Result of enquiries (J Garritty, C Dore) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 29 October 2015
The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Thursday 29 October 2015 held an enquiry to establish whether or not Jack Garritty, the rider of MISTIROC, placed second, had committed a breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 of the Rules of Racing concerning his use of the whip in the Bet Through the Racing Post App Handicap Stakes at Doncaster on 24 October 2015. The matter was referred to the BHA by the Doncaster Stewards following an enquiry on the same day because this was Garritty’s fifth offence of mis-use of the whip, warranting a suspension of between two to six days, in the last six months.
The BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams. Garritty was represented by Rory Mac Neice, who gave submissions to the Panel. The Panel also viewed recordings of the race.
The Panel accepted Garritty’s admission that he was guilty of misuse of the whip in that he had used his whip above the permitted level. It considered that the breach would have warranted a suspension of two days.
Taking into account that Garritty:
i) had committed five whip breaches (4 x 2 days & 1 x 4 days days), since 20 June 2015; and
ii) had had 298 rides over this period
it suspended him from riding for 18 days, of which six days will be deferred for two months until 19 January 2016. The suspension will run from Friday 6 November 2015 until Thursday 19 November 2015 inclusive on days that Flat Racing is scheduled to take place.
In deciding on the length of suspension the Panel noted that:-
i) Garritty had had more than the average number of rides to be expected during the six month period;
ii) Though he had incurred a four day suspension at Wolverhampton just eight days before the Doncaster breach, he had a clean record for some 2½ months before the Wolverhampton incident;
iii) The breach at Doncaster had its own mitigating features, he had led the race from an early stage and his mount required firm handling to stay competitive in the race. He rode hands and heels from two furlongs out until just before the one furlong marker, when he resorted to the whip.
1. On 29 October 2015, the Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry into the allegation that the trainer Conor Dore was in breach of Rule (C)12 of the Rules of Racing. This arose from the admitted fact that, instead of sending CITY OF ANGKOR WAT (IRE) to race at Chelmsford City on 22 August 2015, another horse altogether (an unnamed and unraced two-year-old) was taken to the racecourse.
2. The error was picked up at Chelmsford City by the Veterinary Officer, Jeremy Mantell, then the unnamed horse’s microchip was found not to match BHA records, and further discrepancies became clear when CITY OF ANGKOR WAT (IRE)’s passport was examined. A Stewards enquiry was held, and Dore’s representative at the racecourse, Lisa Wilcockson, immediately acknowledged that she had made an error when collecting the horse from Dore’s yard to take to Chelmsford City. The Stewards referred this matter to the BHA head office for further investigation.
3. Dore accepted full responsibility for the mistake and admitted breach of the Rule. He explained that he had been away on holiday at the time and that his head lad had given instructions to Ms Wilcockson about the two horses she was to take to Chelmsford City, but that she had misunderstood and had gone to the wrong box to pick up and load the horse she thought was CITY OF ANGKOR (IRE). He had frequently used her in the past to transport his horses; she had previously transported both the horses she was meant to take to the racecourse; and she had often acted as his representative at racecourses and led up his horses. Ms Wilcockson explained in a statement that she was short of time because of traffic delays when she arrived at the yard and accepted personal responsibility for her error.
4. The Disciplinary Panel accepted Dore’s admission of breach and held the enquiry in his absence. The Panel was entirely persuaded that this was a case of error rather than anything more sinister. The Guide to Procedures and Penalties suggests a fine between £450 and £1,500 with an entry point of £750. While the error was a remarkable one, it caused no wider damage as CITY OF ANGKOR (IRE) was a non-runner, thanks to the prompt discovery of the mistake at the racecourse. Given the candid evidence of Dore and Ms Wilkinson, the Panel imposed a fine of £500. It was further persuaded that this was a fair approach in the light of Dore’s early acknowledgement of responsibility in these terms:
“I would not normally allow transport arrangements and instructions to be as lax (never before has this happened in 13 years with a licence), however I genuinely believed that Lisa would know and recognise both horses.
I have only myself to blame and have learnt a valuable lesson from this mistake. I certainly won’t take such matters for granted again and will make sure that instructions are totally clear and that regular phone checks are made in similar situations in the future.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The Panel for the hearings was: Philip Curl (Chair), Tim Charlton, Diana Powles.
2. The appeal lodged by Mikey Ennis and Imogen Pickard heard on Thursday 29 October is not concluded, the result and reasons will be published in due course.