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D.K. Weld (Trainer) “Va Pensiero” Dundalk – 13th May 2016


The Referrals Committee N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), C.P. Magnier and Peter N. Reynolds met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co Kildare on Wednesday, 29th June 2016 to consider a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick, stating that the biological fluid sample taken from Va Pensiero, trained by D.K. Weld, following the horse’s win in the Fundraising Made Easy At Dundalk Stadium Race at Dundalk on 13th May 2016 was found to contain 3-Hydroxy Lidocaine, which under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14 is a prohibited substance. The finding of 3-Hydroxy Lidocaine was confirmed when the B sample was analysed at LCH in Paris on 23rd June 2016.

Evidence was heard from D.K. Weld, Dr Thomas Barragry, pharmacologist, and from Joe O’Donnell MRCVS (D.K. Weld’s veterinary surgeon). The Committee also considered a report from Andrew Tyrrell MRCVS, Turf Club veterinary officer, who inspected Mr Weld’s premises.

In his evidence Dr Thomas Barragry said that Lidocaine is a commonly used local anesthetic generally given topically or by administration. He said the fact that 3-Hydroxy-Lidocaine, which is a metabolite of Lidocaine, was found meant that the drug went through the horse’s system. Dr Barragry concluded by stating that the levels found in Va Pensiero were very high.

In his evidence D.K. Weld said that Va Pensiero was never on any medication and he could not understand how the sample taken was positive. He said he never administered any medication to the horse and neither did he ask anyone to administer anything to the horse. He described Va Pensiero as a tough horse who was very sound. He said he was completely puzzled by the finding and had no idea how the horse tested positive. He outlined the protocols that he has in place with regard to medicines. He also made reference to his exemplary record in this area.

In his evidence Joe O’Donnell MRCVS confirmed that Va Pensiero had never been administered any substance. He said the levels found in the horse indicated that the substance found was administered to the horse close to the race which surprised him greatly. He referred to a post administration study carried out which indicated this.

In his report Andrew Tyrrell MRCVS said that a very detailed Medicines Register is maintained by Mr. Weld and that it is meticulously kept. He said there was no evidence of Lidocaine being administered to any horse under Mr Weld’s care.

Having considered the evidence the Committee found D.K. Weld to be in breach of Rule 96(a) and ordered the disqualification of the horse. In addition they imposed a fine of €1,000 for the rule breach.

As result of disqualifying Va Pensiero from first place, the Committee ordered the result be amended to read as follows:

First: Power Struggle
Second: Whiskey Sour
Third: Restive
Fourth: Lex Talionis

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stipendiary Steward.

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