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A.B. Joyce (Trainer) “Rock On Rosie” Referral Prohibited Substance - Kilbeggan 8th August 2015


The Referrals Committee, N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Philip McLernon and Robert Dore met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Tuesday, 10th November 2015, to consider a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick stating that the biological fluid sample taken from “Rock On Rosie”, trained by A.B. Joyce, following the horse’s win in the “Joe Cooney Memorial Handicap Hurdle” at Kilbeggan on 8th August 2015, was found to contain Salbutamol which, under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14, is a prohibited substance. The trainer requested that the “B” sample be tested and the sample which was tested by Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques in Paris on 8th September 2015 confirmed the findings of Salbutamol.

Evidence was heard from Dr. Thomas Barragry, pharmacologist, Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club and A.B. Joyce.

In his evidence Dr. Thomas Barragry said that Salbutamol was a slow acting beta agonist which effects the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. He said it was performance enhancing and that it is usually given to a horse by inhalation. He noted that the administration of Salbutamol had been recorded in the Medicines Register. Dr. Barragry referred to the detection time for Salbutamol which he said is a minimum of 72 hours after the last dose. He said it appeared that “Rock On Rosie” was raced too close after the final administration of Salbutamol.

In his evidence Denis Egan referred to the information which is provided on detection times on the Turf Club website and explained the difference between a detection time and a withdrawal time. He said veterinary surgeons would be very familiar with this distinction and would advise trainers on appropriate withdrawal times.

In his evidence A.B. Joyce accepted that Salbutamol had been administered to the horse and that the administration was recorded in the Medicines Register. He now accepted that he did not allow enough time between the last administration and the race to ensure that the substance had left the horse’s system.

Mr Joyce referred to the detection time for Salbutamol of 72 hours and the fact that the horse raced 85 hours after the last administration. He said he had been advised by his veterinary surgeon that this was a sufficient gap to leave between the last administration and the race. He stated that his veterinary surgeon said that other horses had raced with this gap and won races and the samples from these horses had been negative.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found that A.B. Joyce was in breach of Rule 96(a) as the sample taken from “Rock On Rosie” showed the presence of a prohibited substance. Mr. Joyce was fined €1,000 for the breach of Rule 96(a). However the Committee waived the fine as they were of the opinion that Mr Joyce had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rule. He was ordered to pay the costs of analysis of the “B” sample.

The Committee also disqualified “Rock On Rosie” from first place and ordered the records be amended to read as follows:

First: Cloudy Morning
Second: Emmy Lou
Third: Deadly Catch
Fourth: You Can’t Catch Me

The case was presented to the Committee by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare. A.B. Joyce was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co Kildare.

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