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Harness Racing SA (HRSA) Stewards conducted an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that TCO2 was detected above the allowable threshold in a blood sample taken from AURORA LANE prior to Race 7,  “LION PTY LTD PACE” at Globe Derby Park on 20th August 2018. The B sample confirmed the elevated TCO2 level by The Racing Forensic Laboratory in Queensland. Evidence was taken from licenced trainer Justin Brewin regarding his feeding and treatment regime including his possible explanation for the elevated TCO2 of AURORA LANE.  Mr Brewin pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190(1),(2) &(4) in that he presented AURORA LANE to race at Globe Derby Park on the 20th of August 2018 not free of a prohibited substance.  After considering submissions on penalty and after having regard for the following relevant factors: his guilty plea the period of time Mr Brewin has been involved in training horses his excellent record recent penalties applied in South Australia in relation to this prohibited substance Mr Brewin’s assistance and co-operation throughout the investigation the personal circumstances of Mr Brewin. The Stewards determined that the trainers licence of Mr Brewin be disqualified for 6 months, which is to commence from the 25th October, he was provided 14 days to make the necessary arrangements that will enable him to adhere to the restrictions placed on a disqualified person in accordance with AHRR 259(1). Acting under the provisions of AHRR195 AURORA LANE will be disqualified from Race 7 at Globe Derby Park on the 20th of August. Mr Brewin was also directed to pay the costs associated with the confirmation analysis report provided by The Racing Forensic Laboratory in Queensland. Mr Brewin was advised his rights of appeal. Simon Ewen CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS

Several harness racing industry figures are denying fraud conspiracy charges alleging race fixing and electing trial by jury. Not guilty pleas were entered before Judge Raoul Neave at a Christchurch District Court session on Tuesday where 12 defendants arrested in the Operation Inca investigation made appearances. Bail conditions were relaxed as well, with the consent of the police prosecutor Barnaby Hawes. Passports can be returned to the defendants and they now only have bail conditions requiring them to live at specified addresses. All are on bail. Read the full story at Stuff   David Clarkson for Stuff

On 7 September 2018 in accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183(c), (d) and 15(d), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provisionally suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Stewards have considered all relevant information, including; the decision of Magistrate Murphy in the Wodonga Magistrates Court on 7 September 2018, submissions provided on behalf of the participants, the need for the protection of the integrity of the Harness Racing industry and to maintain the confidence of the conduct of races. It is the Stewards decision to continue the invocation of the provisions of the relevant AHRR until the completion of the Stewards investigation. The participants have been advised of their rights of appeal against this decision and any such appeal must be lodged with the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board Registrar by 5:00pm on 1 October 2018. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time Harness Racing Victoria

As reported by Stuff, wide-ranging suppressions apply to Canterbury harness racing figures who have appeared in court on charges including race fixing and drugs. Judge Raoul Neave refused suppressions for five of the group of nine whose cases have been dealt with at an all-day hearing in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday. However, he realistically continued suppression orders to October 9 so those refused suppression can file appeal papers with the High Court. The suppression will continue until those appeals are heard. Because the defendants sought suppression of name, identifying details, and details of the charges, the appeals will block publication of those charge details as well for several of them. The charges can only be reported in general terms. All members of the group were remanded on bail for appearances on October 2. Read the full story here Stuff reporters

As reported by the New Zealand Herald a Palmerston North man appeared in court on a match-fixing charge in relation to a police investigation into the harness racing industry. Brent Stephen Wall, 47, made a brief appearance in the Palmerston North District Court this morning, where he pleaded not guilty to deception by match-fixing. Court documents allege that between May 18 and 22 he caused a loss of more than $1000 to other people by assisting a horse named Sportscaster to win with the intention of influencing the betting outcome.   Read the full story here   Courtesy of Kurt Bayer New Zealand Herald

On 6 September 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer-driver Courtney Slater. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Luvyacookie’ after it finished first in Race 3, the ‘Hillcroft Stables 3YO Pace’, at the Stawell harness racing meeting on 3 December 2018. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the analysis of that urine sample revealed arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold. Ms Slater was also charged with a breach of AHRR 190B(1) being that she failed to keep and maintain a log book as required. Ms Slater pleaded guilty to both charges before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Ms Slater. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Ms Slater’s guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation; Ms Slater’s excellent record in regard to prohibited substances; and the steps taken to prevent recurrence. Ms Slater was subsequently fined $3000, of which $2000 was suspended for a period of 12 months. The HRV RAD Board also ordered, under AHRR 195, that ‘Luvyacookie’ be disqualified from Race 3 at Stawell on 3 December 2017 and that the placings be amended accordingly. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Kerry Willcock   Harness Racing Victoria

