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S. Foley (Rider) Appeal – The Curragh 14th October 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 1), Ms. Susan Ahern (Independent Chair), Mr. Joseph McGrath and Mr. John Murphy convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Tuesday 26th October to consider the Appeal of Shane Foley (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at The Curragh on 14th October 2021.

On the day, following the running of the Hollywoodbets Now Streaming All Irish Racing Maiden, the Stewards suspended Mr. Foley, rider of Anner Castle, for eight race days having found him in breach of Rule 214, in that he had ridden carelessly. The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Foley was that the Stewards had erred in their decision, and that the penalty imposed was excessive. At the commencement of the appeal hearing, Mr. Andrew Coonan, acting on behalf of Mr. Foley, stated that his client accepted the decision of the Stewards and now only wished to appeal the penalty.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Foley and the Appeals Body also viewed a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Foley explained that he felt the penalty imposed on him was excessive, given that his mount was a nervous animal who was wearing cheekpieces for the first time. Immediately prior to causing interference, Mr. Foley’s mount was reacting to the movements of a horse on his inside, and in his opinion, he had taken timely steps to correct his mount, however, he accepted that he should not have used his whip on a second occasion.

With regards to penalty imposed, Mr. Coonan explained that Mr. Foley’s disciplinary record of five race days and three race days imposed consecutively on the 11th of September 2021 at Leopardstown, led the Stewards to believe that an incremental penalty should be imposed, however this was not the case.

Having considered the evidence, Ms. Susan Ahern read out the following decision on behalf of the Appeals Body.

‘The Appeals Body has considered the Appeal of Shane Foley who was subject to a decision of the Stewards at the Curragh on the 14th October 2021, arising from the 4th race that being the Hollywoodbets Now Streaming All Irish Racing Maiden.

The decision of the Stewards was appealed on the basis that the sanction of 8 race days imposed was excessive in the circumstances.

Having considered the evidence from Mr. Foley and his Counsel including a review of the race and mitigating elements, the Appeals Body determines that:

  • The careless riding incident in question was serious in nature and warranted a penalty at the top end of the Penalty Guidelines, which ranges from a caution to 9 race days and considered that the entry point of 8 race days was appropriate,
  • The Appeals Body considers that insufficient account was taken by the Stewards of the rider’s disciplinary record, and further that the sequence in which that disciplinary record was reported to the Stewards may have created the impression that they were incremental in nature, going from 3 days to 5 days, where the opposite was in fact the case.

Consequently, the Appeals Body determines that for mitigating purposes a deduction of 2 race days should be afforded to the Rider.

Therefore, the decision of the Appeals Body is that the Rider should be apportioned a penalty of 6 race days.’

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward. Mr. Foley was represented by Mr. Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, County Kildare.

Suspension dates: 29th and 31st October, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th November 2021

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