Injunction granted after horse believed dead entered in race

Manager of bloodstock firm read in newspaper horse due to run in Naas, court hears

The IHRB, formerly the Turf Club, has said it could not prevent it racing without a court order. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The IHRB, formerly the Turf Club, has said it could not prevent it racing without a court order. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

A man thought a racehorse owned by his company had been put down a year ago but opened a newspaper to find it was entered to run at Naas racecourse, the High Court heard.

Andrew Hughes, manager of Thistle Bloodstock Ltd, was granted an temporary injunction on Friday preventing the horse The Tartan Spartan running in the 3.22pm Hurdle Handicap on Saturday.

The injunction is against the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) and trainers Philip Fenton and Jim Derwin. It was granted by Mr Justice Mark Heslin on Friday following a one-side only represented application by William Reidy BL, for Thistle Bloodstock.

Counsel outlined that Mr Hughes had said, in an affidavit, he gave the animal to Mr Derwin about 12 months ago to euthanise it after it had broken down.

Ownership had never changed and Mr Hughes still had the horse’s passport, he said.

Mr Reidy said Mr Hughes assumed it had been euthanised because it had been deemed “beyond repair.”

However, he had “picked up the paper this morning to find it listed to race tomorrow”, counsel said.

There was correspondence with the defendants saying legal action would be brought if no word was received back to say the horse would not run.

The IHRB, formerly the Turf Club, has said it could not prevent it racing without a court order and there was no response from the other two defendants.

Mr Justice Heslin granted the interim injunction as he was satisfied there was a fair question to be tried, damages would not be adequate compensation for Thistle if it was not granted, and the balance of convenience favoured granting the order. He said the case could come back next week.