Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Gordon Elliott Referral Hearing

Gordon Elliott Referral – Cork 27th May 2011

The Referrals Committee, Sean Barry (in the Chair), J.R. Craigie and Michael Doyle met at the Turf Club on 2nd June 2011 to consider the referral of Gordon Elliott, trainer, by the Stewards at Cork following the running of the Probus All Ireland Rally 2011 Handicap Hurdle, after it was discovered that Chino Valdes trained by him appeared to be suffering from an active contagious skin disease.

Evidence was heard from Gordon Elliott and Joan Taylor, Turf Club Veterinary Officer.

In his evidence Gordon Elliott stated that while he was aware Chino Valdes had a rash prior to running at Cork, he was not aware that it was a contagious skin disease.  He said the horse would not have run if he thought it was contagious.  Mr. Elliott submitted a report from the Irish Equine Centre which related to skin scrapings taken from the horse on 1st June.  The report stated that there were no spores seen.  He did accept that there was visible evidence of a recent skin disease.

In her evidence Joan Taylor stated that she examined the horse at Cork after his victory and noted that there was what appeared to be ringworm in the right girth area.  She noted that the area was being treated.  Her diagnosis was supported by Dan Hutch, Racecourse Veterinary Surgeon at Cork.  She also stated that it was possible that spores may not be seen when the analysis was carried out by the Irish Equine Centre, if the horse had been treated in the intervening period.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee noted that Mr. Elliott had accepted that there was visible evidence of a recent skin disease on the night in question at Cork and that he had not furnished a veterinary certificate to the Turf Club Veterinary Officer confirming that such disease was no longer contagious and that the horse was free of the disease.  As such the Referrals Committee found that he was in breach of Rule 148(v)(a) and fined him €750.  They also ordered that he pay costs of €500.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.


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