Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

John Joseph Murphy (Trainer) Referral Random Stable Inspection - 15th September 2015

 

The Referrals Committee P.J.A. O’Connor (in the Chair), Laurence McFerran and N.B. Wachman met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, 22nd October 2015, to consider whether or not John Joseph Murphy (Trainer), was in breach of any rules as a result of a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 15th September 2015 by Turf Club officials Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor, MVB

On the day they discovered a number of anomalies including:-
(i) Three horses missing namely "M's Princess", "Winter Garden" and "Quarterdeck".
(ii) No Racing Establishment Employee Cards had been issued for Martin Hickey, Shane Baragry and Richard Foley.
(iii) A failure to notify the Offices of the Governing Bodies that Niall Prendergast had left his employment last week.
(iv) The Medicines Register was blank even though "Bute" had been administered to six horses ("Faraway Hills", "Navegante", "Spruce Meadows", "Unorthodox" and 2 year olds by Getaway and Milan) in the last 18 months and the passports were not stamped as being "unfit for human consumption".
(v) A failure to display the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme payment.
(vi) Horse Racing Ireland had not been notified that "Great Redeemer" was now a gelding and the passport amended.
The matter was referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue, Nicola O’Connor MVB, John Joseph Murphy and Carolan Murphy. The Committee also considered a written report on the visit which was completed by the Turf Club officials.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue outlined the main findings contained in the report submitted to the Committee. He said he had been told that M’s Princess had left the yard about two months and Winter Garden had left for a considerable time. He noted that Winter Garden had run at Aintree on 15th May 2015 for a U.K. trainer. Mr O’Donoghue said he had been informed that Quarterdeck had died of colic a few days ago.

Mr O’Donoghue said there were three employees working for Mr Murphy who had not been registered with the Turf Club and that Mr Murphy had failed to inform the Turf Club that another employee had left his employment last week.

Mr O’Donoghue said the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme payment for the current period was not displayed.

In conclusion, Mr O’Donoghue informed the Committee that the passport for Great Redeemer had not been updated to reflect that the horse was now a gelding.

In her evidence Nicola O’Connor MVB referred to the veterinary issues which arose. She said the Medicines Register was blank. A file on drug administrations was produced but in her view it was incomplete, as it did not include all the information required. She said that passports for six horses which were administered Bute had not been stamped and there was no evidence recorded in the Medicines Register of the administrations.

In their evidence John Joseph Murphy and Carolan Murphy addressed the anomalies identified by the Turf Club officials. They said that M’s Princess was in a field quite close to Mr Murphy’s Training Establishment. They also confirmed that Quarterdeck had died a few days before the inspection. They accepted that Winter Garden should have been returned out of training.

Mr Murphy referred to the three employees who were not returned to the Turf Club and outlined the reasons in each case why this had occurred. He said he was not aware that cards were needed for individuals who worked infrequently. Mr Murphy said he found out through the Turf Club that Niall Prendergast had left his employment.

Carolan Murphy accepted that the Medicines Register had not been updated. She said she operated her own system which recorded information similar to that recorded in the Medicines Register and that she had been informed by a Turf Club veterinary officer that this system was adequate for the purposes of the information that needed to be recorded. She accepted that she should have included the withdrawal times beside each administration.

John Joseph Murphy accepted that he had failed to display the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme payment for the current period. It was noted that the payment for the previous period was displayed.

Mr Murphy accepted that he had not notified Horse Racing Ireland that Great Redeemer was now a gelding and the passport updated to reflect this.

Mr Murphy informed the Committee that all of the anomalies would be addressed and there would be no reoccurrence of these issues.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found that John Joseph Murphy was in breach of the following Rules:

  1. Rule 148(vi) for failing to return Winter Garden out of training and for failing to notify Horse Racing Ireland that Great Redeemer was now a gelding. He was fined €260 (€130 in respect of each rule breach). He was not found in breach of rule for his failure to notify Horse Racing Ireland of the death of Quarterdeck, in view of the fact the death had only recently occurred.
  2. Rules 149(i) and (ii) for failing to obtain current Racing Establishment Employee cards for the three named employees and for failing to notify the Turf Club that Niall Prendergast had left his employment. No penalty was imposed for these rule breaches.
  3. Rule 148(iii)(b) for failing to keep a Medicines Register in the manner prescribed. He was fined €130 for this rule breach. In imposing a fine at this level the Committee accepted that Mr Murphy did have a system in place which recorded the majority of the information that is required to be recorded in the Medicines Register.
  4. Rule 298 5 for failing to display the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme Payment. No penalty was imposed for this rule breach.

 

The Committee also ordered that John Joseph Murphy make a contribution of €250 towards the Turf Club’s costs.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, stipendiary steward


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