‘Smooth’ transition from Turf Club to new regulatory authority

Racing’s anti-doping task force expected to meet before end of month

Denis Egan: “You don’t turn around 238 years of history at the press of a button. But the major stuff is organised and it has been very smooth.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Denis Egan: “You don’t turn around 238 years of history at the press of a button. But the major stuff is organised and it has been very smooth.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Officials at the new Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board have said there has been a smooth technical transition from the old Turf Club organisation which wound up after 238 years at the end of 2017.

The IHRB was set up as a limited company and came into force at the start of this month although much of the day to day regulation of racing is unchanged. Chief executive, Denis Egan, confirmed on Friday the logistics of the move have gone smoothly.

“There are a few minor things still to be done. You don’t turn around 238 years of history at the press of a button. But the major stuff is organised and it has been very smooth,” he said.

Part of the reason for the creation of the IHRB was to protect members of the Turf Club and the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee from expensive legal costs after a number of high-profile court cases in recent years.

In other news, Horse Racing Ireland’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh said on Friday he expects the next meeting of the Anti-Doping Task Force to take place before the end of this month.

The Task Force, which two years ago released an extensive report on how to combat the threat of drugs in racing, has been reconvened to try and find a method for how testing should take place on premises unlicensed by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

A protocol between the IHRB, the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association and sales companies to provide for a testing mechanism was a central recommendation of the Task Force report in 2016.

The Task Force includes representatives from across the bloodstock industry and was set up as a priority issue on the back of a series of steroids controversies. It’s new chairman, Colm Gaynor, headed his first meeting of the body just before Christmas.  

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