AN equine therapist from Britain is believed to be at the centre of this week’s raid by Department of Agriculture officials on a premises in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, which saw unauthorised equine medicines seized.

The Department officials were assisted by gardaí and representatives from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Two licensed trainers were attending the ‘clinic’ when the raid took place and numerous other trainers are thought to have attended earlier in the day for what was a regular consultation with the therapist, who has over 25 years of experience treating horses.

Regarded as an expert in dealing with back problems, the therapist also services sport horse clients and is not thought to deal with performance-enhancing drugs. He is reputed to have aided many high performance horses purely by physical manipulation of the affected areas. However, The Irish Field has been told by some of his clients that he may have had in his possession some medicines which are licensed in America but not in the European Union.

The therapist’s car and phone were seized during the raid, along with the banned substances.

The Department issued a statement which said: “Authorised officers acting on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carried out an enforcement operation supported by gardaí attached to the Kildare-Laois drug unit and officers from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

“This Department-led operation involved searches and seizure of products as part of an ongoing investigation into equine doping. As this is an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time.

A spokesperson for the IHRB said: “The operation was led by the Department and the gardaí, with IHRB officers in attendance, which led to a seizure of animal remedies.

“This is an active Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine investigation so we will be making no further comment at this time.”