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Denis Gerard Hogan (Trainer) Appeal – Prohibited Substance Galway 29th October 2022

The Appeals Body, Ms. Susan Ahern (Chair), Mr. John Murphy and Mr. Noel McCaffrey convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday, 20th July 2023 to consider the appeal of Denis Hogan (Trainer) against the commencement date of a suspension imposed by the Referrals Committee on Monday 19th June 2023.

At the Referral Hearing, Mr. Hogan was found in breach of Rule 96(a) following a report from LGC Laboratories that the urine sample taken from Ballyadam Destiny (GB) following his win in the WB Gavin and Co. Handicap Hurdle on 29th October 2022 contained Triamcinolone Acetonide (TCA) and Dexamethasone. Having considered his record in this regard, the Referrals Committee fined Mr. Hogan and suspended his Trainer’s licence for a period of three months.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Hogan was against the commencement date of his suspension being 1st August 2023. 

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Hogan.

In his evidence, Mr. Hogan outlined that he currently had 60 horses in training and employed 15 staff, including four licensed apprentice jockeys. Mr. Hogan said that he accepted that he had made a significant mistake, that he would have to suffer the consequences of that mistake and that the decision of the Referrals Committee was not unjust. He stated that his appeal was solely related to the commencement of his suspension and that he was seeking to have the start date moved to 1st September in order for his staff and owners, who were blameless in this situation, to suffer as little inconvenience as possible. Mr. Hogan acknowledged that he would be removing himself from any operational activity in his yard for the period of three months and was hoping to find an appropriate trainer to take over the business for that period. He stated that although the matter had yet to be resolved, he expected it would be by 1stSeptember.

Having considered Mr Hogan’s evidence, the Appeals Body allowed the appeal and the decision as read out by Ms. Ahern on behalf of the committee is set out below.

“This is an appeal by Mr. Hogan in relation to the decision of the Referrals Committee on the 19th June 2023. The application is a very neat one in that it is seeking to extend the commencement date of the period of suspension of three months from 1st August to 1st September 2023. The committee has decided to allow that appeal and for the suspension to start on 1st September 2023. In particular, the committee is conscious that Mr. Hogan was representing himself at the Referral Hearing and that when the decision was handed down, he was not in full mind to be able to understand what the implications of that sanction were and having reflected on it and understood the practicalities of it, that is why he brought this particular appeal. The committee were also conscious, as is evident from the transcript, that the Referrals Committee was not so adamant about the commencement date being 1st August and that had an application been made on the day the Referrals Committee may have granted it. We are also conscious that Mr. Hogan needs time in which to organise his affairs with over 60 horses in training and 15 members of staff, and leases a further external premises.”

Mr. Hogan was represented by Kevin Power of Maurice Power & Co Solicitors, Limerick in the appeal hearing. The IHRB was represented by Ms. Clíodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance.  

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