Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Peter Croke (Restricted Trainer) Random Stable Inspection Referral

 

The Referrals Committee, Sean Barry (in the Chair), Laurence McFerran and Mrs. J.O. Onions, met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare, on Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016, to consider whether or not Peter Croke (Restricted Trainer) was in breach of the Rules of Racing as a result of a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 2nd September, 2015, by Turf Club officials, Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor, MVB.

At the inspection certain anomalies arose including:-

(i) Failure to display the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme in accordance with Rule 298.5.

(ii) The ownership of Keep On Walking.

The matter was referred to the Referrals Committee by Josh Byrne, Registrar of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’ Donoghue and Peter Croke.  The Committee also considered the officials written report.

In his evidence Michael O’ Donoghue expressed satisfaction with the condition of the training establishment.  He observed there was a failure to display the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme in the staff working area as required under the provisions of Rule 298.5.  He explained to the Committee that employees had received their due payments from the scheme and that all veterinary matters were in order at the inspection.  A query arose concerning the ownership of Keep On Walking with Peter Croke indicating verbally the animal was due to return to a U.K. based owner.  The records however showed that the animal was registered to run in Mr. Croke’s name.

In his evidence Peter Croke (Restricted Trainer) reaffirmed the evidence of Michael O’Donoghue and accepted that the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme was not on display in the staff working area.  He informed the Committee the employees had received payments from the scheme.  He explained that he may have created a misunderstanding concerning the ownership of Keep On Walking stating he had purchased the animal in May 2015, and subsequently sold him on the week following the inspection.  He apologised to the Committee for the misunderstanding.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Peter Croke to be in breach of Rule 298.5 and fined him €130.  In relation to the ownership of the animal the Committee cautioned Mr. Croke concerning this matter and ordered him to contribute €240 towards costs.

The case was presented to the Committee by Paul Murtagh, Stipendiary Steward.


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