A LEADING Irish racehorse trainer is to appear in the district court on Thursday on eight charges of possession of banned animal drugs, including the anabolic steroid, Nitrotain.
Philip Fenton whose stable stars include the Cheltenham bound Last Instalment, Dunguib and The Tullow Tank, will appear at Carrick-on-Suir court in Co Tipperary.
He has already appeared in court on the charges – in December and January. The charges are being taken on foot of a visit from Department of Agriculture officials to the trainer's yard at Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, more than two years ago.
It is understood the trainer will deny the charges.
Five of the eight alleged offences relate to the possession of a number of animal remedies, including Nitrotain, Ilium Stanabolic, Engemycin, Neomycin Penicillin and Betamoz, at Garryduff on January 18, 2012, contrary to the European Communities (Control of Animal Remedies and Their Residues) regulations, 2009.
The other three charges state that he possessed Nitrotain, Ilium Stanabolic and Marbocyl, in respect of which there was no animal remedies authorisation in force.
A spokesman for the Turf Club, horseracing's regulatory body, said they would be paying close attention to the developments.
A person who commits one of the offences is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of €5,000 or to a prison term of up to six months, or both, the Department of Agriculture confirmed.
Philip Fenton has had a highly successful career in National Hunt racing, both as a jockey and a trainer and is one of the few to have both ridden and trained a winner at the Cheltenham festival.
He rode his first winner at Cheltenham in 1996.
By Tom Brady, Louise Hogan and Richard Forristal