Result of an appeal (Stevie Donohoe) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 12 March

12 Mar 2015 Disciplinary Panel - Appeals against decisions on a Racecourse

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Thursday 12 March 2015 considered an appeal lodged by Stevie Donohoe, the rider of GOLD CLUB, the winner of the Handicap Stakes, against the decision of the Stewards at Kempton Park on 4 March 2015 to suspend him from riding for nine days. The suspension was as a result of a finding of careless riding which was not appealed.

The Panel heard evidence from Donohoe and viewed recordings of the race.

The Panel found that Donohoe had allowed his horse to drift left, away from the whip, without corrective action, resulting in ROCKET ROB (IRE), ridden by Chris Catlin, clipping the heels of GOLD CLUB which caused ROCKET ROB (IRE) to fall and unseat its rider. Donohoe was not aware that ROCKET ROB (IRE) was finishing so quickly and the interference occurred in the shadow of the post. Donohoe did not make an assessment that the left hand drift of his horse posed a risk to Catlin; he straightened his horse at the finish to avoid interfering with LUJEANIE, ridden by Shane Kelly, which was in his line of sight.

The Panel acknowledged that there was an element of chance and misfortune in whether or not firstly that horses clip heels and secondly the clipping of heels resulted in one of those horses falling. In this case, the incidence of clipping heels came about largely as a consequence of the difference in finishing speeds between ROCKET ROB (IRE) and the horse ridden by Donohoe once GOLD CLUB moved in front of the fast finishing ROCKET ROB (IRE). The fall was not caused by prolonged interference or squeezing another horse onto the rail for example.

The Panel allowed the appeal imposing a suspension of seven days from Wednesday 18 March to Friday 20 March 2015 inclusive and Monday 23 March to Thursday 26 March 2015 inclusive. It ordered that the deposit be returned.


Notes to editors:

1. The Panel for the appeal was: Matthew Lohn (Chair), Edward Dorrell, Jeremy Barlow.