Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Eamonn Fehily Referral - Random Stable Inspection

Eamonn Fehily Referral Random stable inspection - 22nd January 2014  

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the chair), Philip Caffrey and Nicholas Lambert met in the Turf Club, THE Curragh, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, 16th April 2014, to consider whether or not Eamonn Fehily, Restricted Trainer, was in breach of any rules as a result of a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 22nd January 2014 by Turf Club officials Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S.  

During the inspection the Turf Club Officials found that:

i) Lord Heathfield had not been returned out of training.

ii) Lord Heathfield was now being trained by William Elliott.

iii) The Medicines Register did not contain details of all medicines administered.

iv) Barry O’Donovan, stable employee since 19th September 2013 had not been registered with the Turf Club.

v) There was no evidence of the stable employees bonus scheme completed return being displayed on the premises.  

The matter was referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.   Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue and Eamonn Fehily. The Committee also considered a written report on the visit which was completed by Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S.  

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue outlined the main findings from his visit to Eamonn Fehily’s Training Establishment on 22nd January 2014. He said that Lord Heathfield, which had been returned in training, was not present and that he had been told by Mr. Fehily that the horse had gone straight back to its owner William Elliott after it ran in the Hunters Chase at Limerick on 27th December 2013. He said this evidence was in conflict with what he had been told by Mr. Elliott who said that the horse had gone back to Mr. Fehily for a week after the Limerick run before going back to him to recuperate from an injury. Mr. O’Donoghue said that while Eamonn Fehily did have the passport there was no evidence that Mr. Elliott had ever paid a training bill to Mr. Fehily. He said that if Lord Heathfield was not under his care that it should have been returned out of training.  

Mr. O’Donoghue then referred to other matters that were not in order during his visit.  He said that the Medicines Register did not contain details of all the medicines administered.  In addition Mr. Fehily had failed to register a stable employee who came into his employment in September 2013 and neither had he displayed a completed stable employee bonus scheme return. In conclusion Mr. O’Donoghue said that Mr. Fehily cooperated fully with the investigation.  

In his evidence Eamonn Fehily accepted the points made by Michael O’Donoghue in relation to the Medicines Register, the stable employee and the non-display of the stable employees bonus scheme return. However he said that he did not agree with the explanation given by Mr. Elliott to Mr. O’Donoghue with regard to the movements of Lord Heathfield. Mr. Fehily said that Lord Heathfield arrived in his yard on 11th December 2013 and he returned the horse in training on 16th December 2013. He did not travel with the horse to Limerick on 27th December and that the horse was brought to the races by his father and Mr. Elliott. The horse was injured and went straight from the races to Mr. Elliott’s yard. Mr. Fehily submitted certificates of veterinary treatment administered to Lord Heathfield by Mr. Elliott’s vet on 31st December 2013 and 31st January 2014. He said he could not explain the account of the horse’s movements given by Mr. Elliott because it wasn’t true. He said he accepted that he should have returned the horse out of training. With regard to the absence of training bills Mr. Fehily said that both himself and Mr. Elliott worked closely and did work for each other and would settle any outstanding debts at the end of the year.    

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found that Eamonn Fehily was in breach of Rule 148(vi) as he failed to return Lord Heathfield out of training when the horse left his yard. The Committee accepted that Lord Heathfield was under Eamonn Fehily’s care at some point in time as he was in possession of the passport. He was fined €130 in respect of this Rule breach.  Mr. Fehily was also found in breach of Rule 148(iii)(b) for failing to maintain the Medicines Register in the prescribed form. He was also fined €130 for this Rule Breach.  Mr. Fehily was cautioned for failing to register a stable employee when he commenced employment with him. He was also cautioned for failing to display the stable employees’ bonus scheme return. The Committee strongly recommended to Eamonn Fehily that he should be more careful with his paperwork in future.  

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


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