Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Michael Mulvany (Trainer) Random Stable Inspection 25 September 2014

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Peter Allen and Mrs J.O. Onions met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 13th October 2014 to consider the referral of Michael Mulvany, trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, as a result of a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 25th September 2014 by Turf Club Officials Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S.

During the inspection they discovered a number of anomalies including welfare concerns regarding five horses, no evidence that the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme completed agreement was displayed in a work area and the general condition of the training establishment which was not up to an acceptable standard.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue, Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S. and Michael Mulvany.  The Committee also considered a written report on the inspection and photographs which were taken during the inspection.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue outlined the background to the inspection which was conducted by Larry Mulvany (father of Michael Mulvany) in the absence of Michael Mulvany who was at the sales.  Mr O’Donoghue said that he spoke to Michael Mulvany by phone on a number of occasions during the inspection in relation to one particular horse that needed immediate veterinary attention.  Mr O’Donoghue referred to a number of issues which needed to be addressed with regard to the general condition of the Training Establishment.  He also stated that the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme agreement was not displayed in a work area much to Mr Mulvany’s surprise who was adamant that it had been there.

In her evidence Ms Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S. referred to the five horses which in her opinion needed veterinary attention with one horse in need of immediate attention.  She stated that this horse was treated by Mr Mulvany’s vet during their visit and that it was necessary for her to assist the vet with the treatment.  She confirmed to the committee that they were disappointed at the general appearance of the yard.

In his evidence Michael Mulvany submitted letters from three veterinary clinics who confirmed that Mr Mulvany’s horses were well looked after and that there was no evidence of mistreatment or neglect.  He outlined the background to the injury sustained by the horse that was treated in the presence of the Turf Club officials.  He said that when his staff communicated details of the injury to him they did not indicate that it was serious, with the result he did not ask for the veterinary surgeon to call immediately.

Mr Mulvany also submitted pictures of the improvements that had been made to his Training Establishment since the visit of the Turf Club officials.  He said he accepted the yard was not up to the standard required at the time of the visit and that this arose as both he and his brother (who is normally in charge of the yard) were away.  He accepted that there were deficiencies in supervision and stable management.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee accepted Mr Mulvany’s admission with regard to the various deficiencies identified.  They noted that he has now taken big steps to address the issues and stressed to him the importance of current standards being maintained in relation to the wellbeing of the animals and the security and operation of the stables.  He was found in breach of Rule 298 5 and fined €130 in respect of the failure to display the completed Stable Employees Bonus Scheme agreement.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Michael Mulvany was represented by Frank Ward, Frank Ward & Co. Solicitors, Dublin 7.


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