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Harry Rogers (Trainer), Prohibited Substance Referral – Killarney, 19th July 2017


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 Harry Rogers, Trainer, was in breach of any rules as a result of a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick, that the sample taken from Byron Beauty following her win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap at Killarney on the 19th July 2017 was found to contain capsaicin which, under Rule 20(v), is a Prohibited Substance. The Trainer accepted the result of the A sample and did not request that the B sample be tested.

Capsaicin is an active component of chilli peppers. It is an irritant for mammals, including horses, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. It is a component of bona fide preparations intended to deter horses chewing, or grasping with their mouths to crib on, surfaces such as the tops of stable doors. It is also found in products intended to irritate the skin, such as ‘blister’ and relieve pain (‘deep heat’ effect). It has a pain killing and anti-inflammatory effect when rubbed into the skin. It is a Prohibited Substance if detected in a raceday sample because of these properties.

Evidence was heard from Harry Rogers and Dr. Lynn Hillyer.

In his evidence, Harry Rogers said he had no idea why the sample was positive and that he could find nothing to indicate where the capsaicin came from. He said he never used the substance in the yard and it was unlikely that the filly picked up anything at his Training Establishment as she is trained out of a paddock. Mr. Rogers suggested that the filly could have picked something up from the stable at Killarney but accepted that it was unlikely.

In her evidence, Dr. Lynn Hillyer said that despite investigations carried out by the Turf Club veterinary team which visited Mr. Rogers’ yard, no source had been found and there was no evidence to support that there had been cross contamination on the racecourse.

Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Harry Rogers was in breach of Rule 96(a).

The Committee disqualified Byron Beauty from first place and ordered the race result be amended to read as follows:-

First: Magen’s Moon
Second: Pandagreen
Third: Claregate Street
Fourth: Panstarr (GB)
Fifth: Elusive Duchess
Sixth: Lady Derrynane

The Committee waived the fine as they found that Harry Rogers had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rules. No costs were awarded.

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

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