Rory Gilsenan


Well, here’s a curious one. Rory Gilsenan was a horse racing trainer who won the Horse of the Year Show trophy in 2018. However, also in 2018, he began to suffer from the effects of glioblastoma, which has killed him aged 50. He died in April, and got sod all in the way qualifying obit.

Until the oddity below turned up, and we had our very first testing of a rule loophole. Namely, that the Qualifying Obit rules do not state the qualifying obit has to be in the digital copy! Now, we tend to take it as read that they should, but remember back in the old days a qualifying obit was whatever Big Iain read in his daily paper. In fact there was a backdated payout of points for Hollywood star Roy Rogers as everyone had missed his death at the time in those days before everyone had the internet on their phone. In those days before everyone had mobile phones, even. (You ever feel old?)

What I mean to say is that, in lieu of anything specifically written down, the rule is that the DDP host or co-host has to SEE the qualifying obit’s existence to give out points.

Which brings us to Mr Gilsenan, whose death got a mention in this weekends Sunday Telegraph. This host would never have noticed if not for theme team owner The Sick-bed of Cuchulainn  who has spent most of the last month scouring for any hint to their dead comrade. Which brought them to Pressreader. What is Pressreader? It’s a sort of version of Netflix for newspapers, where newspapers digitise their print editions in aggregate form for subscribers to download at a fee. As a result of the solitary reference being just above the paywall on the device, the hosts became aware there was a Qualifying Obit out there for Rory Gilsenan, and what’s more, had seen it.

The Committee didn’t realise there was so many unnoticed loopholes in the DDP rules when they took over, and our fans and teams are enjoying pointing them out to us. By the letter of the rules this counts, but a finer example of playing exactly to the whistle I’m not sure I’ve seen, and this certainly needs to be addressed at the Cmme meeting later this summer.

Well, at least it wasn’t yet another person sending the BBC Music Pages (or Wikipedia as its also known) and asking if it counts. The answer is still no.

Rory Gilsenan
1970 – 22 April 2020
2 teams