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Irish amateurs once again hit with bans from Cheltenham stewards

Irish amateurs felt the wrath of the Cheltenham stewards for the second time his week, with a number of bans handed out following the running of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup on Thursday.

The Cheltenham stewards had already caused significant controversy when handing down a number of lengthy bans to three Irish riders in the National Hunt Chase, and two days later, they were back in the spotlight.

After reviewing the start of the race, all 23 riders that rode in the Kim Muir were called before the stewards, and only six riders avoided punishment, including Noel McParlan and Harley Dunne, with their Irish point-to-point colleagues not being so lucky.

Patrick Mullins, Derek O’Connor, Richie Deegan, Tom Hamilton, Mark O’Hare, Jamie Codd, Lisa O’Neill, Eoin O’Brien, Barry O’Neill and John Barry each received a one-day suspension for ‘misconduct at the start’.

That was not the end of Barry’s woes with the stewards, as he was called back before them following the final-fence fall of his mount Drumconnor Lad.

Adrian Keatley’s 100/1 shot came down at the last whilst tailed off, and the Conna native was interviewed by the stewards alongside the Veterinary Officer, with the latter reporting that ‘the gelding was recumbent for four to five minutes and appeared to be very tired but when it got to its feet, exhibited a heart rate within the normal parameters.’

The stewards deemed that Barry had ‘continued in the race when it was contrary to the horse’s welfare’ and suspended him for 12 days.

This is the same ruling which had seen Declan Lavery, Noel McParlan and Rob James also hit with similar suspensions.

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