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Kieran Cotter hit with massive fine after ‘serious’ rule breaches

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Trainer Kieran Cotter. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Trainer Kieran Cotter. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Kieran Cotter

Kieran Cotter

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Trainer Kieran Cotter. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Trainer Kieran Cotter has been fined a whopping €27,500, as well as being ordered to pay a further €7,500 in costs, following an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) referral hearing.

The Laois trainer, who trains Royal Ascot hopeful Matilda Picotte, was hit with one of the biggest fines in Irish racing history after having a winner disqualified for a positive cobalt sample before an unannounced stable inspection revealed “serious misconduct”.

Cotter came to the IHRB’s attention after Slade Runner landed a Dundalk handicap in January of 2021 with a urine sample revealing traces of cobalt which exceeded the international threshold.

An inspection of his yard in Portarlington which was carried out the following month – in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture – revealed that Cotter had not maintained a medicines’ register for several years up until that point.

Hair and blood samples taken from the horses in Cotter’s care revealed no results of any concern to the IHRB, but there were many serious rule breaches regarding veterinary products found on various sites in the premises.

The inspection highlighted issues with the disposal of animal remedies and syringes, some of which had been located at a bonfire site on the premises, which was believed to be quite recent.

The referrals committee did not find Cotter in breach of the rules for a possession of illegal substances in his yard when they convened on Monday, but he was punished heavily for conduct of “a serious nature” with Slade Runner also subsequently disqualified.

It is not yet known whether or not Cotter will appeal these sanctions with Irish racing set to come even more under the microscope in the wake of these significant findings.

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