’Smooth’ tran­si­tion to new reg­u­la­tory author­ity

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS - BRIAN O’CON­NOR

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 yes­ter­day 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.

De­nis Egan: “You don’t turn around 238 years of his­tory at the press of a but­ton”

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