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Lavery set to appeal controversial Festival suspension

Declan Lavery is to appeal the ten-day suspension that he received following the running of the National Hunt Challenge Cup on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Downpatrick native was one of three riders to receive a lengthy suspension following the race, after finishing third aboard the JP McManus-owned Jerrysback in the four-mile contest.

The Cheltenham stewards deemed that by finishing third in the Grade 2 contest, he 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.’

Fellow Irish qualified riders Noel McParlan and Rob James were suspended for eight and 12 days respectively for the same offence, with James also picking up a further seven days for his use of the whip.

Confirmation of Lavery's intentions to appeal his suspension came on Friday morning as he will look to overturn the ban which would have prevented him from riding on ten days between March 28th and April 13th - days in which amateur rider races are set to take place in Britain.

The BHA and Cheltenham stewards have come in for particular criticism from right across the racing sector for issuing Lavery with the 10-day ban, with AP McCoy and Nicky Henderson, just some of the leading names to voice their disapproval.


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