Amateur Declan Lavery, has won his appeal against controversial ten day ban he recieved for continuing "when it appeared to be contrary to the horse’s welfare" in National Hunt Chase, at the Cheltenham Festival last week.
The appeal heard at BHA Headquarters in Central London, the processes lasted some two hours. The disciplinary panel of Patrick Milmo QC, Chloe Fairley and Dr Lyn Griffiths found him not in breach of the rules, quashing the original finding and returning his deposit.
Lavery, who was riding the Philip Hobbs-trained Jerrysback in the amateur riders' contest at the Festival, finished in third place (47½ lengths) behind the winner Le Breuil. Lavery was given the ban for "continuing in the race when it appeared to be contrary to the horse’s welfare".
The stewards' inquiry notice read: “An inquiry was held to consider whether Mr DG Lavery, the rider of Jerrysback, which finished third, beaten 47 and a half lengths, had continued in the race when it appeared to be contrary to the horse’s welfare after tired jumping errors at the final two fences. The rider was interviewed and recordings of the incident were viewed. Lavery was suspended for ten days.”
“I’m delighted and very relieved… I didn’t feel like I’d done anything wrong” – an emotional Declan Lavery reflects on his successful appeal against his 10-day ban from the BHA following the National Hunt Chase… pic.twitter.com/BCBfZh7jPb— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) March 21, 2019
Two other jockeys in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival were handed out lengthy bans. Rob James, was suspended for a total of 19 days after his ride Just Your Type fell at the final fence.
Noel McParlan, whose mount Mulcahys Hill fell at the second-last, received an eight day ban.
A fourth rider, Damien Skehan, who finished fourth on Clondaw Cian – the only other finisher in the race, was also subject of an inquiry but not found in breach of the rules.