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Andrew Lynch (Rider) Appeal Punchestown, 18th November 2017

The Appeals Body, (Division One), Mr. Justice Joseph Finnegan, (in the chair), Michael Hickey and Colin Magnier met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, 29th November 2017 to consider the appeal of Andrew Lynch, Rider, against the decision of the Stewards at Punchestown on 18th November 2017.

On the day, following the running of the Luna Bar Supporting Cavan GAA 3-Y-O Hurdle, the Stewards received a report from the Clerk of the Scales, Hugh Hynes, that Andrew Lynch, rider of Famous Milly, in the above race had weighed in at 1.2lbs overweight which was 0.7lbs higher than the weight he weighed out at.

The Stewards had heard from Andrew Lynch who stated that his colours and equipment had collected an amount of soil during the race as he had ridden in amongst the other runners. Hugh Hynes had stated that the other riders had weighed in in accordance with the rules. Having considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that Andrew Lynch was in breach of Rule 231 and suspended him for one raceday, having taken his previous record into consideration.

The grounds of appeal lodged were that on the day in question Andrew Lynch was not under any pressure to do the weight allocated to his horse but that during the course of the race, bearing in mind the weather conditions, and the position of his horse throughout the race, his colours and equipment picked up additional water and dirt, which he believed led to the result on the scale when he returned to weigh back in.

The Appeals Body considered a number of submissions from Andrew Coonan, on behalf of Andrew Lynch. They also considered the transcript of the original enquiry, viewed video footage of the race and pictures of Andrew Lynch both before and after the race in his racing silks.

In his submission, Andrew Coonan said the reason for the overweight was due to the amount of dirt on his riding silks which occurred as a result of Andrew Lynch riding his horse in the middle of other horses during the race. He said that all the other horses who finished placed had been ridden up front during the race with the result that their riders were not subjected to kick back. Mr. Coonan also made reference to other weighing in weights on the day from other races.

The Appeals Body also considered a submission from Cliodhna Guy who pointed out that none of the other five riders in the race had weighed in more than 0.1lbs overweight. She also made reference to the weights that the riders had weighed in at in other races.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and the suspension of one raceday stands (2nd December 2017). They agreed that the appeal deposit of €500 should be refunded in the circumstances.

The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. Andrew Lynch was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley, Solicitors, Naas, Co Kildare.

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