JOHN Warwick, the equine therapist at the centre of a major controversy in Irish racing, has told The Irish Field he has had sleepless nights since he was confronted by gardaí and officials from the Department of Agriculture and the racing regulator last week.

The 74-year-old has returned to his home in Scotland and is taking legal advice. He admits the inspectors found veterinary products in his car which are unlicensed in Ireland, though he says he has not yet been charged with any offence.

Warwick built a reputation as a ‘healer’ over 25 years based in Ireland. Specialising in tendon injuries, he treated multiple Group 1 winner Snow Fairy in 2012 and her connections say she would not have been as successful without his intervention.

Ted Walsh, Noel Meade and Jessica Harrington have also gone on record this week to vouch for Warwick’s credentials, though he is not a veterinary surgeon.


Contacted this week by The Irish Field, Warwick spoke about his methods, and expressed sadness over the allegations he has heard and read being made against him.

“I have had a tremendous amount of support from some people who I did not expect – Noel Meade and Jessica Harrington, for example. But there is some very nasty stuff being said out there which would keep you awake at night.

“One person suggested there were 20 horseboxes queued up outside my clinic waiting for ‘dope’. I despise that kind of thing. I believe that steroids can be the ruination of an animal. I’m even against the use of corticosteroids. I feel gutted like a kipper.

“Horses that are about to run, or that have recently run, have no business seeing me, or I them. I look after horses that have a physical weakness or abnormality that maybe has not been found by the local vet. That’s when they call me in. I do nothing surgical or medical, only purely physical.”

Asked to explain the unauthorised medicines found in his possession, Warwick said: “There were a number of products in my car which were bound for Kuwait, as was I. They should not have come to Ireland. I was due to take them to a very large equestrian centre in Kuwait and I have documentary evidence to prove that’s where they were going.”


Warwick said the products were not imported from America into Ireland, as has been suggested. He says he brought them in his car from Britain on what was a fortnightly trip to Monasterevin where his services continue to be in demand.

When treating tendon injuries, Warwick says he uses a laser treatment which does not break the skin and does not require painkillers. “I developed this system a number of years ago in conjunction with a scientific university,” he said.

Asked whether he is suitably qualified to carry out the treatment, Warwick said: “I have a fellowship in veterinary physiotherapy. With a professor from the University of Liverpool, I wrote an educational programme which was picked up by Nottingham University, where I taught for some years.”

Warwick said he does not have any plans to resume his Irish clinics and says he has no idea why, after 25 years of operating openly, he was targeted by a private investigator and subsequently visited by Government officials and gardaí.