Case against trainer Philip Fenton put back until May

Forty nine year old faces eight charges relating to alleged possession of unlicensed animal remedies

The case against racehorse trainer Philip Fenton over the alleged possession of banned animal medicines has been put back again until May.

Fenton (49) of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, faces eight charges relating to the alleged possession of unlicensed animal remedies at his yard on January 18th, 2012.

The charges include the alleged possession of anabolic steroids.

Fenton was present at Carrick-on-Suir district court on Thursday, the fourth time since December the case had been mentioned, but he was not called upon to speak.


Solicitor Gerry Meaney, for the Minister for Agriculture, said legal submissions from the defence had been received by the state and forwarded to the chief state solicitor’s office for consideration.

The state solicitor in south Tipperary, Paul Fitzpatrick, is now awaiting instructions from the chief state solicitor, Mr Meaney told Judge Terence Finn.

He asked for the case to be adjourned until May 15th, “for mention”.

Randal Hill BL, defending, said his client was consenting to the application.

Judge Finn agreed to adjourn the case and said any “responding submissions” from the state should be lodged with the court in advance of May 15th and forwarded to the defence.

Two of Fenton's high-profile horses, Dunguib and Last Instalment, were retired last week after disappointing performances at the Cheltenham Festival. Last Instalment was the winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup in Leopardstown in February and was third-favourite for last week's Betfred Gold Cup, but unseated his jockey during the high-profile chase.

Dunguib pulled up lame in the Coral Cup and connections decided that was his last race.

There had been controversy about the trainer's horses being allowed to run at Cheltenham but the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) decided to allow them compete after drug tests taken at his yard weeks before the festival were clear.

However, owner Barry Connell decided not to allow his horses trained by Mr Fenton, including top novice hurdler The Tullow Tank, race again until the current prosecution has been resolved.

Two of the charges faced by Mr Fenton relate to the alleged illegal possession of Nitrotain, a medicine which contains the anabolic steroid ethylestranol, reported to improve the muscle mass, strength and stamina of horses.

Another two charges related to the alleged illegal possession of Ilium Stanabolic. This medicine contains the anabolic steroid Stanozolol, a prohibited substance.

Other charges relate to the alleged possession of prescription-only medicines for horses - Marbocyl 10%, Betamoz LA, Neomycin Penicillin, and Engemycin 10% - where there were no vet’s prescriptions for the remedies, when the trainer’s yard at Garryduff was visited by officials from the Department of Agriculture in January of 2012.