Supreme Horse Racing Club Q&A: what is the future for the horses and members?
The demise of the Supreme Horse Racing Club has left a number of questions relating to the future of the horses and those with shares in them. Here we answer some of the key points.
So, remind me, what has happened?
Supreme Horse Racing Club is no more. It, and club trustee Steve Massey, can no longer own or part-own horses in Ireland leaving a reported 14 horses in limbo while the next chapter in this sorry tale unfolds. The horses, all trained by Ireland’s champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins, have continued to be trained despite being unable to run due to the suspension that had been hanging over Supreme until Thursday. Among these horses is Kemboy, favourite for next year’s Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and one of the runners at the centre of the scandal due to claims shares were oversold in the multiple Grade 1 winner.
Why has Supreme been banned from owning horses?
In a letter to owners in Supreme on Thursday, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) outlined how repeated attempts had been made to get information relating to the ownership of the horses from Massey. This was not forthcoming and, after taking legal advice, HRI cancelled the registrations as they were unable to stand behind them under HRI Directive 15 and rule 123 of the IHRB rules of racing.
What happens to the horses Supreme had?
HRI confirmed a significant amount of correspondence had been received from owners in Supreme syndicates relating to their supposed shareholdings. HRI and a solicitor representing a number of the owners met this week to discuss the situation. According to the HRI letter, “that grouping [of owners] has expressed their intention, over time, to form a new ownership structure”. For now, the horses, including Kemboy, remain unregistered and unable to race. However, HRI stated it would continue to work with the group and any others who might come forward in the meantime.
Who clears up the ownerships then?
This is up to the owners involved, according to HRI. While Ireland’s governing body is open to registering Supreme horses under new, acceptable ownerships, it makes clear that it cannot adjudicate on who owns what horse and what shareholding they have.
And what about things like prize-money. Who sorts that out?
Again, HRI states this is a matter for Supreme members to sort out among themselves. According to HRI, the situation surrounding prize-money payments, and claims on the proceeds of the sale of Listen Dear last month, are a civil matter and that it does have any authority over disputes. Legal advice is suggested instead.
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