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John J. Hanlon (Trainer) Diamond Dame Referral Prohibited Substance – Listowel, 11th September 2016


The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Philip McLernon and N.P. Lambert met at The Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday 7th November 2016 to consider a report from BHP Laboratories in Limerick, stating that the biological fluid (urine) sample taken from Diamond Dame, trained by John J. Hanlon, following the horse’s win in the Low Low European Breeders Fund Handicap Hurdle at Listowel on 11th September 2016 was found to contain furosemide which under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14 is a prohibited substance.

Evidence was heard from Dr Lynn Hillyer, Turf Club Chief Veterinary Officer/Head of Anti-Doping and John Joseph Hanlon. The Committee also considered an investigation report completed by Dr Hillyer and transcripts of interviews out with John J. Hanlon and Rachel O’Neill (John J. Hanlon’s partner).

At the outset John J. Hanlon accepted that he was in breach Rule 20(v) and accepted the laboratory finding of furosemide.

In her evidence Dr Lynn Hillyer described the furosemide treatments received by Diamond Dame prior to the horse’s run at Listowel on 11th September 2016. These were reported as given to try to prevent Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (“bleeding”) in the mare. She went on to review the finding in the urine sample in the context of available scientific information.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found that the horse was administered furosemide on the day of the race but were unable to ascertain the source of the administration. They were critical of Mr Hanlon for withdrawing water from Diamond Dame 48 hours in advance of the race noting that this practice is inadvisable, not acceptable and should be discontinued.

The Committee found John J. Hanlon to be in breach of Rule 20(v), imposing a fine of €1,500 and Rule 96(a), ordering the disqualification of the horse and that the race result be amended to read as follows:

First: Mill Quest
Second: Mileys Dream
Third: The Fitz Lady
Fourth: Tb Broke Her
Fifth: Azamesse

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

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