Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Sean Thomas Doyle Appeal Random Stable Inspection 23 Aug 2013

The Appeals Body, (Division One), Patrick Reidy (in the chair), John McStay and Paul Ronan met at the Turf Club, the Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 16th December 2013, to consider the appeal of Sean Thomas Doyle, restricted trainer, against the severity of the penalties imposed on him by the Referrals Committee on 7th October 2013, as a result of being found in breach of the following rules: (i) Rule 273(viii) as it was found there was misuse of his restricted trainer’s licence in that he had misled the Turf Club and the public by indicating that he was the trainer of “Golden Palm” and “Little Mitch” when this was not the case.

(ii) Rule 148(iii)(b)  as it was found that he failed to keep a completed Medicines Register available for inspection.

(iii) Rule 147(vi) - as it was found he was training horses from an unlicensed premises.

In respect of the breach of Rule 273(viii), the Referrals Committee withdrew his licence to train which had been issued for the year 1st March 2013 to 28th February 2014 and declared that he is prohibited by reason of these findings from holding such a licence (or a full training licence) for a period of 18 months.  The committee fined him €300 for the breach of Rule 148(iii)(b) and €130 for the breach of Rule 147(vi).  He was also ordered to make a contribution of €200 towards the cost of the hearing.

As a result of the findings that “Golden Palm” and “Little Mitch” were not trained by Sean Thomas Doyle and pursuant to Rule 147(ii) they also disqualified both horses from a number of races.

The Appeals Body considered the transcript of the referral hearing held on 7th October 2013 and the written report on the random stable inspection which had been completed by Turf Club officials Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor M.R.C.V.S. following their visit to Mr. Doyle’s yard on 23rd August 2013.  They also considered a number of oral submissions made by Carl Hanahoe BL on behalf of Mr Doyle as well as further evidence from Sean Thomas Doyle on the impact that an 18 month ban would have on his career.

In his initial submission, Carl Hanahoe BL said that the appeal of Sean Thomas Doyle was against the penalty imposed for the breach of Rule 273(viii) and that he was not contesting the penalties in respect of the other breaches.  He asked the Appeals Body to reconsider the penalty imposed in the context of the commercial impact it would have on Mr. Doyle’s training career and the fact that his client was now fully cognisant of all his responsibilities and will fully comply with his obligations under rules in future.

Having considered the matter, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and ordered that Sean Thomas Doyle’s appeal deposit be forfeited and that he pay costs of €1,555 (including costs associated with the preparation of the transcript) to the Turf Club.  They ordered that the licence withdrawal of 18 months imposed remain in place and that his licence should be withdrawn with effect from 1st February 2014.

In arriving at their decision, the Appeals Body considered that the breach of Rule 273(viii) to be a serious matter and stated that but for the pleas made on his behalf by Carl Hanahoe BL, they would have considered an increase in penalty.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Sean Thomas Doyle was represented by Carl Hanahoe BL, instructed by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Editor’s note 1. A copy of the decision of the Referrals Committee on 7th October 2013 is attached.


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