Sandown Jockeys Win Appeal Against Ban

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All seven jockeys banned for 10 days at Sandown in England for finishing a race which had been voided have had their suspensions quashed on appeal.

The bans followed the London National on December 7, which was called off on safety grounds, with the Venetia Williams-trained Houblon Des Obeaux being attended to after suffering what was later reported to be a fatal heart attack after jumping a fence on the first circuit.

Approaching the same obstacle for a second time, a member of the ground staff displayed a yellow flag, which is shown to indicate to riders that there is a serious incident ahead and that jockeys must stop riding and the race declared void.

Seven riders instead bypassed the fence and the stricken horse and finished the race.

Philip Donovan, Jamie Moore, Daryl Jacob, Adam Wedge, Stan Sheppard, Harry Skelton and James Davies were suspended but are now free to ride over the busy Christmas period following the hearing before an independent disciplinary panel at British Horseracing Authority headquarters on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).

“We are delighted with the result, we are very appreciative of how it has panned out,” Moore said.

“I am delighted with the result, but at the same time we know on the day the stewards had a job to do.

“I definitely think things can be learned from this. We are all pretty experienced jockeys and the way it worked out it wasn’t obvious what we had to do, but now it is back to work as normal.”

The BHA said in a statement the stewards beleived they had carried out the stop-race procedures adequately.

“The stop-race procedures are essential to protect the safety of horses and jockeys, and the medical or veterinary staff who may be treating them on the racecourse,” the BHA said.

“The position of the stewards at Sandown was that the existing stop-race procedures were carried out adequately, and that most of the riders heard the whistle and either saw – or should have seen – the stop-race flag, which was deployed directly in the racing line ahead of the Pond fence.”

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