Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Henry de Bromhead (Trainer) Prohibited Substance Referral – Downpatrick 16th June 2019

The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt, (in the chair), Mr. Philip McLernon and Mr. Philip Caffrey convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co Kildare on 27th August 2019 to consider whether or not Henry de Bromhead (Trainer) was in breach of any rules as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Fordham, UK.

The report stated that the urine sample taken from Game Present following his win in The Pat O’Hare Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle at Downpatrick on 16th June 2019, was found to contain triamcinolone acetonide (TCA). Under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules triamcinolone acetonide is a prohibited substance.

The trainer declined the option to have the B sample analysed.

Evidence was heard from Dr. Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Anti-Doping and Mr. de Bromhead.

In her evidence, Dr Hillyer summarised the investigation into the adverse analytical finding. She confirmed that TCA is a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication commonly used in equine practice. She stated that Mr. de Bromhead’s medication records had an entry of administration of 50mg of Adcortyl, a product containing TCA on 30th May 2019, subcutaneously to both shins. A withdrawal time of 25 days was advised by Mr de Bromhead’s veterinary surgeon. Dr. Hillyer made it clear that it is vital to leave sufficient time between treatment and the race to protect the welfare of the horse and ensure a level playing field.  

In his evidence, Mr. de Bromhead stated that he had made an error in entering the horse prior to the advised 25 day withdrawal time advised by his veterinary surgeon. He added that strict practices were put in place by him following a previous adverse finding for TCA last year and this was just a miscalculation on his behalf. 

Having considered the evidence, the Committee were satisfied that Mr. de Bromhead was in breach of Rule 96(a) as a prohibited substance was present in the sample taken from the horse. They disqualified Game Present, ordered that the stake be forfeited and amended the result to read as follows:

First:        Laureate (GB)

Second:   Shortcross Storm

Third:       Argent Et Or (FR)

Fourth:    Cats For Cash

Fifth:         Major Fawcett (GB)

The Committee also imposed a €2,000 fine on Mr. de Bromhead under Rule 96(a) as they found that reasonable precautions had not been taken by the Trainer to ensure a breach did not occur.

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


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