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Evanna McCutcheon (Trainer) / Datanarra Referral


The Referrals Committee Mr Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Sean Barry and Laurence McFerran met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co Kildare on Monday, 4th January 2016 to consider whether Evanna McCutcheon, trainer, was in breach of any rules as a result of a horse trained by her, running on five occasions in 2014 at Gowran Park on 27th April, Cork on 23rd May, Down Royal on 30th May, Listowel on 1st June and Roscommon on 7th July under the name of Datanarra but which was in fact another horse called Nara Datta. The case was referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.

Evidence was heard from Declan Buckley, Turf Club Deputy Head of Security and Evanna McCutcheon.

In his evidence Declan Buckley said that Evanna McCutcheon took a horse (understood to be Datanarra) to Kempton to run on the 30th October 2014. When she presented this horse to the Veterinary Officer on duty to be checked prior to running, it was discovered that the microchip number on the horse did not match the microchip number on the passport. Enquiries carried out by the BHA officials revealed that the horse presented was in fact a horse called Nara Datta. The Stewards at Kempton ordered the withdrawal of the horse and referred the matter to the BHA.

At a subsequent hearing by the BHA’s Disciplinary Committee Ms. McCutcheon was found to be in breach of BHA rule (E)16.3 and was fined £850.

Mr Buckley said that he interviewed Ms. McCutcheon in July 2015. When asked of the circumstances by which she came to have the horse. Ms McCutcheon replied that the owner and his nephew arrived at her yard late at night on 4th January 2014 with the horse. She stated that she endorsed the passport to acknowledge that she checked the horse against the passport. She accepted that she did not check the horse against the passport on any of the occasions that the horse ran under her name and that she only carried out a limited check on the night that the horse arrived.

He said that Ms McCutcheon has now taken measures to ensure a mix up of this nature does not happen again and she now ensures that every horse that comes to her yard is microchipped by her vet no later than 48 hours after arrival and if this is not possible then she has access to a microchipping reader herself.

In her evidence Evanna McCutcheon accepted that she did not carry out a detailed check on the horse when it arrived at her yard. She said that the markings of Datanarra and Nara Datta were similar. She confirmed that she has now purchased a microchip reader and that there will be no reoccurrence of the mix up in identities.

Having considered the evidence the Committee found Ms. McCutcheon in breach of Regulation R8 2A as she failed to check the identity of the horse from the markings contained in the passport. They accepted that what occurred subsequently arose from a single incident. As a result they imposed a fine of €500. They also accepted that what occurred was not deliberate.

As the incorrect horse had run on five occasions in 2014 (as outlined below) they ordered that Datanarra be disqualified from the placings gained by him as follows:

1. Gowran Park on 27th April (unplaced)
2. Cork on 23rd May (placed third)
The result now reads:
First: Beau Satchel (GB)
Second: Apache Gold
Third: Longfield Lad
Fourth: Pixie Spirit
Fifth: Indigo Iris
3. Down Royal on 30th May (unplaced)
4. Listowel on 1st June (unplaced)
5. Roscommon on 7th July (unplaced)

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co Kildare.

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