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Declan Queally (Trainer), B.J. Foley (Rider), Cloudy Morning Referral – Gowran Park, 11th March 2017


The Referrals Committee, Sean Barry, (in the chair), P.J.A. O’Connor and Philip McLernon, met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, 10th May 2017 to consider the referral of Declan Queally, trainer, and B.J. Foley, rider following an appeal hearing at the Turf Club on 27th March 2017. On the day, the appeals of Declan Queally and B.J. Foley against the decision of the stewards at Gowran Park on 11th March 2017 to penalise both for breaches of Rule 212A(ii) were allowed. However, evidence given on the day indicated that there may have been a breach of Rule 212A(iii). When the Appeals Body placed the alternative charge before Declan Queally and B.J. Foley, it was objected to by their legal representative, on the basis that they were not prepared to meet the alternative charge because adequate notice was not given and there was no option of an appeal if there was an adverse finding. As a result the alternative charge was referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club under Rule 19A8(i)(b).

Evidence was heard from B.J. Foley and Declan Queally. The Referrals Committee also considered transcripts of the original enquiry at Gowran Park on 11th March and the Appeal hearing on 27th March. Film of the race was also viewed.

At the outset, following a number of submissions from Kevin Power, the Referrals Committee accepted that Cloudy Morning had obtained its best possible placing at Gowran Park on 11th March 2017. They accepted this on the basis of the decision of the Appeals Body in relation to the original appeals lodged against the breach of Rule 212 A(ii).

In his evidence B.J. Foley outlined how he rode the horse and said he didn’t use his whip as there was no reason to do so, as his horse was doing his best. He confirmed the instructions were to jump off, take your time, get the horse into a good rhythm and ride the race as it was presented. He denied that the run was a schooling run.

In his evidence Declan Queally confirmed the instructions given to B.J. Foley. He said his primary objective on the day was to win prizemoney in view of the arrangements with the owner under which the horse was trained. He said the horse was doing his best and that if he wanted to school a horse he would school it over a much shorter trip and over less fences.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee found there was insufficient evidence to find a breach of Rule 212 A(iii).

The case was presented by Louise Reilly, BL. Instructed by Cliodhna Guy, solicitor. Declan Queally and B.J. Foley were represented by Kevin Power, solicitor, Maurice Power, Solicitors, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. Pat Reidy, Reidy Stafford Solicitors, Newbridge, Co. Kildare acted as legal assessor.

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