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James Motherway (Trainer) Appeal – Passport Irregularity - Clonmel, 6th December 2018

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Mr. N.B. Wachman, (in the chair), Mr. John Powell and Mr. John Murphy reconvened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Friday 8th March 2019 to consider the Appeal of James Motherway (Trainer) against the fine imposed on him for a passport irregularity concerning “Dos Gardenias (FR)” at Clonmel on 6th December 2018. The initial hearing of the appeal had been adjourned on the 17th December to allow the Appeals Body seek external legal advice.

On the day, the Stewards fined James Motherway €350 for lodging a passport in respect of “Dos Gardenias (FR)” in which the vaccinations did not confirm with the provisions of Rule 91. The Stewards ordered the withdrawal of “Dos Gardenias (FR)” from the “Next Meeting Thursday January 10th (Q.R) Maiden Hurdle” in accordance with the provisions of Rule 90.

The grounds of Appeal lodged by James Motherway was that in his opinion he had acted in a responsible manner in relation to this alleged irregularity. Mr. Motherway stated that the IHRB Veterinary Officer on the day informed him that the first two vaccination entries on “Dos Gardenias (FR)” passport were not in compliance with the IHRB Rules of Racing. Mr. Motherway advised that these vaccinations were given back in 2013 when the animal was a foal in France.

On 17th December evidence was heard from Mr. Motherway, Mr. Michael Grassick, CEO of the IRTA on behalf of Mr. Motherway and Ms. Nicola O’Connor, IHRB Veterinary Officer.

In his evidence, Mr. Motherway outlined what had occurred on the day. He advised that he had been informed of an issue with the vaccination certification in the passport by Ms. O’Connor but had not been afforded the opportunity to address the Stewards regarding the issue prior to the horse being withdrawn. He stated that the horse had run for a number of years in France and in Britain where the passport had been accepted and was of the opinion that the passport should be accepted by the IHRB. Issues regarding application of correct procedure under the rules and fair procedures were raised by Mr. Patrick Kennedy, solicitor, on behalf of Mr. Motherway and the Appeals Body adjourned to seek assistance in addressing same.

The Parties were provided with the letter of advice received by the Appeals Body in advance of the hearing and afforded the opportunity to make written submissions. Neither party made submissions. On reconvening on 8th March 2019 both parties addressed the Appeals Body on the procedures applied and the application of fair procedures.

Having considered the evidence and all submissions, the Appeals Body found that the correct procedures had been applied and that there had been no denial of fair procedures to the Trainer. On that basis the Appeal was dismissed and the deposit forfeited. 

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

Mr. Motherway was represented by Mr. Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara and Co. Solicitors.

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