No one to blame for O'Brien fall rules referrals committee

The Turf Club referrals committee has ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict anyone of a riding offence in the Killarney race in which Ana O'Brien suffered horrific injuries on July 18.

O'Brien was riding Druids Cross, trained by her brother Joseph, in a one mile rated race when her mount took a crashing fall after coming into contact with another horse under two furlongs from the finish. Druids Cross suffered fatal injuries and O'Brien has not ridden since.

The referrals committee, which comprised of Justice Tony Hunt, Nick Wachman and Phillip Caffrey, heard evidence from Shane Foley, Oisin Orr, Pat Smullen and Killian Leonard, who all rode in the race, and they were satisfied that no rules were broken by any jockey.

The referrals committee also looked into an incident at Tipperary on September 26 when the filly Sarah Ash Callum appeared to be struck on the face in the parade ring before the horses were mounted for a 5f handicap.

Eoghan Norris, who was leading the filly at the time, was found in breach of rule 272 - guilty by conduct or behaviour of acting in a manner which is prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horse racing - but decided that a caution was sufficient punishment.

The committee found that the offence was of a lower category to the recent Vincent O'Brien case, where a seven-day suspension was handed out, and took Norris' previous record and current circumstances into consideration.