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Thomas Dennis Geoghegan (Trainer) Prohibited Substance Referral – Ballymacad (F) Oldcastle, 25th September 2021

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne, and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday, 17th August 2022 to consider whether or not Mr. Thomas Geoghegan (Handler) was in breach of any rules as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Newmarket, England.

The report received on 19th October 2021 stated the blood sample taken from Mick Mixy following his win in the McCabes Bar & Lounge 6YO+ Maiden on the 25th September 2021, was confirmed by LGC Laboratories to contain tetramisole. Under Rule 20(v) and Regulation 14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules tetramisole is a prohibited substance.

The option of ‘B’ sample analysis was declined by Mr. Geoghegan, who in doing so accepted the results of the analysis of the ‘A’ sample.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Geoghegan and Dr. Lynn Hillyer, Head of Anti-Doping and Chief Veterinary Officer.

In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer explained that tetramisole is an isomer of levamisole, an anthelmintic ‘wormer’ for cattle/sheep used off label as an immunostimulant in horses. She said that investigations of previous adverse analytical findings for this substance indicated that administration of the wormer Levacide close to racing was the source of the findings. Dr. Hillyer explained that during the course of the IHRB investigation that Mr. Geoghegan had contacted Dr. Sarah Ross, IHRB Veterinary Officer, to confirm that he had reviewed all the worming products on his premise and that Levasol was used at some point between the horses returning from their break at the end of July and the beginning of the Point-to-Point season. Mr. Geoghegan explained to Dr. Ross that he had cattle and sheep also and was not aware of the significance of using levamisole products in horses. 

In his evidence, Mr. Geoghegan accepted that he was in breach of the rule but stated he was unclear how the adverse analytical finding had presented itself. He said that the only suggestion he could offer was that he had administered Levasol to his cattle and that the positive finding in Mick Mixy must have come about by cross contamination. Mr. Geoghegan added that he voluntarily put Mick Mixy out to grass as soon as the IHRB informed him of the adverse analytical finding, and he deeply regretted that the situation had arose. He confirmed extra caution is being taken on his premises as a result of this. 

Having considered the evidence, Chairman of the Referrals Committee Mr. Allen read out the following decision on behalf of the committee.

“The Referrals Committee acknowledges the fact that Mr. Geoghegan came in here and accepted that he was in breach of the Regulations and was not disputing the finding. We do find Mr. Geoghegan in breach of Regulation 96(a) as the onus and responsibility rests with the Handler for everything to do with a horse in their care. We order that Mick Mixy be disqualified from the race in question, the places be amended, and the stake be forfeited. We also impose a fine of €1,000 on Mr. Geoghegan.”


The result of the McCabes Bar & Lounge 6yo+ Maiden now reads:

First:    Whinny Island

Second: Road To Redemption

Third:     Mazboon

Fourth:    So Ladylike

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

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