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Robert Tyner (Trainer) Prohibited Substance Referral – Limerick 10th July 2021

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. Nicholas Wachman, and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday, 25th April 2022 to consider whether or not Robert Tyner (Trainer) was in breach of any rules of racing as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Newmarket, England.


The report stated the blood sample taken from Blustery following her win in Division Two of the Templeglantine Handicap Chase on 10th July 2021 at Limerick, was confirmed by LGC Laboratories (LGC) to contain dexamethasone. Under Rule 20(v) and Regulation 14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules dexamethasone is a prohibited substance.


The option of ‘B’ sample analysis was declined with Mr. Tyner thus accepting the result of the ‘A’ Sample.


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


In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer outlined the details of the IHRB investigation. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties used to treat a variety of conditions in horses, including lameness and respiratory disease. When administered by intravenous injection as the clear liquid Dexadreson at a single dose of 15ml for a 500kg horse, the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee published Detection Time for dexamethasone is five days. Dr. Hillyer explained that Mr. Tyner was able to explain to her that he had administered dexamethasone intravenously himself to the mare on 6th July for a skin rash. Mr. Tyner shared his Medicines Register and Yard Diary and confirmed that the product had been left by his veterinary surgeon for the treatment of another horse and that he did not seek veterinary advice in the treatment of Blustery. Dr. Hillyer explained the seriousness of Mr. Tyner administering a prescription only medicine intravenously without veterinary diagnosis/oversight in the context of relevant legislation whereby such activity must only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon in the interests of the animal’s health and welfare and the safety and efficacy of the medication. Administration of a medicine into a vein is a matter for a trained veterinary surgeon. 


In his evidence, Mr. Tyner stated that this was an unfortunate occurrence. He said that the mare had a mild heat rash and he administered the medication not realising that he wasn’t allowed to do so intravenously. Mr. Tyner explained that the mare was entered for the race in Limerick but was high on the ballot and not likely to get in. However, the race divided and he was surprised at declaration time that she got a run and at that stage had forgotten he had given her the injection.


Having considered the evidence, Mr. Allen read out the following decision on behalf of the committee.


“We have had the opportunity to consider the matters put before us and the evidence provided and it is the view of this committee that you are in breach of Rule 96A, Rule 148iii(a), Rule 148iii(b), and 273(i). Under Rule 96A we are going to disqualify the horse from the race in question and order that that stake be forfeited. In regard for the fine that we will impose, we are going to deal with all the breaches as one. We would like to say from the outset that this committee take a very serious view of you administering an intravenous to a horse without the horse having been seen by a veterinary surgeon or without you been given instructions by a veterinary surgeon. It appears to us that this was a self-diagnosis and a self-administration of a medicine which was prescribed to you for a different animal and for a different condition and that borders on recklessness on some peoples minds. We take an extremely serious view on that, particularly as you are a licenced trainer and we would expect that licenced trainers would not be involved in that kind of self-diagnosis and self-administration without veterinary surgeons being involved and giving their opinion on it. We’ve taken into account about your record but we view it as three breaches in three years and we take that as a serious offence. It had crossed our mind to suspend your licence but on this occasion we are not going to do that, however we will impose a fine of €5,000.”


The result now reads:

First:      Rubiana

Second: Mahler Of Autumn

Third:    Celtic Dancer

Fourth:  Cluan Dara

Fifth:    Stormy Master


The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Legal Regulatory Advisor.

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