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J.G. Gilligan (Rider) Appeal – Navan 18th September 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Sean Barry (in the chair) Mr. John Murphy and Mr. Peter M. Allen convened at Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Thursday, 7th October 2021 to consider the Appeal of J.G. Gilligan (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Navan on 18th September 2021.

On the day, following the running of the BarOneRacing (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race, the Stewards were satisfied Mr. Gilligan was in breach of Regulation 10.3(b) in that he has used his whip unnecessarily when his chance of being placed had clearly gone. Furthermore, in light of the fact the Stewards received a report from the IHRB veterinary officer that the horse was found to be clinically abnormal, post-race, the Stewards were also of the opinion that Mr. Gilligan was in breach of Rule 272(i) and suspended him for 10 racedays. The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Gilligan was that the Stewards had erred in their decision.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Gilligan, Ms. Sarah Ross, IHRB Veterinary Officer and the Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Gilligan informed the panel that his instructions from Mr. Finn, trainer of Shamrock’n Roll, were to get a good start and build up a 20 length advantage on the field as this horse would keep galloping and he may be able to catch the other riders asleep. Mr. Gilligan stated that his mount was difficult at all times from the parade ring down to the start and he was unseated by the horse prior to the start of the race. He confirmed he was able to carry out the instructions of the trainer by getting a sizeable lead at the start of the race because the horse had been very free going. Mr. Gilligan confirmed that his mount start to come back to the remainder of the field approaching the turn into the home straight and he had attempted to keep him up to his work as the trainer had said he would keep galloping. Mr. Gilligan accepted his mount was feeling the pinch at this stage but didn’t accept his chance was gone as the trainer said he would stay well.

In her evidence, Ms. Ross explained that she examined the horse at the request of the Stewards and found an irregular cardiac rhythm consistent with atrial fibrillation. She stated that the horse had a higher heart rate than normal at all stages of her examination and that the horse appeared agitated during her examination.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body were satisfied that Mr. Gilligan was in breach of Regulation 10.3(b), however, they could not be satisfied that he was in breach of Rule 272(i) and therefore reduced the suspension to six racedays.

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward and Mr. Gilligan was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, County Tipperary.

Dates Of Suspension: 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 21st October

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