Racehorse trainer banned for poor welfare

Racehorse trainer banned for poor welfare

A racehorse trainer has been banned for three years for "recklessly disregarding" the welfare of one his horses.

Misled investigators

A disciplinary inquiry on 10 June found Ian McInnes guilty of running Commando Scott nine times following a de-nerving operation on his hind leg. The procedure, which is known as a biaxial neurectomy, involves severing nerves to cause numbness to the limb and is banned in racing for welfare reasons.

According to the Racing Post McInnes initially lied about his knowledge of the operation and also misled investigators by moving the 12-year-old gelding from his yard in East Yorkshire to avoid the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) examining him.

During the hearing McInnes admitted the breaching the rules, but said that he only fully understood the consequences of the procedure after reading about a similar case involving Howard Johnson. The Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer was banned for four years in 2011 for the same offence.

Last resort

However, the BHA's disciplinary panel said it was "inconceivable" that McInness would take one of the best horses for an "an operation of last resort" without knowing exactly what that operation involved.

The panel concluded that McInnes had "recklessly disregarded the welfare of Commando Scott and running this gelding post neurectomy was intrinsically not in the best interest of the horse".