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Conor Hoban Appeal – Ballinrobe, 26 May 2014

The Appeals Body (Division One), John Buckley (in the Chair), Mrs. J.O. Onions and J.R. Craigie met at the Stewards Room, Punchestown Racecourse, Co. Kildare on Wednesday 4th June, 2014 to consider an appeal from Conor Hoban, rider, against the severity of the penalties imposed by the Stewards at Ballinrobe on 26th May 2014.  On that date the Stewards found the rider to be in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly on Seeyouallincoppers during the running of the Tipperary Water Handicap and as a result he was suspended for four race days.  He was also found to be in breach of Rule 213 in that he failed to report in the first instance that Seeyouallincoppers was hanging. As a result he was suspended for one race day.

The rider’s grounds of appeal were that, bearing in mind his exemplary record, the penalties imposed were excessive.

Evidence was heard from Conor Hoban and from his Master Michael Halford.  Film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence Conor Hoban said he accepted that he had caused interference.  He attributed this to his horse ducking sharply right as he approached the bend. The sudden manoeuvre gave him little time to take corrective action.  In relation to his failure to report, Conor Hoban said that he hadn’t time to make the report before he was called to the enquiry.  He said he is normally very diligent in making reports.

In his evidence Michael Halford said that the incident was caused by Mr. Hoban’s horse anticipating a gap as the horses approached the bend.  He also referred to the rider’s exemplary disciplinary record.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal on careless riding and ordered that the penalty of four race days stand (June 9th, 11th, 12th & 14th). The Committee, however, allowed the appeal on the severity of the penalty imposed on Mr. Hoban for his failure to report and the sanction imposed was cancelled.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Turf Club Stipendiary Steward.  Conor Hoban was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley, solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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