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Mark McNiff (Trainer) Random Stable Inspection 26th October 2016


The Referrals Committee, John Moloney (in the chair), Donal Gavin and P.J. O’Connor, met in the Stewards Room, Galway Racecourse, on Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, to consider the referral of Mark McNiff, trainer as a result of issues which arose during a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 26th October 2016 by Turf Club officials, Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor, M.V.B.

During the inspection, they discovered a number of anomalies including:
i) Three riders admitted to riding out this morning without wearing body protectors. Rule 148(v)(b)
ii) No S.E.B.S displayed for any quarter. Rule 298 (amended)
iii) The Turf Club Veterinary Medicines register was not maintained up to date since 2015. Rule 148(iii)(b)
iv) The Veterinary medicines unit had no lock system in use. Bute and sedatives found lying loose within. Rule 148(iii)(a)
v) Two staff members riding out were not registered with the Turf Club. Rule 149(ii)

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue and Mark McNiff.

The Committee also noted the contents of a report prepared following the inspection.

In his evidence, Michael O’Donoghue went through the report and highlighted the areas where Mr. McNiff was not in compliance with the rules.

In his evidence, Mark McNiff accepted he was in breach of the relevant rules and apologised for what had occurred. He outlined the steps he has now taken to ensure that there will be no reoccurrence of the problems.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found that Mark McNiff was in breach of Rules 148(iii)(a) and (b), 148(v)(b), 149(ii) and 298. They imposed the following penalties for the relevant rule breaches:

Rule 148(iii) (a) and (b) €200
Rule 148(v)(b) €200 in respect of each rider – total €600
Rule 149(ii) €200
Rule 298 Severe Caution

In arriving at the penalty, the Committee took into account Mr McNiff’s early guilty plea.

The case was presented by Hugh Hynes, stipendiary steward.

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