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George Young (Restricted Trainer) Referral Random Stable Inspection – 15 October 2014

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Peter M. Allen and John McStay met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co Kildare on Saturday, 22nd November 2014 to consider the referral of George Young, restricted trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club following a random inspection carried out at Mr Young’s Training Establishment on 15th October 2014 by Turf Club Officials, Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor MRCVS.

During the inspection the officials found a number of anomalies including: i) A serious injury to “The Causeway Stone” (a horse under George Young’s care) that had not received any veterinary treatment and which resulted in the animal being unable to stand. ii) That there had been administration of excessive dosages of Butagran Equi to “The Causeway Stone” which had not been prescribed and which had been administered without veterinary supervision. iii) The failure to record the administrations of Butagran Equi in the Medicines Register.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue and from Nicola O’Connor MRCVS. The Committee noted a written report on their visit and pictures of the injured horse.  The Committee also noted a report which had been submitted by David Strang, a veterinary surgeon who was called to examine the horse during the random inspection and who put the horse down in the presence of the Turf Club officials. In addition, the committee considered a number of oral submissions from Andrew Coonan on behalf of George Young and a number of written testimonials in support of Mr Young.

At the outset, Andrew Coonan said that Mr Young was handing in his Trainers licence and was prepared to give an undertaking that he would not apply for the licence to be reinstated at any time in the future. He said he was also undertaking not to apply for a Handler’s licence again. He said that Mr Young had begun the process of moving all the horses currently under his care to other yards.  He said Mr Young was not challenging the evidence of the Turf Club officials contained in the report and that he accepted he was in breach of the Rules which he was charged with.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue went through what was observed when they visited Mr Young’s Training Establishment. He referred to the injured horse and said that Mr Young had not called a vet as he claimed he did not realise that the injury was as serious as it was.

In her evidence Nicola O’Connor outlined how she discovered the horse and the condition that the horse was in. She said that Mr Young had been treating the horse with Butagran Equi (bute) which had not been prescribed and that he had informed her that the horse had suffered a minor injury about three weeks prior to today’s visit.  She said that the horse had not received veterinary attention and that when the full extent of the injury became apparent during the visit they insisted that a veterinary surgeon be called immediately. As a result David Strang was called and after examining the injury and consulting with the various parties the horse was put down.

In his submission Andrew Coonan said that Mr Young accepted that an injury had occurred to the horse over three weeks ago which had got progressively worse despite Mr Young’s treatment. He said that Mr Young now accepted that it was a big mistake not to call a veterinary surgeon at an earlier stage and he attributed this to the fact that his client had now lost his judgment even though he had been involved with horses for many years and trained over 150 winners. He said Mr Young was very embarrassed by what happened.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee confirmed that George Young was in breach of the Rules he was charged with namely Rules 148(i),(iii)(a)(b) and (vi), 272 and 273(xiii).  In arriving at an appropriate penalty the Committee accepted Mr Young’s undertakings that he would not apply for either a trainer’s or a point-to-point handler’s licence again and that he was disposing of all horses currently under his care. Conal Boyce, on behalf of the Turf Club asked for an additional undertaking that Mr Young’s premises would not be used for training horses again unless the Turf Club authorised the trainer or handler that would be using the premises.  Andrew Coonan confirmed that Mr Young would be happy to give that undertaking.  In view of the undertakings given by Mr Young, the Committee imposed no additional penalty on him other than to order that he make a contribution of €750 towards the Turf Club’s costs.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co Kildare.  George Young was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co Kildare.

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