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P Townend (Rider) Appeal - Punchestown 3 May 2024

The Appeals Body, Mr Robert Dore (Chairman), Mr N.B. Wachman and Mr Raymond J. McSharry convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Friday, 17 May to consider the appeal of Paul Townend (Rider) against the decision of the Raceday Stewards at Punchestown on Friday, 3 May 2024.

Following the running of the Boodles Champion Hurdle, the Raceday Stewards found Mr Townend, rider of State Man, in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly and having considered his record in this regard they suspended him for four racedays.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr Townend was that the Raceday Stewards on the day erred in their decision.

At the appeal hearing, evidence was heard from Mr Townend. The Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr Townend explained that due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control he had failed to give sufficient evidence at the initial Stewards Enquiry. Mr Townend gave details of how a combination of post-race interviews and presentations as well as another Stewards Enquiry led to a delay in this Enquiry taking place. Once this Enquiry commenced, it was then adjourned on a number of occasions and therefore, he felt he hadn't given a proper account of what had happened. Mr Townend suggested that Mr Kennedy's mount had drifted left at the last hurdle, something which he hadn't done throughout the race. Furthermore, Mr Townend said that at the back of the last Hurdle, Mr Kennedy opted to switch to his outside and it was at this point he clipped a heel rather than because of movement from his mount, State Man. Mr Townend accepted that while his horse shifted right throughout the race, he felt he did everything he could to prevent his horse from interfering with Mr Kennedy and Irish Point.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the Appeal and confirmed the suspension imposed by the Raceday Stewards.

The Appeal was presented by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley solicitors Naas Co. Kildare on behalf of Mr Townend. The IHRB was represented by Mr Paul Murtagh, INHSC Registrar & IHRB Head of Raceday Operations and Ms Clíodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance.

Suspension Dates: 23, 24, 27, 28 May            

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