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D.W. O’Connor (Rider), R.C. Colgan (Rider), J.A. Heffernan (Rider) and N.M. Crosse (Rider) Referral – Cork 17th August 2019

The Referrals Committee Mr. Laurence McFerran (in the chair), Mr. M.C. Hickey and Mr. N.P. Lambert convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), Co. Kildare on 2nd September 2019 to consider the referrals of D.W. O’Connor (Rider), R.C. Colgan (Rider), J.A. Heffernan (Rider) and N.M. Crosse (Rider) by the Stewards at Cork on 17th August 2019.


On the day, following the running of the Matchbook Irish EBF Maiden, the Stewards wished to interviewD.W. O’Connor, rider of Unconscious Mind, R.C. Colgan, rider of Chica Boom Boom, J.A. Heffernan, rider of Lampetia and N.M. Crosse, rider Lequinto, where it appeared that Lampetia ran short of room and checked and Unconscious Mind fell. On the day, evidence was heard from the available riders concerned, however as Mr. O’Connor was not available for this enquiry due to injury, the Stewards referred the matter to the Referrals Committee for further investigation.


At the Referral evidence was heard from Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Colgan, Mr. Heffernan and Mr. Crosse. The Referrals Committee also viewed footage of the race.  


In his evidence, Mr. O’Connor admitted that he could recall the field had raced in two groups and he was conscious of horses from the group on his inside coming over towards his mount but didn’t think that they would come the whole way across. He said that he subsequently ran short of room and his mount came down.


Mr. Colgan added that he had travelled well on his mount with plenty of room until the group on the inside had veered over and then room had become tight. He added that he was forced to take a pull in this instance.


Mr. Heffernan said that he was drawn in the centre of the track and that he had continued to race up the centre. He added that he made an effort to overtake Mr. Crosse on Lequinto and as he was overtaking him Mr. Crosse began to use his whip in his right hand. Mr. Heffernan stated that he let a shout at Mr. Crosse but was still forced to take a pull and as a result Mr. O’Connor on Unconscious Mind clipped heels and was brought down.


Mr. Crosse gave details of his mount and stated that he had not been the most straightforward prior to this run. He added that he was using his whip as his mount was tiring and also as horses from his inside were veering across. Mr. Crosse also added that he stopped using his whip when he felt his mount veer to the left.


Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Crosse to be in breach of Rule 214(i)(a) in that he ridden dangerously. Considering his record in this regard they imposed a 14 day suspension, ordered that Mr. Crosse forfeit his riding fee and disqualified Lequinto from the race.


The case was presented by Liam Walsh, Stewards Secretary and Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance.

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