'Verbally abusive and very rude' – O'Donoghue fined after Dundalk incident
Colm O'Donoghue was hit with a €1,000 fine by stewards at Dundalk on Sunday after they deemed him to have been "verbally abusive and very rude" to a volunteer from the Order of Malta first-aid service as they sought to assist him in the aftermath of the opening maiden.
O'Donoghue was dislodged from Servalan, who was a fast-finishing second to Andre Amar, while trying to pull the filly up after the race. His saddle slipped and he was dragged by his horse when dismounted.
David McGuinness, the racecourse vet, reported that O'Donoghue responded in an unacceptable manner when asked about the well-being of his mount.
Michelle McCabe and Paddy Talt, working voluntarily for the Order Of Malta, reported to stewards that the rider had been verbally abusive, rude and had acted in an unacceptable manner when asked if he was in need of medical assistance.
Stewards found O'Donoghue in breach of Rule 272 and their report read: "Mr David McGuinness, racecourse vet, stated that he clearly identified himself to Colm O'Donoghue before asking him about the wellbeing of his mount and whether assistance was required.
"He stated that the rider responded in an unacceptable manner and had ignored his concerns. In his opinion, the rider had displayed a bad attitude in relation to the welfare concerns of the animal.
"Ms Michelle McCabe and Mr Paddy Talt, Order of Malta personnel, stated that they arrived alongside Colm O'Donoghue in the back straight and tried to ascertain if he needed medical assistance.
"His responses were verbally abusive and very rude and, in their opinion, were completely unacceptable considering they had followed strict post-race protocol and furthermore were a voluntary organisation."
O'Donoghue disputed he had used foul language but apologised to everyone concerned for his attitude, which he said had been shaped by him being upset after his saddle had slipped and being dragged by his horse when dismounted.
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