Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Gordon Elliott Referral - Kilbeggan, 20th July, 2018

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Mr. N.P. Lambert and Mr. N.B. Wachman met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday 17th September 2018, to consider reports from LGC Laboratories, Cambridgeshire, UK, that samples taken from “Timiyan (USA)” following his win in the Midlands National Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan on 20th July, 2018, was found to contain triamcinolone acetonide (TCA). Under Rule 20(v) of the Rules of Racing TCA is a prohibited substance.

Mr. Elliott requested that the “B” portion of the Sample be tested and the results of the analysis carried out at Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques confirmed the “A” portion of the Sample findings.

Evidence was heard from Dr. Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer/Head of Anti-Doping regarding the investigation into the adverse analytical finding and from Mr. Elliott.

In her evidence Dr. Hillyer advised that TCA is a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication commonly used in equine practice. It has effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is often used to treat joint inflammation, sometimes in combination with other medications. It is usually administered intra-articularly (into a joint).

The Committee were informed that the minimum stand-down time of fourteen days for any intra-articular administration of corticosteroid was observed and the Medicines Register indicated a sixteen day withdrawal time was used by the trainer.

In his evidence Mr. Elliott accepted Dr. Hillyer’s report and confirmed that he was not disputing the facts as set out in the report. He advised that the horse had been treated with “Adcortyl” a product containing TCA by his veterinary surgeon on 4th July 2018 which was administered by injection into the horse’s back. He accepted Dr. Hillyer’s evidence that owing to the site of injection the withdrawal time needed to be longer.  

Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Elliott was in breach of Rule 96(a). The Committee disqualified “Timiyan (USA)” from first place, ordered that the stake be forfeited, and amended the result of the race to read as follows:-

First:                Rogue Angel

Second:            Full Cry

Third:               Major Destination

Fourth:            Newsworthy

Fifth:                Na Trachtalai Abu

Sixth:               Kilcarry Bridge

In considering the penalty, the Committee determined that Mr. Elliott had not taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rule. However, they noted that Mr. Elliott had cooperated fully with Dr. Hillyer in the investigation and accepted all findings. On the basis of the co-operation and his forthright manner of dealing with the case they decided that the minimum fine of €1,000 was appropriate. The Referrals Committee also stressed that trainers have the option of elective testing following administration of corticosteroids to ensure that the substance has cleared from the horse’s system prior to racing.

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


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