Report: Coolmore, O’Briens File Lawsuit Over 2020 Contaminated Feed Debacle

A feed contamination issue from 2020 has now been elevated to the British court system, reports the Racing Post.

Feed manufactured by Gain Equine Nutrition was found to have been contaminated by the drug Zilpaterol, requiring 11 horses trained by Aidan O’Brien and his sons, Joseph and Donnacha, to be withdrawn from the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and its undercard races at Longchamp that year.

Zilpaterol Hydrochloride is a feed additive used in the United States primarily to promote weight gain in cattle. Zilpaterol isn’t harmful to horses, but it isn’t approved for use in Europe.

Contaminated molasses was sent from South Africa to Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it was sent to several equine feed companies, including Gain, that used it in their feed production. The molasses, supplied by ED & F Man Ltd, contained Zilpaterol Hydrochloride.

Gain has also filed suit against ED & F Man Ltd.

Gain released a statement on the Friday before the Arc, advising customers of the potential for Zilpaterol contamination. The O’Briens immediately switched feed providers and initial tests performed by LGC laboratory, which is used by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and the British Horseracing Authority did not show positives for the drug.

However, subsequent tests performed by the French lab, Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques (LCH), did return positive findings, thus resulting in the withdrawal of the 11 runners. Four of those withdrawn had been intended for the Arc itself, including Mogul, Japan, Sovereign, and Serpentine.


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