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Tote Apprentice Handicap – Ballinrobe, 24th July 2017 Referral

The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), John McStay and Roderick Ryan met at the Stewards Room, Leopardstown Racecourse on Thursday, 17th August 2017 to enquire into an incident which occurred in the Tote Apprentice Handicap at Ballinrobe on 24th July 2017 where Grandma Dotty, ridden by Ross Coakley fell and brought down Mallory Heights.

The Stewards at Ballinrobe were unable to conclude an enquiry into the matter, as Ross Coakley was injured and unable to attend the enquiry. As a result the matter was referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive.

Evidence was heard from Ross Coakley, Donagh O’Connor, rider Mallory Heights, Sean Davis, rider Repare Mon, Killian Leonard, rider Whats The Plot and Conor McGovern, rider High Kicker. The Committee also reviewed a transcript of evidence given at the original enquiry, as well as film footage of the incident.

In his evidence Ross Coakley attributed the fall to general bunching which occurred when the pace was steadied, with the result that the field got tightly packed. He said his filly had nowhere to go and came down. He also said that the fall was nothing to do with the road crossing or the track. In conclusion he said he said that no one was to blame for the fall.

The evidence given by the other riders corroborated the evidence given by Ross Coakley.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found that Grandma Dotty stumbled independently as a result of the field tightening up and that no one was to blame for what occurred. Therefore no further action was necessary.

The case was presented by Hugh Hynes, Stewards Secretary.

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