Aspects of BBC Panorama documentary reported to Gardaí

HRI also looking into transport of horses between Ireland and abattoir in Swindon

Aspects of Monday evening’s BBC Panorama programme in relation to the racehorse Tammys Hill have been reported to the Gardai by Irish racing’s ruling body.

Horse Racing Ireland confirmed on Tuesday that it has been in contact with An Garda Siochana about how a horse, purported to be Tammys Hill, was presented for euthanasia at the F Drury and Sons abattoir in England during the course of 2019-20.

In fact the real Tammys Hill had suffered fatal injuries years before when competing in the 2015 Irish Grand National in Fairyhouse.

HRI said it has also sought the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine in relation to allegations made in the programme about the transport of horses from Ireland to the abattoir in Swindon in 2019-20.

It added in a statement that Irish racing is committed to the highest standards of care and welfare for each of the nearly 50,000 thoroughbreds in Ireland.

HRI's chief executive, Brian Kavanagh, said: "The images we saw last night were abhorrent to all within Irish racing and in no way reflect the care and attention given to the overwhelming majority of horses in Ireland.

“Our people and our horses are our greatest strength, and it was sickening to see the fate which befell some horses on last night’s programme.

“We support the British Horseracing Authority’s calls for an investigation into whether there has been a departure from approved UK abattoir practices at Drury and Sons and will support such an investigation in any way we can.

“Likewise, we will work with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine in relation to transport arrangements for horses between Ireland and England.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column