Declan Lavery Has 10 Day Ban Upheld

Declan Lavery Has 10 Day Ban Upheld

Declan Lavery has successfully won his appeal against the ten-day ban he received after riding Jerrysback for trainer Philip Hobbs in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last Tuesday.

The amateur rider - who was given the ban for 'continuing in the race when it appeared to be contrary to the horse’s welfare', was one of three jockeys punished by the stewards last week after just four of the 18 runners completed the course, in a race confined to amateurs over four miles on rain-softened ground.

Lavery had his case heard at the BHA headquarters in London on Thursday afternoon, where the disciplinary panel quashed their original findings and statements.

(Credit: Sky Sports Racing) He said: "I'm very relieved and didn't think I'd done anything wrong.

"I was very shocked initially, because I was delighted with myself for getting him round as he nearly fell a couple of times, so to get back and find out I'd got 10 days took the buzz away.

"The drama around it hasn't affected me, I just put my head down and I'm pleased to get it over and done with."I had a really good team behind me, I had Andrew (Coonan), I had Rory (Mac Neice) and Mr Hobbs - I was very happy he came up to help me. I didn't feel like I'd done anything wrong.

"I was quietly confident I'd get it turned round, but having the right people behind me made it a bit easier. I was confident I'd done the right thing.

"I can get back point-to-pointing this weekend, get things back to normal.

The decision to ban Lavery in the first place was strongly criticised by several leading names in racing, while many others have also spoken out about the National Hunt Chase itself.

Lavery though was further delighted to see the former twenty-time Champion Jockey standing by his side.

"It was brilliant AP (McCoy) was standing up for me on ITV Racing.

"He gave me his phone number and told me to ring him anytime, maybe that's just a Northern (Ireland) thing!", he said.

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 Lavery was suspended for ten days, which has now been revoked, and his deposit returned."