Substances Banned From Horseracing Found On Premises Of Kildare Farm

Horses racing

Substances Banned From Horseracing Found On Premises Of Kildare Farm

A pair of trainers in Ireland could find themselves in hot water following a raid carried out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the marine on Tuesday, though it’s believed they are innocent of any wrongdoing.

The search, carried out in Monasterevin County Kildare, saw substances banned for use in racehorses seized. A report from racingpost.com suggests the premises targeted by the department are in a location used by a very popular British -based equine therapist, with horses also in training at the time of the operation.

“On Tuesday November 9, 2021, authorised officers acting on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carried out an enforcement operation supported by Gardai attached to the Kildare/Laois drug unit and officers from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board,” a DAFM statement reads.

“This Department-led operation involved searches and seizure of products as part of an ongoing investigation into equine doping. As this is an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time.”

The report claims the person involved is not a vet but is someone who works in the treatment of muscle and tendon issues who is also regularly consulted by trainers in both Ireland and Britain and has been used by high-profile participants in other equine affairs. The individual is known to have gotten a number of aces back racing again on the back of leg problems.

Said to be operating on horses in the aforementioned locations for over 30 years, the individual declined to comment when contacted by said publications.

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Other non-thoroughbred sport horses were found at the site and it is unknown as to whether or not there are concerns particularly related to thoroughbreds or the horses which were in training.

The DAFM raid included four officials and three gardai. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board was invited to be present and chief veterinary officer Dr Lynn Hillyer led a four-man team on site.

Two licensed trainers were at the location at the time of the raid; they got there after the department and gardai but not prior to the IHRB’s arrival. The latter has jurisdiction over unlicensed premises, having gotten authorised officer status late last summer, and opted to retrieve hair and blood samples from both horses said trainers were responsible for.

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Photo via: Pxfuel.com

The trainers are understood to not have any concerns over their roles in the incident, according to sources, and did not field any questions from department officials nor the gardai. The trainers were reportedly there with horses suffering from tendon issues and claimed they were simply caught up in the situation and are innocent of doing anything wrong.

Trainers are sometimes the most recognizable faces when it comes to the sport of horse racing and persons who participate in online sports betting do take a horse’s trainer into consideration when selecting odds – at least the pros do.

“The premises are understood to be the location from where a well-known British-based equine therapist operates, and there were horses in training present on the site during the raid,” the report from Racingpost.com reads.

“It is understood the individual concerned is not a veterinary practitioner but is someone who specialises in tendon and muscle problems and is commonly used by trainers across the spectrum in both Ireland and Britain. They have in the past been credited for getting some star horses back on track following leg problems.”

The therapist, though, was questioned while on site and both their phone and vehicle were seized, as well as the aforementioned remedies. The individual was taken to his residence thereafter.

The operation is reported to be the result of information following a tip-off and took place on the day the IHRB’s anti-doping structures were given a vote of confidence by the cross-party Agriculture Committee.

On Tuesday, the body published a report on the back of hearings that started up during the summer after Jim Bolger’s claims of there being a “Lance Armstrong” in Irish horseracing.

It was also alleged that illegal drug use on the Irish racing scene was the discipline’s biggest problem.

The report, which consists of 34 pages, said the IHRB’s methods were “of the highest possible standards” and rubbished the accusations brought forth by Bolger. However, it did urge an audit of the IHRB’s testing regime that should be led by New South Wales chief veterinary officer Craig Suann.

Additionally, it has been recommended, “that the IHRB board composition be reviewed and that the lack of independent members and the lack of gender balance be examined.”

The organization is believed to be already taking steps to address the concerns but did not agree to comment on what has been described as “an ongoing DAFM investigation” after being contacted on Wednesday.

“An operation was led by DAFM and the Gardaí with IHRB officers in attendance, which led to a seizure of animal remedies,” an IHRB spokesman said. “This is an active Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine investigation so we will be making no further comment at this time.”

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