By Andrew Atkinson
Trainers Aidan O’Brien and his son Donnacha have been fined and banned by the IRHB from attending racecourses – for breaches of anti-Covid 19 protocols amid the resumption of racing in June.
Both were fined €2,500 – £2,200 – and banned from attending meetings for two weeks, for breaching the rules on Irish 2,000 Guineas day at The Curragh on June 12, only days after racing resumed in Ireland.
Donnacha O’Brien’s racecourse ban began on July 14, while the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s disciplinary panel accepted a submission from Aidan O’Brien, asking for his ban to be suspended, until July 20.
It is understood the suspensions would be reciprocated by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in the event that either trainer applied to attend a racecourse in Britain during their Irish suspension.
The trainers completed the necessary forms and health questionnaires required for attendance, but failure to enter The Curragh through the designated screening area lead to the ban and fines.
“The various protocols regarding Covid-19 are very serious,” said Niall Cronin, IHRB’s press officer.
“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.”
In June, Emmet Mullins, nephew of trainer Willie, was banned and fined for a breach of the Covid-19 protocol at Leopardstown.
Mullins was fined €5,000 – £4,460 – and banned from all tracks for three months, after gaining entry to the course, after reportedly being refused admittance for not having the necessary barcode, which proves compliance with pre-entry COVID-19 protocols.
Former Irish champion jockey Donnacha retired from racing in November and saddled his first winner as a trainer in February.