Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Paul Martin Pierce - Zelkova Island Referral

Paul Martin Pierce – “Zelkova Island” Prohibited Substance
North Down Foxhounds Point to Point, 12th February 2011

The Referrals Committee, Neville O’Byrne (in the Chair), John Powell and Hugh Ferguson met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 21st March 2011, to consider a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick which stated that the biological fluid sample taken from “Zelkova Island” following that horse’s win in the Maiden Race for six year old geldings at North Down Foxhounds Point to Point on 12th February 2011, was found to contain Frusemide, which under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14, is a prohibited substance.

Evidence was heard from Paul Martin Pierce (handler of Zelkova Island) and Dr. Thomas Barragry, Pharmacologist.

In his evidence Paul Martin Pierce told the Committee that Frusemide had been administered to Zelkova Island on Monday, 7th February 2011.  He said that he had been advised by his veterinary surgeon that the withdrawal time for the substance was five days.  In view of this he felt that it was in order to run the horse on Saturday, 12th February 2011 as the five day period would have passed.  He said that he accepted the results of the laboratory which showed that Frusemide was present in the sample.

In his evidence Dr. Thomas Barragry told the Committee that Frusemide is a substance which is used to treat bleeding as it reduces blood pressure.  He said it can also act as a masking substance as it dilutes the urine.  He confirmed it is a prohibited substance.

Having considered the evidence the Committee fined Paul Martin Pierce €1,500 on the basis that the substance found was knowingly administered and that he did not allow sufficient time for the substance to leave the horses system.

The Committee also disqualified Zelkova Island from first place and ordered the records be amended as follows:

First:  Johnnyoftherookery                                                                                                                            Second: Cilliseal and Superior Quality       (Dead Heat)

The case was presented to the Committee by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.


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