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G.N. Fox Appeal – Fairyhouse, 17th December 2011

The Appeals Body (Division Two), John G. Moloney (in the chair),  Sean Barry and J.R. Craigie met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 23rd January 2012 to consider the appeal of G.N. Fox, rider, against the decision of the severity of the ban imposed on him by the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 17th December 2011 when following the running of the New Years Day 2012 At Fairyhouse Handicap Steeplechase, he was suspended for fourteen race days as the Stewards found he had used the whip with excessive frequency.

Evidence was heard from G.N. Fox and P.O. Brady, trainer Saddler’s Native.  Recordings of the race were also reviewed.

In his evidence G.N. Fox accepted that he had used his whip with excessive frequency.

P.O. Brady said that G.N. Fox fully accepted that he had used his whip excessively but felt that the ban was very severe.  He said that he was working with the rider since the penalty was imposed pointing out what he needed to do to improve his whip style.  He said that G.N. Fox was making improvement and that he would be attending RACE regularly for the next few months to get the problem sorted.  He accepted that the rider needed help to rectify the problems that had arisen.  He said that he would give an undertaking that he would “keep an eye” on him.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body was critical of his whip style and felt that it was not good for the image of racing.  They also referred to his disciplinary record, which they described as “poor”. However taking into account the pleas made on Mr. Fox’s behalf by his employer Mr. Brady, they reduced the ban from 14 racedays to 12 racedays (25, 26, 28, 29 January and 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 15 February) to commence with immediate effect.  They also ordered that G.N. Fox attend RACE for 4 days for whip tuition and that RACE should furnish a report on his progress to the Turf Club.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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