Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

A.J. Martin (Trainer) - Prohibited Substance Testing-in-Training - Cassells Rock 3 March 2014

The Referrals Committee, Peter M. Allen (in the chair), P.J.A. O’Connor and N.B. Wachman, met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co. Kildare, on Wednesday, 29th October 2014 to consider whether or not A.J. Martin, trainer was in breach of any Rules as a result of a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick which stated that the biological fluid sample taken from Cassells Rock during testing-in-training sampling on 3rd March 2014, was found to contain phenylbutazone.  The administration of the substance had not been recorded in the Medicines Register in accordance with the provisions of Rule 148(iii)(b). 

Evidence was heard from Fiona O'Sullivan, office manager for A.J. Martin and A.J. Martin.

In her evidence Ms. O’ Sullivan outlined the background to what occurred. She said that the non-inclusion of the phenylbutazone administration in the Medicines Register was due to human error. She said that the administration was recorded in the yard diary which is transcribed daily to the Medicines Register but on the day in question it had not been updated correctly. Ms. O’Sullivan submitted a copy of a prescription book from the veterinary practice that attends Mr Martin's yard which showed the prescription of phenylbutazone on 28th February 2014 to Cassells Rock. The Committee also examined a copy of the Medicines Register that was taken at the time of the sampling by the Turf Club officials which showed that the register was maintained in meticulous detail.

In his evidence A.J. Martin said that he could understand how the error was made as there was a lot going on in the yard around that time which was in the lead up to Cheltenham.  Mr Martin reiterated that the non-inclusion of the administration to Cassells Rock was an oversight.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee found that A.J. Martin was in breach of Rule 148(iii)(b).  They accepted that this was not a “standard” case and that there were exceptional and special circumstances why the administration was not recorded.  As a result they cautioned A.J. Martin to be more careful in future.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.


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