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James W. Doyle (Handler), Prohibited Substance Referral – Muskerry (F) Dawstown - 7th May 2018 Fermanagh (H) Point to Point - 19th May 2018


The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), John Powell and Nicholas Lambert met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday, 16th August 2018, to consider reports from LGC Laboratories, Cambridgeshire, UK, that samples taken from “Run Wild Fred” following his win at Muskerry (F) Dawstown Point to Point on 7th May 2018, and “Howling Milan” following his win at the Fermanagh (H) Point to Point on 19th May, 2018 were found to contain diisopropylamine (DIPA). Both horses were under the care of Handler, James W. Doyle.


Under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules, DIPA is a prohibited substance.


James W.  Doyle requested that the respective “B” Samples be analysed in both cases and the results of the analysis carried out at Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques, Paris, France confirmed the “A” sample findings. It was confirmed that Mr. Doyle was not disputing the adverse analytical findings in respect of either sample.


Evidence was heard from Dr. Lynn Hillyer, James W.  Doyle and Ms. Ellen Doyle. The Committee also considered the IHRB Investigation Report, the IHRB Report of an unannounced Inspection/Out of Competition Testing at Mr. Doyle’s premises carried out by Dr. Lynn Hillyer and Veterinary Assistant Declan Condell on the 29th May 2018 and written submissions made by Mr. Doyle.  Although no source of the DIPA could be identified at the time of that visit, the findings were subsequently identified as likely to have been as a result of exposure to a supplement claiming to contain pangamic acid marketed for ‘performance support’, close to racing.


Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that James W. Doyle was in breach of Rule 96A in respect of both horses and had shown, at a minimum, gross negligence resulting in the breach. The Committee noted that in the circumstances there was no basis for the waiver of the fine under Rule 96A and imposed a fine of €1,000 in respect of the rule breach relating to “Run Wild Fred” and €2,000 in respect of the rule breach relating to “Howling Milan”. They also ordered that the costs of the “B” sample confirmatory analysis be paid by Mr. Doyle as well as a payment of €500 towards costs.


The Committee noted that under Rule 96A, it was open to them to restrict the horses from running for a period of time and that such restriction would be effective even if the horses had been sold on or were in another jurisdiction. Such sanction was not being imposed in this case based on the circumstances, however the Committee noted it may be used in future cases.


The Committee further noted the importance of Point to Point racing in the Irish Horse Racing Industry and the damage that cases such as this do to the reputation of the individuals involved and the sport as a whole. On that basis they determined that James W. Doyle’s Handlers’ Permit would be suspended until 31st December 2018 under Rule 96A. They noted that the short length of suspension reflected the fact that Mr. Doyle had addressed the matter in a forthright manner but reiterated that such breaches were unacceptable in the sport.


The Committee disqualified both horses from first place and ordered the records be amended to read as follows:-

Muskerry (F) Dawstown Point to Point - 7th May 2018

Maiden Race For 4-Y-O Geldings (DIVISION I)

First:                Easyrun De Vassy (FR)

Second:           Precious Bounty

Third:               Flaming Glory


Fermanagh (H) Point to Point – 19th May 2018

Maiden Race For 4-Y-O Geldings

First:                Our Bubba

Second:           Dalkingstown (GB)

Third:               Presenting Dancer


The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance.

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