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M.J.M. O’Sullivan (Rider) Appeal – Gowran Park 25 January 2024

The Appeals Body, Mr. Laurence McFerran (Chairman), Mr. Noel McCaffrey and Mr. John Murphy convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 6 February 2024 to consider the appeal of Michael O’ Sullivan (Rider) following the decision of the Raceday Stewards at Gowran Park on Thursday, 25 January 2024.

Following the running of the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase, the Raceday Stewards found Mr O’Sullivan, rider of Espanito Bello (FR) in breach of Rule 216(ii)(b) in that he failed to pull up his mount when it had no more to give. Having considered his record in this regard the Raceday Stewards suspended Mr O’Sullivan for five racedays.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr O’Sullivan was that the Stewards on the day erred in their decision.

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr O’Sullivan. The Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr O’Sullivan explained that he was satisfied approaching the final fence that his horse was an experienced handicapper who was staying on past horses. Mr. O’Sullivan stated that he would never present a horse to a fence if he did not feel that the horse would be able to jump it. Mr. O’Sullivan said that he was already within the wings of the last fence when the horse decided to shorten his stride and that in hindsight he should have been more assistance to his mount rather than trying to let him pop the fence.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the sanction imposed on the day by the Raceday Stewards. 

The case was presented by Mr Kevin Power of Maurice Power Solicitors, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick on behalf of Mr O’Sullivan. The IHRB was represented by Mr Andrew Ring, IHRB Stipendiary Steward and Ms. Clíodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. 

Suspension Dates: 8, 10, 11, 15 and 17 February


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