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Brian Hayes (Rider) Referral - Galway, 9th September 2015


The Referrals Committee Laurence McFerran (in the chair), Martin P. O’Donnell and Neville O’Byrne met at Leopardstown Racecourse on Sunday, 17th January 2016, to consider whether or not Brian Hayes (rider), was in breach of any Rules as a result of him failing to make any post race report following his ride on Vermout Fougeray (FR) in the Mervue Maiden Hurdle at Galway on 9th September 2015.

Subsequently at an appeal hearing on 22nd October 2015 concerning a fellow rider, Brian Hayes stated to the Appeals Body that he had ridden Vermout Fougeray (FR) at Galway on 9th September 2015 and that the horse was “a very difficult ride, always hanging” and when he passed the stable yard at Galway the horse “veered violently off to the left”. He also stated to the Appeals Body that Vermout Fougeray (FR) “kind of made a direct line” for the stable yard and that “he had to be quite aggressive with him to get him back to the running rail again”. None of these facts had been reported to the Stewards at Galway. As a result the matter was referred to the Referrals Committee for further consideration by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.

Evidence was heard from Denis Egan and Brian Hayes. The Committee considered an extract of Brian Hayes’s evidence from a transcript of the appeal hearing on 22nd October 2015 and film of the race at Galway on 9th September 2015. The Committee further considered a number of submissions from Andrew Coonan.

In his evidence Denis Egan outlined what occurred both prior to and at the appeal hearing and how Brian Hayes presented his evidence, he also outlined how the matter was referred.

In his evidence Brian Hayes said he was aware of his obligations under Rule 213 to report anything that might have affected the horse’s running at Galway. He said he made no report as he didn’t think anything that happened in the race affected the horse’s performance on the day or its finishing position. In response to questions from Paul Murtagh, Brian Hayes accepted his mount did hang throughout the race.

In his submission Andrew Coonan outlined the background to Brian Hayes being called to give evidence at the appeal hearing on 22nd October which he said was at the request of the Turf Club. He said that Brian Hayes was now being charged with a rule breach as a result of evidence he gave at the appeal and questioned the validity of this. He further submitted that Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, did not have power under Rule 26 to refer this matter. In his summing up Andrew Coonan accepted that the evidence given by Brian Hayes at the appeal hearing was overstated and that he had done this to assist a colleague in an appeal.

Having considered the evidence the Committee found that the Chief Executive, in his capacity as a Senior Racing Official, did have the power to refer the matter to the Referrals Committee. The Referrals Committee also found that Brian Hayes was in breach of Rule 213 because of his own evidence at the appeal where he stated that the horse was “always hanging” and this was a matter that should have been reported. Having taken into account Brian Hayes’s previous record, he was suspended for three race days January 31st, February 3rd and 4th 2016.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stipendiary Steward. Brian Hayes was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co Kildare.

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