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Caroline McCaldin (Handler) Prohibited Substance Referral – Route (H) Point to Point at Portrush 15th October 2022

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Robert Dore, (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne, and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday, 8th February 2023 to consider whether or not Ms. Caroline McCaldin (Handler) was in breach of any rules of racing as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Newmarket, England.


The report received on 31st October 2022 confirmed that the blood sample taken from Faith Loving following his win in the Kenny Bradleys Winner Of Three at the Route (H) Point to Point at Portrush on 15th October 2022, was confirmed by LGC Laboratories to contain triamcinolone acetonide (TCA). Under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules triamcinolone acetonide is a prohibited substance on a raceday.


The option of ‘B’ sample analysis was declined by Ms. McCaldin, thus accepting the result of the ‘A’ sample.


Evidence was heard from Ms. McCaldin and Dr. Lynn Hillyer, Head of Anti-Doping and Chief Veterinary Officer.


In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer outlined the details of the IHRB investigation. She explained that TCA is a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication commonly used in equine practice. She stated that there is no published Detection Time for TCA but there is a minimum Stand Down time of 14 days which must be given after an intra-articular administration of the drug under Rule 87(vii)(c). Dr. Hillyer confirmed that Ms. McCaldin had cooperated fully with the IHRB investigation at all times and was immediately in a position to provide her Medicines’ Register which had a recording of 30mg of TCA administered intra-artiuclarly into Faith Loving’s back on 12th September 2022 and a previous recording of 30mg intra-artiuclarly into Faith Loving’s back on 24th March 2022. Dr. Hillyer explained that a likely cause for the substance being detected over 30 days after administration was due to the pathology of the joint which was injected on more than one occasion and therefore insufficient time was allowed between administration and Raceday.


In her evidence, Ms. McCaldin provided a brief background of Faith Loving’s career and that he had been previously diagnosed with kissing spines. Ms. McCaldin explained that she followed veterinary advice at all times while the horse was in training. She stated that she was advised of a 28-day withdrawal period following the 12th September administration of TCA and she felt she had left sufficient time by not running the horse until 15th October. Ms. McCaldin accepted that there had been a breach of the Regulations.


Having considered the evidence, Chairman of the Referrals Committee, Mr. Dore, read out the following decision on behalf of the committee.


“This committee accepts without question Ms. McCaldin’s bona fides and appreciates her acceptance that there has been a breach of Regulation 96(a) and further appreciates that this breach was without malice. It is the responsibility of a Handler that when a horse runs it does not run with the benefit of a prohibited substance. This was not the case when Faith Loving won at the Route (H) Point to Point on the 15th October 2022. Ms. McCaldin was aware that her horse had been treated with TCA and in that knowledge Ms. McCaldin ought to have taken reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the Regulation. She did not seek IHRB veterinary advice and she did not request an elective test. Having considered the evidence, Faith Loving will be disqualified, the stake be forfeited and a fine of €1,000 shall be imposed on Ms. McCaldin.”



The Amended result of the Kenny Bradleys Winner Of Three now reads:

First:      Ferns Lock (GB)


The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor and Ms. McCaldin was represented by Mr. Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, County Kildare.

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