Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

James Keegan (Restricted Trainer) Random Stable Inspection 18 April 2014

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), John Moloney and P.J.A O’Connor    met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, 12th June 2014 to consider the referral of James Keegan, Restricted Trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club following a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 18th April 2014 by Turf Club Officials, Michael O’Donoghue and Terry Smith M.R.C.V.S.  During the inspection the officials discovered a number of irregularities.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue, Terry Smith and James Keegan. The Committee also considered a written report on the visit and pictures takes of the two horses Blue Article and Oisin Sun which had been returned in training by James Keegan at the time of the visit. They also noted veterinary reports from Shane McGuckian M.R.C.V.S. dated 16th April and 30th April 2014 on the condition of Blue Article which disclosed no abnormalities.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue outlined what was discovered during the visit on 18th April 2014 and in particular concerns that both he and Terry Smith had about the condition of Blue Article and Oisin Sun. He also said that the medicines storage area was not secure.

In his evidence Terry Smith outlined his findings in relation to both horses and confirmed that he had concerns about their condition. He said he had suggested that both horses should be taken out of training.

James Keegan disputed the findings and said that his veterinary surgeon had not found any abnormalities in either horse on examination. He also said that there were no issues with the results of a blood test taken on Blue Article two days before the visit.  He said that Oisin Sun was a horse of limited ability and would not be going back into training.  He said there was also a good chance that Blue Article would not run again as she was a difficult filly.  He accepted that the medicines storage area was not secure. He said that many of the other irregularities identified by the officials had now been addressed.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee adjourned the case for three months and requested that a further random inspection take place to ensure that the irregularities identified have been addressed. They also requested that all Mr. Keegan’s runners in the intervening period be inspected prior to running by the Turf Club veterinary officer. They agreed that subject to the situation being regularised during that period, the matter will then be finalized.

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


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