Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Denis Gerard Hogan (Handler), Prohibited Substance Referral Killeagh (H) Point to Point - 14th January 2018

The Referrals Committee, Robert Dore (in the chair), Laurence McFerran and Mrs. J.O. Onions met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday 8th March 2018, to consider a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick which stated that the biological fluid sample taken from Moskovite following her win in the 5-Y-O Mares Maiden at Killeagh (H) Point to Point on 14th January, 2018 was found to contain phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone which under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation 14 is a prohibited substance.

The trainer did not request that the B sample be tested and accepted the result of the A sample.

Evidence was heard from Dr Thomas Barragry and Denis Gerard Hogan. The Committee also considered a report on a visit to Mr Hogan’s Training Establishment by Nicola O’Connor MVB and Declan Buckley, IHRB Head of Security.

In his evidence Dr Thomas Barragry described phenylbutazone as an anti-inflammatory veterinary drug which had been in use for many years.  He said it acted as an anti-inflammatory as it reduced swelling, an analgesic as it reduced pain and an anti-pyeretic as it reduced temperature.  He noted that the drug was highly potent and highly effective and that the detection time for the drug was 7 days.  However to allow for fluctuations from horse to horse in relation to how the drug is excreted he said it would be wise to allow between 8 to 10 days to make sure the drug had left the horse’s system.

Dr Barragry went on to say that phenylbutazone is metabolised in the liver to oxyphenbutazone.

In his evidence Denis Gerard Hogan said he was initially very surprised that Moskovite had been found positive for the substances.  However, on further examination he discovered that the drug had inadvertently been given to Moskovite when she was given the wrong feed on the morning of the race as a result of her feed being mixed up with that of another horse which had been prescribed the drug.  He attributed the error to a new staff member who was temporarily covering the feeding duties.  As a result of what occurred, Mr Hogan said that he had now introduced a new procedure where any horse receiving medication is now stabled in a different part of the yard.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found that Denis Gerard Hogan was in breach of Rule 96(a). The Committee disqualified Moskovite from first place and ordered that the race result be amended to read as follows:

                                                                1st – Killisk Ben Rose

                                                                2nd – Beeverstown Beauty

                                                                3rd – Solas Me Suas (GB)

They also imposed a fine of €1,000 on Denis Gerard Hogan.  However, the fine was waived as they were satisfied that the prohibited substance was administered unknowingly and that the trainer had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rule.  The Committee ordered that Mr Hogan make a contribution of €500 towards the IHRB’s costs.

The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal & Compliance and Licensing.


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