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G.T. Lynch (Trainer) Referral

The Referrals Committee, Sean Barry (in the Chair), Philip Caffrey and Robert Dore met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday 14th May 2015, to consider whether or not G.T. Lynch, trainer, was in breach of any Rules following an investigation carried out by Declan Buckley, Turf Club deputy head of security, into some of the vaccination entries on the passports of Froggy, Paudi The Punter, FBA House, Shanaghy Sunrise and Golden Alou which appeared to have been made by a veterinary surgeon who does not exist. The matter had been referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club.

Evidence was heard from Bill Fleming, Turf Club veterinary assistant at Kilbeggan on 1st June 2014, Ms Joan Taylor, Turf Club veterinary officer at Kilbeggan on 1st and 23rd June 2014, Declan Buckley and G.T. Lynch.  The Committee also considered a written report by Declan Buckley and copies of the relevant passports.

In his evidence Bill Fleming outlined what occurred at Kilbeggan on 1st June 2014 with regard to the examination of the passport for FBA House.  He said that Mr Lynch lodged a passport at the veterinary unit for the horse as he is required to do under Rules 90/91.  On examination of the passport, Mr Fleming said he had concerns that the vaccination page did not appear to be in order and he brought this to the attention of Ms Joan Taylor who was the Turf Club veterinary officer on duty that day.  He noted that the last vaccination date endorsed on the passport did not bear a veterinary stamp and it appeared to have been signed by a B. Walsh.  He said that Ms Taylor requested Mr Lynch to come to the veterinary unit, where he confirmed that the vaccinations were in order.  The horse was allowed run on receipt of these written assurances from Mr Lynch.  Mr Lynch also said that the flu vaccination declaration under Rule 91 had been signed by a veterinary surgeon who, he said, “was an old man” and accepted that the passport had not been stamped.

In her evidence Ms Joan Taylor confirmed what Mr Fleming had outlined with regard to what occurred on 1st June 2014.  She also referred to an examination of another horse trained by Mr Lynch on 23rd June 2014 at Kilbeggan named Froggy.  On the evening in question, it was brought to her attention by the Turf Club veterinary assistant Ms Carol Murphy, that the signature on the passport did not match the stamp.  She said she tried to call the phone number on the stamp but the number did not connect.  Mr Lynch was not present on the day and when contacted by telephone he said the signature was that of a Paul Walsh.  However the stamp on the passport was for a B. Walsh and as the examination took place out of office hours it was not possible to contact the Veterinary Council to ascertain if the B. Walsh on the stamp was registered with them.  The horse was allowed run in the race and pulled up.

Following this, a random inspection was carried out at Mr Lynch’s training establishment and it was noted that there were other horses under Mr Lynch’s care where some of the veterinary stamps on the passports were from an unknown veterinary surgeon.  When questioned, Mr Lynch admitted that the stamps were not authentic.

In his evidence Declan Buckley outlined what was discussed at a meeting with Mr Lynch at the Turf Club on 20th October 2014 which was attended by himself and Christopher Gordon, Turf Club head of security.  He said Mr Lynch admitted that the stamps used for a number of vaccination entries were not authentic.  He said that Mr Lynch had told him that he had purchased vaccinations and administered them to the horses himself.  He said that Mr Lynch had provided a receipt from Garrynattin Equine Centre confirming the purchase of the vaccinations.

With regard to the stamp, he said that Mr Lynch confirmed that he had used a stamp which he received from a third party who used to ride out for him.  He said the third party had apparently found the veterinary stamp and given it to Mr Lynch.  Mr Buckley said he was unable to contact the third party despite making a number of efforts to do so.

Mr Buckley said the reason Mr Lynch administered the vaccinations himself was to save money and he fully accepted that what he did was wrong. 

In his evidence Mr Lynch apologised for what occurred.  He confirmed that his horses were all vaccinated and the reason he administered the vaccinations himself was to save money.  He accepted it was a stupid thing to do and that he had been administering vaccinations back as far as 2011.  He said all his horses are now vaccinated by a veterinary surgeon, who is responsible for all his veterinary work. 

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found Mr Lynch in breach of Rules 272 and 273(xiii).  In arriving at penalty, the Committee accepted that Mr Lynch had co-operated fully with the investigations and admissions he had made but found that the falsification of records is an extremely serious matter.  Taking all the facts into account they withdrew Mr Lynch’s license to train for a period of three months with effect from 28th May 2015 to 27th August 2015.  They stressed the importance to Mr Lynch of ensuring that his affairs are in order prior to him reapplying for his license. 

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

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