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Galway trainer Stephen Mahon handed four-year ban for breaches including neglect

Mahon was found to have breached rules relating to animal welfare, neglect and proper supervision.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: DPA/PA Images

THE IRISH HORSERACING REGULATORY Board has handed a four-year ban to Galway trainer Stephen Mahon.

Following an unannounced inspection at Mahon’s Kilcolgan stable on 13 April, the trainer was found to have breached rules relating to animal welfare, neglect and proper supervision.

Over the course of a two-day hearing, an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Referrals Committee panel, chaired by Justice Tony Hunt, heard over 16 hours of evidence from 13 witnesses.

The panel were informed that one horse, referred to as Animal A, had to be put down the day after the initial inspection due to a “catastrophically injured” fetlock joint. The day before the inspection, Mahon had entered the horse for a race at Ballinrobe later that week.

The panel came to the conclusion that there were “multiple and widespread failures to secure the welfare of animals in his charge which go to the heart of his fitness to continue to hold a training license.”

While accepting that Mahon showed remorse, the IHRB suspended his licence until 14 April, 2025 – the longest ever penalty handed to a trainer in Ireland – and ordered he pay €5,000 in legal costs. 

Mahon is not prevented from deriving a livelihood from the horse racing industry in some other capacity during his training ban.

The panel also noted that this is not the first time Mahon has “had difficulty in complying with basic requirements.’

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In 2008, Mahon had his license suspended for a period of four months and was ordered to pay €34,000 to the owner of Pike Bridge, having been judged to have neglected the animal so badly that it had to be put down humanely. 

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