Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Integrity Portal

Colm O’Donoghue (Rider) Appeal Listowel – 14th September 2016


The Appeals Body (Division Two), N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Robert Dore and John Murphy met in the Stewards Room, Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare on Sunday, 9th October 2016 to consider the appeal of Colm O’Donoghue (rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Listowel on 14th September 2016. On the day, following the running of The Exchange Inn Ballybunion and Kevin Broderick’s Bar Listowel Handicap, the stewards found him to be in breach of Rule 211 for failing to keep straight to the marker poles and Rule 214 for careless riding. As a result he was suspended for two race days – one for each offence.

His grounds of appeal were that he took all care and attention to ensure his horse was clear when he crossed over after the start and that he did not ride carelessly.

Evidence was heard from Colm O’Donoghue and Conor Hoban, rider (also involved in the incident). Film of the race was reviewed. Film of other races at Listowel on 14th September and Limerick on 3rd October 2016 were also reviewed.

In his evidence Colm O’Donoghue accepted that he did not keep a straight line to the marker poles but stressed that he had taken care and attention when crossing over so as not to cause interference by looking across on a number of occasions during the manoeuvre.

With regard to the careless riding incident he stated that when he manoeuvered across, he steadied the pace causing Conor Hoban’s mount to check. The check was not as a result him riding in a careless fashion but because Conor Hoban’s mount had lit up when other horses came alongside her. He said he took all reasonable steps to avoid causing interference.

In his evidence Conor Hoban said that his filly was running in a handicap for the first time and was pushed along in the early stages of the race to hold her position. He said he shouted at Colm O’Donoghue to go on but his mount suddenly lit up when other horses came up beside her, causing him to check the filly, rather than Colm O’Donoghue’s action.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal against a breach of Rule 211 and confirmed the suspension of one race day (October 14th). In arriving at their decision the Appeals Body were of the opinion that Mr O’Donoghue’s appeal was bordering on being frivolous suggesting the penalty could have been far greater.

The Appeals Body allowed the appeal for a breach of Rule 214 adjudging Mr O’Donoghue had taken all reasonable steps to avoid causing interference. They ordered that his deposit be returned.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stewards Secretary.

Copyright © 2018, I.H.R.B, All Rights Reserved.