Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Luke Comer (Trainer) Referral

The Referrals Committee, Sean Barry (in the Chair), Philip Caffrey and Robert Dore met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday 14th May 2015, to consider whether or not Luke Comer, trainer, was in breach of any Rules following a random inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 27th March 2014. On that day 15 of the horses which had been returned in training by Mr. Comer were not present. The matter had been referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club.

Evidence was heard from Declan Buckley, Turf Club deputy head of security, Luke Comer Jnr. and Michael Feeney who represented Luke Comer, trainer.

In his evidence, Declan Buckley gave details of the random inspection which took place and said that 15 horses which had been returned in training by Mr Comer were not present.

In his evidence, Luke Comer Jnr. accepted that 13 of the 15 horses were not present and said that the other two horses were away swimming when the inspection took place.  Mr Comer outlined the background as to why the horses had not been returned out of training which was due to him being away.  He said that all returns are now up date and he apologised for any inconvenience caused.  He assured the Committee that procedures are now in place to ensure that there will be no failure in future to keep their records up to date.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee found that Luke Comer was in breach of Rule 148(vi) in respect of his failure to return 13 of the 15 horses out of training.  He was given the benefit of the doubt in relation to the two horses which were away swimming at the time of the inspection.  He was fined €130 for each of the 13 horses that should have been returned out of training (total €1,690).  In imposing the minimum fine in respect of each omission, the Committee noted the undertaking given that new procedures are now in place to ensure there will be no reoccurrence of what occurred.

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


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