Wexford horse trainer James W. Doyle has had his Handlers Permit suspended until December 31st 2018, following a hearing of the Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), heard at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, August 16th 2018.
The purpose of the hearing was to consider reports from LGC Laboratories, Cambridgeshire, UK, that samples taken from the Mr. Doyle trained ‘Run Wild Fred’ following his win at Muskerry (F) Dawstown point-to-point on May 7th 2018, and ‘Howling Milan’ following his win at the Fermanagh (H) point-to-point on May 19th 2018 were found to contain diisopropylamine (DIPA). Under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules, DIPA is a prohibited substance.
Mr. Doyle requested that the respective “B” Samples be analysed in both cases and the results of the analysis carried out at Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques, Paris, France confirmed the “A” sample findings. It was confirmed that Mr. Doyle was not disputing the adverse analytical findings in respect of either sample.
The Committee also considered the IHRB Investigation Report, the IHRB Report of an unannounced Inspection/Out of Competition Testing at Mr. Doyle’s premises carried out by Dr. Lynn Hillyer and Veterinary Assistant Mr. Declan Condell on May 29th, 2018 and written submissions made by Mr. Doyle.
Although no source of the DIPA could be identified at the time of that visit, the findings were subsequently identified as likely to be as a result of exposure to a supplement claiming to contain pangamic acid marketed for ‘performance support’, close to racing.
Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Doyle was in breach of Rule 96A in respect of both horses and had shown, at a minimum, gross negligence resulting in the breach.
The Committee noted that in the circumstances there was no basis for the waiver of the fine under Rule 96A and imposed a fine of €1,000 in respect of ‘Run Wild Fred’ and €2,000 in respect of ‘Howling Milan’. They ordered that the costs of the “B” sample confirmatory analysis would be paid by Mr. Doyle as well as a payment of €500 towards costs.
The Committee noted that under Rule 96A it was open to them to restrict the horses from running for a period of time and such restriction would be effective even if the horses had been sold on or where in another jurisdiction.
Such sanction was not being imposed in this case based on the circumstances however the Committee noted it may be used in future cases.
The Committee further noted the importance of point-to-point racing in the Irish horse racing industry and the damage that cases such as this has for the reputation of the individuals involved and the sport as a whole.
On that basis they determined that Mr. Doyle’s Handlers Permit would be suspended until December 31st 2018 under Rule 96A. They noted that the short length of suspension reflected the fact that Mr. Doyle had addressed the matter in a forthright manner but reiterated that such breaches were unacceptable in the sport.
The Committee disqualified both horses from first place and ordered the records be amended.