Trainers Aidan and Donnacha O’Brien have been fined 2,500 euros each and prohibited from attending race meetings in Ireland for two weeks for failing to enter the Curragh through the health screening area at a meeting last month.
The pair were found to have breached coronavirus health screening protocols at the County Kildare course on June 12, which was Irish 2,000 Guineas day during the week racing resumed in Ireland. The matter was heard by the referrals panel of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday.
A tweet from the IHRB read: “At a referral hearing of Aidan O’Brien (Trainer) & Donnacha O’Brien (Trainer) following a referral from The Curragh on 12/06/20 both trainers were fined €2,500 & prohibited from attending a racecourse for 2 weeks for failing to enter The Curragh through the health screening area.”
IHRB press officer Niall Cronin said: “We noted the decision of the referrals committee and the various protocols regarding Covid-19 are very serious.
“It is important that they are strictly adhered to at all times to make sure that racing can continue in a safe manner for everyone involved.”
Speaking after the hearing, O'Brien Sr said that the breach came about because of a misunderstanding in relation to the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board procedures.
He told the Racing Post: "Donnacha and I travelled to the races together and we had all the paper work for the health screening done and that was all fine, but it was my first day's racing since racing resumed and we went to go in the side gate we always use by the car park.
"We were allowed in and there were no questions asked. I went in and out a number of times during the day and nobody said anything to me. There was nothing untoward about it, it was just a misunderstanding, and we are fully supportive of all the measures in place to keep racing going."
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