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Thomas P. O'Connor (Restricted Trainer) - Random Stable Inspection - 6 October 2014


The Referrals Committee, Peter Reynolds (in the Chair), Paul Ronan and Mrs T.K. Cooper met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co Kildare on Friday, 21st November 2014 to consider the referral of Thomas P. O’Connor, restricted trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, following a random inspection carried out at Mr O’Connor’s training establishment on 6th October 2014 by Turf Club Officials, Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor MRCVS. During the inspection the officials discovered a number of anomalies including:-

1. A horse returned in training by Mr O’Connor “Kathleen’s Legacy” was missing and not under his care and therefore should have been returned out of training.

2. There was no secure medicines unit and prescription drugs were found loose on site. Prescriptions were not available for inspection.

3. The medicines register was blank with no records inserted.

Evidence was heard from Michael O’Donoghue and Thomas P. O’Connor. The Committee also considered a written report on the visit which was prepared by Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor MRCVS.

In his evidence Michael O’Donoghue went through the inspection report and highlighted the areas where the main anomalies were identified. He also went through the various prescriptions which Mr O’Connor had handed to the Committee, which were not available on the day. He said that Mr O’Connor had co-operated fully with the inspection.

In his evidence, Thomas P. O’Connor explained why the various medicines were on hand and said that a number of the medicines were for a Hanoverian livery horse which belonged to a third party. Another of the medicines on site was for administration to a dog. Mr O’Connor accepted that he had made no entries in the Medicines Register but said that this had now been brought up to date. He said that he had made a number of general improvements to the Training Establishment since Mr O’Donoghue’s visit. In conclusion he accepted that Kathleen’s Legacy was missing and said that the horse was located in a field in Athea for the previous two weeks.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found Thomas P. O’Connor in breach of Rule 148(vi) in that he failed to return Kathleen’s Legacy out of training and Rules 148(iii)(a) and (b) in that he failed to have a secure medicines unit, had prescription drugs loose on site and failed to record any of the medicines administered in the Medicines Register. Mr O’Connor was fined €130 for the breach of Rule 143(vi), €130 for failing to have a secure medicines unit and having prescription drugs loose on site and €240 for failing to record drug administrations in the Medicines Register. He was ordered to pay a contribution of €240 towards the Turf Club’s costs. The Committee also requested that a further inspection of Mr O’Connor’s Training Establishment be carried out in advance of his next licence renewal date.

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

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