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Mr. M.J. O’Connor (Rider) Appeal – Duhallow (F) Kildorrery Point to Point 19th February 2023

The Appeals Body, Mr. Nicholas Wachman (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. Victor Connolly  convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 28th February 2023 to consider the appeal of Mr. Michael O’Connor (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at the Duhallow (F) Kildorrery Point to Point on 19thFebruary 2023.

On the day, following the running of the 6-Y-O & Upwards Geldings Maiden, the Stewards were satisfied that Mr. O’Connor, rider of Dromleigh was in breach of Regulation 32(iv)(2) in that he had ridden carelessly. Having considered the evidence and his record in this regard, the Stewards suspended Mr. O’Connor for two racedays.

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

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. O’Connor and Mr. J.W. Hannon, rider of Dontrushslowtouch and the committee also watched a recording of the incident.

In his evidence, Mr. O’Connor explained that his mount had been hanging throughout the race and on the approach to the last fence he had opted to go to the wide outside so as Mr. Hannon and Dontrushslowtouch were down the inside and he wanted to avoid causing interference. Mr. O’Connor said that his horse was hanging violently to his right but that he felt he was clear of Mr. Hannon’s horse approaching the last fence by two to three lengths. Mr. O’Connor stated that he kept contact with his horse at all times and he was squeezing with his right leg in an effort to stop him from crossing the other horse.

In his evidence, Mr. Hannon stated that he was down the inside of the track and was satisfied that he was going to finish second once he jumped the last fence. Mr. Hannon explained that Mr. O’Connor had gone very wide and came back in approaching the last fence. Mr. Hannon said, in his opinion, Mr. O’Connor had failed to take any measures to straighten his mount and that by taking off at the last fence his mount was at the tail of Mr. O’Connor’s horse and therefore his horse now had no view of the fence and he suffered interference as a result, nearly causing his horse to fall at the final fence.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the suspension of two Point to Point Racedays.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor.

Suspension Dates: 4th & 5th March

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