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S.F. O’Keeffe (Rider) Appeal – Kilbeggan 17th July 2020

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair) Mr. John Moloney and Dr. Colm O’Flaherty convened at Galway Racecourse on 27th July 2020 to consider the Appeal of S.F. O’Keeffe (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at Kilbeggan on 17th June 2020.


On the day, following the running of the Tullamore Beginners Chase, the Stewards found Mr. O’Keeffe in breach of Rule 212(A), in that he had eased his mount without good reason before the finishing line, and they suspended him for two racedays and ordered him to forfeit his riding fee. The grounds of the appeal lodged by Mr. O’Keeffe was that the Stewards erred in their decision on the day as he did not ease his mount before the finishing line.


Evidence was heard from Mr. O’Keeffe and the Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. O’Keeffe outlined that his mount, Blaze A Trail (IRE), was a free going horse who raced keenly for the first circuit of this race. He stated that the horse was beginning to get tired from the road crossing adjacent to the stable yard on the final circuit of the race and with this in mind Mr. O’Keeffe said he gave the horse every chance to finish the race but following a tired jump at the last fence Blaze A Trail was no longer responding to his urgings and he therefore just cajoled him to the finishing line before being overtaken by Darragh O’Keeffe on Dasmyhoss (IRE) just at the line. Mr O’Keeffe insisted that he could not have maintained sixth position and that Dasmyhoss (IRE) passed him despite also being eased down in the closing stages and this was as a result of Blaze A Trail (IRE) being tired in the latter stages of the race rather than him mistaking the finishing line.  


Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body determined that Mr. O’Keeffe was not in breach of any rule and allowed the appeal.


The case was presented by Ms Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance. Mr. O’Keeffe was represented by Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas Town Centre, Naas, Co Tipperary.

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