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Harry Rogers (Trainer) Prohibited Substance Referral – The Curragh 8th October 2022

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Justice Raymond Groarke, (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne, and Mr. Finbar Cahill convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Thursday, 16th February 2023 to consider whether or not Mr. Harry Rogers (Trainer) was in breach of any rules of racing as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Newmarket, England.

The report received on 3rd November 2022 confirmed that the urine sample taken from Final Endeavour following his win in the Tesoro Vita Ladies Trophy Handicap at The Curragh on 8th October 2022, was confirmed by LGC Laboratories to contain O-desmethylvenlafaxine. Under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules O-desmethylvenlafaxine is a prohibited substance on a raceday.

The option of ‘B’ sample analysis was requested by Mr. Rogers which was reported positive for O-desmethylvenlafaxine by LCH Laboratory on 15th December 2022.

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

In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer outlined the details of the IHRB investigation. Dr. Hillyer confirmed that venlafaxine metabolises to O-desmethylvenlafaxine. She stated that no probable source for the substance had been provided by Mr. Rogers prior to the hearing. However, she could not rule out the possibility that cross contamination could arise from the horse being exposed to O-desmethylvenlafaxine through the parent substance venlafaxine.

In his evidence, Mr. Rogers explained that he had attended the races at the Curragh on the 8th October but had sent a member of staff to transport and handle the horse on race day. He provided additional information to the Committee as to how the horse may have been exposed to the parent substance venlafaxine. He outlined a possibility that cross contamination may have occurred due to a person being in regular contact with both the horse and with the parent substance resulting in the adverse analytical finding. 

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

“The findings in the samples established the presence of a prohibited substance and thus established a breach of Rule 96(a), for which the trainer is responsible under the provisions of Rule 148(i).  As to the sanction, the Committee order that the horse be disqualified from the race in question, that the Judges placings be amended accordingly, and that the winning stake be forfeited.

They also noted that although they were satisfied that the substance passed from human to horse, they could not establish that any reasonable precautions had been taken by the trainer to avoid this breach. The Committee therefore decided that the breach in this case merited the imposition of a €1,000 fine for this offence.”




The Amended result of the Tesoro Vita Ladies Trophy Handicap now reads:

First:      El Tren

Second: Darraby (GB)

Third:   Perfect Arch

Fourth: Firstman (FR)

Fifth:    Khezaana


The case was presented by Ms. Clíodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance and Mr. Rogers was represented by Mr. John Ryan, BL, instructed by Mr. Con O’Leary of Con O’Leary & Co. Solicitors, Leixlip, County Kildare.


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