Result of an appeal (A McNamara) and an enquiry (R Hannon Jnr) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 26 May

26 May 2016

Adam McNamara


1. On 26 May 2016, the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) heard an appeal brought by Adam McNamara, the rider of SPRING OFFENSIVE (IRE), against the decision by the Ripon Stewards to find him in breach of Rule (B)54.1 and to suspend him for 3 days for careless riding in the Ripon, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse Handicap Stakes on 15 May 2016.


2. As always, the Disciplinary Panel approached this type of appeal as a re-hearing. Adam McNamara was represented by Rory Mac Neice and the BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams.  Shelley Birkett, the rider of STEEL TRAIN (FR) was also in attendance.


3. At the beginning of the enquiry Mr Williams, on behalf of the BHA, addressed the Panel and informed them that on the day of the incident it was apparent to the Stipendiary Steward that McNamara was upset when required to attend the enquiry. The BHA Operating Procedure should have been followed and McNamara, as a 7lb claimer, should have been given the opportunity to be accompanied in the enquiry, in fact it should have been encouraged. The BHA therefore asked the Panel to place no weight whatsoever on the enquiry transcript and that the matter should be dealt with by themselves in a fresh manner.


4. Mr Mac Neice addressed the Panel to state that the BHA Operating Procedures for 7lb claimers attending an enquiry were there for a reason. Also, in circumstances when another senior rider had decided who was at fault and let the 7lb claimer know, then no weight should be placed on the evidence given by McNamara at the enquiry. Therefore, this should be considered an enquiry at the first instance as in the original enquiry the BHA Operating Procedures had not been followed.


5. Mr Williams showed the views of the race and then presented the case on behalf of the BHA. Mr Williams stated that McNamara had allowed his horse to hang right, causing Miss Birkett’s horse to be taken off her intended line. He had failed to take any corrective measures and was therefore guilty of careless riding.


6. Mr Mac Neice, on behalf of McNamara, stated that whilst McNamara had drifted right, Miss Birkett’s horse had moved right on two separate occasions when she picked up her whip in her left hand. He also stated that it was due to Miss Birkett that Silvestre De Sousa, the rider of EDGAR BALTHAZAR, had been accidently interfered with on the rail.


7. The Panel concluded that McNamara was careless in allowing his horse to drift right whilst at no stage correcting his horse. In itself, this had not caused the accidental interference to De Sousa, but was a contributory factor, along with Miss Birkett’s horse shifting right when she used her whip which caused the accidental interference to De Sousa.


8. The Panel found McNamara in breach of careless riding and cautioned him as to his future conduct in races.  It quashed the 3 day suspension originally imposed and returned his deposit.


Richard Hannon Jnr


1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on 26 May 2016 into the analysis of the urine ordered to be taken from ROYAL TOAST (IRE), trained by Richard Hannon Jnr, by the Stewards at Ascot after the gelding was placed third in the JLL Handicap Stakes on 10 July 2015 and also SILVER QUAY (IRE), trained by Richard Hannon Jnr, by the Stewards at Goodwood after the colt was unplaced in the Caterers Day Stakes on 23 September 2015.  Both samples tested positive for a prohibited substance, in breach of Rule (G)2.1 of the Rules of Racing. The Panel also considered whether or not to take action under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 3 in respect of the possible disqualification of both horses.


2. The Panel noted that Mr Hannon had requested that the matter be heard in his absence and the BHA had agreed. The BHA’s case was presented by Sheena Chohan.


3. The urine samples taken from ROYAL TOAST (IRE) and SILVER QUAY (IRE) were found to contain O-desmethyltramadol, a metabolite of tramadol, which is a prohibited substance. The trainer did not exercise his right to have the ‘B’ sample analysed.


4. Following the positive analysis, BHA Investigating Officers interviewed Mr Hannon, his staff and service providers at his stables on 10 August 2015 and 21 October 2015 respectively and found no substances or products on the yard that appeared to contain O-desmethyltramadol or tramadol.  After considering the evidence, the Panel was unable to establish the source of the substance, and could not therefore be satisfied that the administration of the substance was accidental and that the trainer had taken all reasonable care.


5. The Panel accepted an admission from Mr Hannon that he was in breach of Rule (G)2.1 and imposed a fine of £2,000 in total.


6. Under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 3, the Panel disqualified ROYAL TOAST (IRE) from the race, placing INTRUDE third and DANCE OF FIRE fourth.  It also disqualified SILVER QUAY (IRE) from its race. The Panel directed that any prize money paid out in relation to the above race be returned.


Notes to Editors:

1. The Panel for the hearings was: William Barlow (Chair), Celina Carter, Ian Stark


2. The urine samples taken from ROYAL TOAST (IRE) and SILVER QUAY (IRE) were found to contain O-desmethyltramadol, a metabolite of tramadol, which is a prohibited substance


3. Tramadol is a pain relief medication used to manage moderate to severe pain in people. Tramadol is metabolised in the liver to five different metabolites. One of these metabolites, O-desmethyltramadol, is pharmacologically active and prolongs pain relief.