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Comer found guilty of five charges in Turf Club hearing

Luke Comer: in hot water again with the Turf Club
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Luke Comer is once again in hot water with the Turf Club after their referrals committee found him in breach of five rules and imposed initial fines of €2,260 on his yard, but worse could be to come as the most serious allegations against him have not been penalised yet and instead adjourned to early November. 

Comer was fined €10,000 in April for failing to allow Turf Club officials into his yard in Kilternan and he agreed not to send out runners until the authorities were satisfied that the identified problems had been addressed. 

The referrals committee met at the Croke Park Hotel on Monday to consider the referral by Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan as a result of issues which arose during stable inspections carried out at his training establishment on May 24, May 26 and June 2, 2017. 

They found him guilty of all referred rule breaches, most notably in respect of the provision of misleading and false information regarding the location of three horses during the inspection on May 24 by Comer’s authorised representatives, when he himself was not present.

They also found him guilty of failing to exercise adequate supervision over his training operation from January 2017 to now due to other commitments, and not putting in place any management structure with sufficiently qualified or able staff to carry out his obligations on his behalf.

The referrals committee said that these charges were major rule breaches so adjourned to assess whether the operation can be put on a proper footing before deciding an appropriate penalty. 

They noted that Comer had recently employed Jim Gorman as a trainer and prior to determining the penalty for these breaches, felt that it was appropriate to give Gorman an opportunity to address matters operationally.

In view of this, they continued the suspension on Comer’s licence to July 31, 2017. The Turf Club can continue to inspect Comer’s training establishment at any time on a 'without notice' basis.

Comer was fined €1,000 for failing to keep the medicines register to the required standard and €260 for failing to register two staff members. Five of his staff were fined €200 each for not wearing body protectors when riding out horses.

The referrals committee said that the first two charges were major rule breaches and regarded them as very serious

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