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W.J. Lee (Rider) Referral – Tipperary 29th August 2019

The Referrals Committee Mr. Laurence McFerran (in the chair), Mr. M.C. Hickey and Mr. N.P. Lambert convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), Co. Kildare on 2nd September 2019 to consider the referral of W.J. Lee (Rider) by the Stewards at Tipperary on 29th August 2019.


On the day, following the running of the Abergwaun Stakes the Stewards wished to interview W.J. Lee, rider of Nitro Boost, concerning his use of the whip in the latter stages of the race.  W.J. Lee accepted that he had three previous breaches of Regulation 10 since the new Whip Regulations came into effect. Having considered the riders acceptance of his disciplinary record in relation to Regulation 10, the Stewards pursuant to Regulation 10.6 referred the matter to the Referrals Committee for consideration.


Evidence was heard from Mr. Lee. The Referrals Committee also viewed footage of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Lee stated that his mount had changed her legs numerous times during the race and also lost a shoe in running as reported by her trainer, Willie McCreery. He added that prior to using his whip, Mr. Lee was aware of Rapid Reaction and Andrew Slattery on his outside and didn’t want to allow his mount to roll out and make contact with Rapid Reaction and therefore his first use of the whip was a safety measure.


Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Lee to be in breach of Regulation R 10.3(g) in that he used his whip with excessive frequency. Considering his record in this regard they imposed a six day suspension.


The case was presented by Liam Walsh, Stewards Secretary and Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance.

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