Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Neil McKnight (Restricted Trainer) Referral – Roscommon – 10 June 2014

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt, (in the chair), Sean Barry and Philip Caffrey met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, 21st August 2014 to consider whether or not Neil McKnight is in breach of any Rule or Rules arising out of his failure to report that there may have been a virus in the system of Imperial Breeze when he ran poorly at Downpatrick on 23rd March 2014. This fact only came to light following an enquiry into the improvement in form shown by Imperial Breeze following the horse’s win in the Ivan Connaughton Auctioneer Handicap Hurdle at Roscommon on 10th June 2014.

Evidence was heard from Neil McKnight.

In his evidence Neil McKnight said that he had blood samples taken for analysis from Imperial Breeze eight days after the race at Downpatrick. The results of the blood analysis revealed that Imperial Breeze was suffering from a virus, after which he gave the horse time to recover. He admitted that he was aware of Rule 213 (iii) and should have reported to the Office of the Governing Bodies the results of the blood analysis as soon as they became known to him.  He said it was an oversight on his behalf that he did not do this and he apologised to the Committee.

Having considered the evidence the Committee found that Mr. McKnight was in breach of Rule 213(iii) and having taken into account that this was his first offence in this regard they imposed a fine of €600. They also warned Mr. McKnight that a further violation of this Rule would in future lead to a more substantial penalty being imposed.

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


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