B Byrne (Lord Eugene) RNSW Stewards Report
17 January 2024
Inquiry into the nature of injuries sustained by Lord Eugene at Thoroughbred Park on the morning of Wednesday 8 November 2023 and the appropriateness of treatment provided to the stallion by its trainer Miss Becky Byrne
Inquiry conducted Thoroughbred Park
Committee of Stewards: J D Walshe (Chairman), G E V Hargaves & X C Dalton
An inquiry was today continued into the nature of injuries sustained during trackwork by Lord Eugene at Thoroughbred Park on the morning of Wednesday 8 November 2023 and the appropriateness of treatment provided to the stallion by its trainer Miss Becky Byrne.
Evidence was taken during the opening day of the inquiry on 19 December 2023 from licensed trainer Miss Becky Byrne, licensed stablehand rider Mr Anthony Georgopoulos and evidence was taken via telephone from Dr Helena Reeves (Bungendore Veterinary Surgery) and evidence taken via teleconference from Dr Peter Curl – Chief Veterinary Officer RNSW. Further evidence was obtained today from Miss Byrne. An exhibits bundle was also tendered into evidence during the inquiry.
Miss Becky Byrne was found guilty of a charge under AR231(1)(b)(iii) in that she failed to provide veterinary treatment when such treatment was necessary. The particulars being that:
- She was at all relevant times the trainer of Lord Eugene, a five-year-old stallion.
- Under LR78(2), she was responsible for Lord Eugene's care, control, and supervision during the relevant times.
- On the morning of Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, she became aware that Lord Eugene had been injured during trackwork at Thoroughbred Park.
- On the morning of Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, she examined Lord Eugene's injuries and noted that he had suffered several lacerations to his forelegs. These injuries included a sizable full-thickness laceration of around 20cm on the right fore dorsal cannon, as well as a laceration on the distal third of the left fore medial cannon.
- On Wednesday, 8 November 2023, she failed to provide Lord Eugene with necessary veterinary treatment despite the horse having sizeable lacerations on its forelegs.
- On Thursday, 9 November 2023, she failed to provide Lord Eugene with necessary veterinary treatment despite the horse having sizeable lacerations on its forelegs.
- A veterinary report provided by Dr H Reeves of Bungendore Veterinary Surgery described her examination of Lord Eugene on Friday, November 10th, 2023, as follows:
a) The horse had multiple lacerations to the right fore dorsal and palmar cannon and the left fore dorsal cannon and lateral antebrachium.
b) The wounds to the dorsal cannon were extensive, full thickness skin wounds however there was no apparent damage to underlying joints or synovial structures.
In assessing penalty, Stewards took into consideration the following matters:
- Miss Byrne’s 13 years as a licensed trainer.
- Miss Byrne’s disciplinary history.
- Her personal circumstances.
- Precedent penalties.
- The nature of the injuries but also that those injuries healed well without complication.
- The principle of specific and general deterrence and what message is sent to the industry that such conduct will not be tolerated.
- That penalty must act as a protective measure for the image and interests of the thoroughbred industry.
In all circumstances, Miss Byrne was fined the sum of $1500.
Miss Byrne was advised of her right of appeal.
South-East Region – Racing NSW
AR231(1) A person must not:
(b) if the person is in charge of a horse – fail at any time:
(iii) to provide veterinary treatment to the horse where such treatment is necessary for the horse.