed the suspension of two days, and ordered that the single deposit be forfeited. .


The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance. The riders were represented by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas Town Centre, Naas, Co Tipperary.


Suspension Dates: 19th and 20th September

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