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Pat Smullen Appeal – Dundalk 16 April 2014


The Appeals Body (Division One), Patrick Reidy (in the Chair), Peter Reynolds and N.B. Wachman met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Friday, 25th April 2014 to consider an appeal from Pat Smullen, rider, against the severity of  the Stewards at Dundalk on 16th April 2014.  On that date the Stewards found the rider to be in breach of Rule 214 as he had ridden carelessly on Hellenistic (USA) during the running of the Dundalk Racecourse of the Year Handicap.  As a result he was suspended for two race days.

Evidence was heard from Pat Smullen and from Dermot Weld, trainer of Hellenistic (USA). 

In his evidence Pat Smullen accepted that he was in breach of Rule 214.  He said he was riding a filly that was having only her fourth run which was her first run in a handicap.  He said he was unable to use his whip in his right hand with the result that his filly went right three strides from the finishing line as a result of him using the whip in his left hand.  He said he had no time to take corrective action.  He went on to say that the horse on the outside also caused some interference prior to the incident occurring which didn’t help.

In his evidence, Dermot Weld referred to an injury that the filly received as a yearling which may have contributed to her swerving as violently as she did.  He said she was pinfired for sore shins and that in his view that was a contributory factor.  He also submitted photographs of the injury.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited.  Suspension dates are 4th & 5th May 2014.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Turf Club Stipendiary Steward.  Pat Smullen was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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