Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Pat Martin (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 Pat Martin, 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: i) Nine horses namely “Boughtforasong”, “California Rose”, “Celtic Fire”, “Celtic Nama”, “Cheer Rio”, “Fleeting Moment”, “Light Of The Sea”, “Reckless Lad” and “Suite” that were returned in training and missing for a variety of reasons. ii) A failure to notify the Turf Club that two employees had left his employment around March 2014. iii) A failure to make the Medicines Register available for inspection. iv) No evidence that the last Stable Employees Bonus Scheme Agreement was paid to staff despite a return being made to the Turf Club on 19th August confirming that it was. v) No evidence that the employees named on the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme completed agreement returned to the Turf Club were in his employment at the time. vi) No evidence of the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme completed agreement being displayed in a work area.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue, Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S. and Pat Martin.  The Committee also considered a written report on the inspection.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue summarised the various issues which arose during the inspection.  He said most of the difficulties related to administrative matters.  He said that Pat Martin had co-operated fully with the inspection and had returned specifically from the sales to provide assistance.

In her evidence Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S. confirmed the various findings.  She examined the medicines register which Pat Martin had brought with him to the hearing and confirmed that it was updated correctly.  She said that the medicines register was not produced on the day as it was kept at Mr Martin’s home, which is located some distance away from his Training Establishment.

In his evidence Pat Martin accepted the report prepared on the visit.  He outlined the various reasons why the 9 horses listed as missing had not been returned out of training.  He said one of the two employees had not left his employment in March 2014 but was absent as he had injured his arm on his way to work.  He said the other employee had taken time off and had left his employment in mid August.  Mr Martin submitted confirmations from both employees that they had now received their entitlements under the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme.  He accepted that the completed Stable Employees Bonus Scheme agreement was not displayed in a work area.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee found that five of the nine horses namely, “California Rose”, “Celtic Fire”, “Celtic Nama”, “Light of the Sea” and “Suite” should have been returned out of training in accordance with the provisions of Rule 148(vi).  They imposed a fine of €130 in respect of each horse (total €650).    They accepted his reasons for not returning the other four horses out of training in accordance with Rule 148(vi). 

They also found Mr Martin in breach of Rule 298 5 as a result of his failure to display the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme in a work area.  They fined him €130 in respect of this rule breach.  He was given the benefit of the doubt with regard to his failure to make the medicines register available for inspection on the day.  He was cautioned for his failure to notify the Turf Club that an employee had left his employment.  The committee complimented Mr Martin on the way he met the case and for his honesty.

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


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