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S.D. Torrens (Rider) Appeal – Downpatrick 12th June 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Joseph M. McGrath (in the chair), Mr. John Murphy and Mr. N.B. Wachman convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday 14th July 2021 to consider the appeal of Simon Torrens (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Downpatrick on 12th June 2021.


On the day, following the running of the Toals Bookmakers Opportunity Handicap, the Stewards found Mr. Torrens, rider of Everlastingpromise, in breach Rule 208(iii)(a) and (b) and Rule 208(v) in that had failed to obey the Starters’ instructions and suspended him for two racedays.


The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Torrens were that he had attempted to obey the instructions of the Starter.


At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Torrens and the committee also watched a recording of the start of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Torrens explained that his mount was a very difficult horse that he had ridden plenty of times previously in training and as a result he was familiar with the horse. Mr. Torrens stated that he understood why Mr. Joe Banahan, Starter, had reported the riders from this race to the Stewards but he didn’t accept that he was in breach of the rules as he had tried to the best of his ability not to break the start by turning the horse’s head away from the starting tape. He said that he was constantly fearful that his mount might charge at the starting tape due to his characteristics.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were satisfied that Mr. Torrens was in breach of Rule 208(iii)(a) and (b) and Rule 208(v). However, taking into account the circumstances of what occurred, the Appeals Body were of the view that there were some mitigating factors on the day and as a result they reduced the suspension imposed by the Stewards to one raceday and ordered that his deposit be refunded.


The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward.

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