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S.D. Torrens (Rider) Appeal – Galway 31st July 2020

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair) Mr. John Powell and Mr. Noel McCaffrey convened at Tipperary Racecourse on 11th August 2020 to consider the Appeal of S.D. Torrens (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Galway on 31st July 2020.


On the day, following the running of the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle, the Stewards found Mr. Torrens in breach of Regulation 10.3(c), in that he had used his whip unnecessarily once his race was won, and they suspended him for two racedays. The grounds of the appeal lodged by Mr. Torrens was that the Stewards erred in their decision.


Evidence was heard from Mr. Torrens, Mervyn Torrens (Trainer) and the Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.


In his evidence, Simon Torrens outlined the instructions he received from Ray Hackett, trainer of Nibblers Charm (IRE). He stated that his mount wore cheek-pieces due to his tendency to be lazy if hitting the front and that because of this Mr. Hackett had instructed him to keep momentum up on Nibblers Charm (IRE) if he happened to hit the front. Mr. Torrens added that he could hear horses around him approaching the last and again after the last so he used his whip to keep his mount going forward and when his mount started to drift across the track he again used his whip twice more to encourage him to the finish line and it was only after pulling up that he realised that the horse he could hear in the closing stages was riderless. Mr. Torrens concluded by stating that he is not a rider who looks around needlessly as it is a move that can sometimes unbalance horse and rider.


In his evidence, Mervyn Torrens informed the panel that he was Simon’s uncle and that Simon had begun his riding career with him. He recalled his experiences of riders looking around on horses and losing races as a result and stated that this was something he had always discouraged Simon to do.


Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body could not find any error with the decision of the Stewards on the day as they were also of the opinion that Mr. Torrens was in breach of Regulation 10.3(c), in that he had used his whip five times when his race was won and they confirmed the suspension of two racedays. They ordered that the deposit be forfeited.


The case was presented by Mr. Paul Murtagh, INHSC Registrar. Mr. Torrens was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary.


Suspension Dates: 14th and 16th August 2020

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