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Conor McNamara (Rider)/Mount Pelier Referral – Wexford, 29th October, 2018

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Robert Dore (in the chair), Mr. N.P. Lambert and Mr. Michael Hillman    met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Wednesday 28th November 2018, to consider an objection from Mr. Josh Byrne, Registrar of the INHS Committee, under the provisions of Rule 262 (v) (d), to Mount Pelier, winner of the Jim Whitty Memorial (C & G) (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race at Wexford on Monday 29th October, 2018. The objection was lodged on the basis that Conor McNamara, rider, who rode the horse, was not qualified to ride under the conditions of the race.

Evidence was heard from Josh Byrne, Conor McNamara, Alan Fleming, trainer – Mount Pelier and Richard Shaw, Declarations Dept. Horse Racing Ireland (HRI).

In his evidence, Mr Byrne outlined the reasons for his objection and stated that Conor McNamara as the holder of an apprentice jockey’s licence was ineligible to ride under the conditions of the race.

In his evidence, Mr McNamara outlined how he was offered the ride on Mount Pelier and stated that he believed that his national hunt licence entitled him to ride in the race as it stated that he was eligible to ride in Pro Am races. He said he was unaware of the race conditions which precluded him from riding in the race.

In his evidence, Mr Fleming said that as far as he was concerned Mr McNamara was eligible to ride and if he was in any doubt, he would have given the ride to another conditional rider in his yard. He referred to a previous situation where he had booked a rider that was ineligible to ride for a different reason and said that it had been pointed out to him by HRI that the rider was ineligible.

In his evidence, Mr Shaw said that HRI had now amended the relevant computer programme to ensure that it would not now be possible to book an ineligible rider in similar circumstances.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee noted that the conditions of the race did not allow the holder of an apprentice licence to ride in the race. This should have been obvious to the trainer prior to the rider being booked. As such, they found that Mount Pelier was not qualified to run in the race under the provisions of Rule 87(vii)(g) as the rider was not qualified to ride in the race according to the conditions of the race. They disqualified Mount Pelier and ordered that the result of the race be amended to read as follows:

First:                    Acronym

Second:                Fortune Street (FR)

Third:                   Pakens Rock

Fourth:                 Popcorn Sutton

Fifth:                    Sinbad

The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal & Compliance.

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