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Denis Hogan, (Trainer)/I’m Serious Referral – Passport irregularity


The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Nicholas P. Lambert and Anthony Byrne met at the Turf Club, The Curragh on Tuesday, 29th August 2017 to consider whether or not Denis Hogan, Trainer, was in breach of any rules as a result of issues which arose with the passport of the four year old gelding in training with him, I’m Serious.

The background to the referral was that the passport of I’m Serious was checked in Kilbeggan by the Turf Club veterinary team on 12th May 2017 where it was discovered that there was more than 92 days between the first and second vaccination against Equine Influenza which is a breach of Rule 91(i). Mr. Hogan then submitted an appeal against the sanction imposed by the raceday stewards for this breach and was asked to provide a copy of the passport in advance of the appeal. On receipt of a copy of the passport on 13th June 2017 it was noted that the dates appeared to have been altered from what had been seen in Kilbeggan previously. The horse had been declared to run at Roscommon on 13th June 2017; the alteration to the dates was also noted by the veterinary team at the racecourse and brought to the attention of the raceday stewards who referred the matter to the Turf Club for further investigation. Following this Mr. Hogan contacted the Turf Club CEO, admitted that the passport had been altered and provided him with an explanation for the alteration. He also withdrew the previously submitted appeal against the fine imposed in Kilbeggan.

The Referrals Committee were asked specifically to consider whether or not Denis Hogan was in breach of the following rules:

1. Rule 91(i) and (iv) for having incorrect vaccinations against Equine Influenza and an unauthorised amendment of the vaccination.
2. Rule 272(i) for acting in a manner which is prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing by submitting a passport which had been altered with the intention to mislead Turf Club Officials.

Evidence was heard from Denis Hogan.

In his evidence Denis Hogan confirmed what happened as outlined above. He said a staff member had admitted to changing the date of the first vaccination in 2014 from February to April in an attempt to make the vaccination interval correct. He said that he was unaware at the time that this had occurred; it came to light when he investigated the matter.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee that Denis Hogan was in breach of Rules 91(i) (penalty imposed – fine €350), Rule 91(iv) (penalty imposed – caution) and Rule 272(i) (penalty imposed – fine €350). In arriving at the fine level for the breach of Rule 272(i), the committee said they accepted Mr. Hogan’s account of what occurred. They also ordered that he pay costs of €200.

The Committee stressed the importance of Mr. Hogan avoiding further breaches of Rule 272(i). They also noted that he had now taken steps to address the issues which had arisen with vaccinations.

The case was presented to the Committee by Cliodhna Guy, Turf Club Head of Legal & Compliance.

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