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P.K. Donovan (Rider) Appeal – Roscommon 8th June 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. M.C. Hickey (in the chair), Mr. N.P. Lambert and Mr. John McEnery convened at Wexford Racecourse on Wednesday 16th June 2021 to consider the appeal of P.K. Donovan (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Roscommon on Tuesday 8th June 2021.

On the day, following the running of the first division of the Roscommon Racecourse Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, the Stewards found Mr. Donovan, rider of Sonny John, in breach of Rule 208(v)(b) in that he had disobeyed the Starters instructions and having considered his record suspended him for one raceday.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Donovan were that the Stewards on the day erred in their decision.

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Donovan. The committee also watched a recording of the race which included audio from the Starter.

In his evidence, Mr. Donovan stated that he was not responsible for causing the false start but accepted that he continued to approach the start despite hearing the Starter asking all the riders not to. He said that there was 10 runners abreast in front of him and he that he was one of the first riders to pull his mount up once it became clear that the race was not about to start. Mr. Donovan said that he had allowed his mount to go into a rising trot in an effort to keep his mount relaxed despite the Starter asking all the Riders to walk and he continued going forward in case the Starter would start the race.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were satisfied that Mr. O’Donovan was in breach of Rule 208(v)(b) in that, by his own admission, he had disobeyed the Starters instructions on the day and therefore they dismissed the appeal.

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward.

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