Victorian harness racing licenced participants Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley were today found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958), which relates to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack was found guilty of charges relating to Race 4 at Cobram on 22 June, 2015, and the training arrangements of Airbournemagic leading up to the event. Mr Pitt was found guilty of a charge relating to the aforementioned race. Ms Bartley was found guilty of charges relating to the training arrangements of Airbournemagic. Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were convicted and fined $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. Ms Bartley was fined $5,000 without a conviction being recorded.  In light of the parties being found guilty Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley have had all harness racing licences suspended. Horses owned by them are prevented from racing or trialling and all three have been excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. These restrictions were imposed immediately pending submissions being provided as to why these embargoes should not remain in place until the completion of a HRV investigation. A final decision with respect to these embargoes is expected to be announced by the HRV Integrity Department by 5pm on 19 September 2018. As today’s decision of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is subject to an appeal period, and all parties being required to appear before HRV for further proceedings, HRV will not make any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Three more Canterbury racing figures have been charged as part of police investigations into harness racing's race-fixing scandal - both with supplying drugs, and one of the suspects with possession of a stun gun. That brings to 10 the number of horsepeople, all from Canterbury and working in the harness racing industry, who have been charged today for either supplying Class B drugs or race-fixing. All have come to police attention through Operation Inca, which started as a race-fixing investigation 18 months ago after information passed on by the Racing Integrity Unit. Today's arrests are the result of a further six search warrants conducted in Christchurch this morning, taking the total number of search warrants to 17. Phone surveillance has resulted in five horsepeople from Canterbury and a non-licence holder who works inside the racing industry in Manawatu being charged over being involved in or profitting from race fixing, which is listed in court documents as match fixing. But the recreational drug use or supply cases appear to have come about from information gathered in the course of the race-fixing investigation. Only one person, a 26-year-old male who appeared in a Christchurch court yesterday and was granted name suppression, has been charged with both race-fixing and drug supply offences. The story has rocked the racing industry to its core and looks set to get bigger as at least one other leading horseperson is named in court documents relating to the drug charges. Earlier today the Racing Integrity Unit banned all six trainers or drivers charged from attending race meetings, which now looks certain to happen to the two latest trainers charged. That will mean at least eight horsepeople who could have had horses racing at Addington this Friday night will not be able to attend and the RIU will then rule on whether that can participate in racing activities before their cases are heard. Harness racing bosses are dismayed by the rapidly-growing number of cases but have vowed their flagship national awards, for which some of those charged were in the running for honours, will still go ahead at Alexandra Park on September 29. With that night not seeing Alexandra Park hosting a race meeting, any industry member who has been charged would still be able to attend. Early today a race held at Nelson on June 8 was named in court as being part of the race-fixing investigation while the Herald understands a relatively minor race at Manawatu earlier in the year, is also under investigation. One of the industry's glamour events, the $200,000 New Zealand Derby at Addington in April, was investigated by police but seems unlikely to be at the centre of any race-fixing allegations. Michael Guerin

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that synephrine had been detected in post-race urine sample obtained from IDEAL LIFESTYLE following its win in Race 5 at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 29 May, 2018. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Grimson appeared at the inquiry and provided evidence of his registered training establishment and husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis were presented, as well as analytical reports in relation to teff grass hay obtained from Mr Grimson’s stable and plant samples from the Menangle Park Training Centre. HRNSW Regulatory veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott also provided evidence to the inquiry. Mr Grimson pleaded guilty to a charge issued pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting IDEAL LIFESTYLE to race not free of a prohibited substance, being synephrine. In respect of that charge, Stewards recorded a conviction, however, did not impose a penalty on Mr Grimson as they were satisfied that the detection of synephrine had resulted from environmental contamination.  In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Grimson’s first Prohibited Substance offence; Analytical reports; Environmental contamination; Mr Grimson’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, IDEAL LIFESTYLE was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Grimson was advised of his right to appeal this decision.     Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

As reported by Stuff, one of harness racing's brightest young prospects is one of seven people charged after a long-running inquiry into alleged race-fixing and drugs in the industry.  Police confirmed they have charged seven people in relation to Operation Inca, which culminated in raids on 10 harness racing stables in Canterbury, Manawatū and Invercargill on Tuesday. More raids are understood to be happening on Wednesday.    Read the full story here   Martin van Beynen and Mat Kermeen  

Police can now confirm seven people have been charged in relation to Operation Inca — an investigation into alleged race-fixing in the harness racing industry. A 26-year-old man is due to appear in Christchurch District Court today on charges of deception by match-fixing, possessing Class B drugs for supply, and supplying Class B drugs. Four men — aged 34, 40, 41 and 44 — are due to appear in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday 12 September on match-fixing charges.  A 41-year-old woman is due to appear the same day on two counts of supplying Class B drugs. A 47-year-old man has been charged with deception by match-fixing and is due to appear in Palmerston North District Court, also on Tuesday 12 September. Police yesterday conducted nine search warrants in Christchurch, one in Invercargill and another in Manawatu. Further details are expected later today or tomorrow.   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing driver Bronson Munro has been fined $500 for directing abusive and insulting comments toward other drivers during and after the running of Race 8 at the Forbury Park Trotting Club’s meeting on 15 June 2018. At the time of the incident Mr Munro was a junior horseman and he began his tirade of abuse when things did not pan out the way he wanted in the junior drivers race. Full details below:   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE HELD AT CHRISTCHURCH IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing IN THE MATTER of Information No. A09972 BETWEEN Racing Integrity Unit MR NICK YDGREN Chief Stipendary Steward AND MR BRONSON MUNRO Junior Driver Respondent Rule Breach: 303(2) Judicial Committee: DM Jackson (Chair) - H Weston (Member) RESERVED DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED 28 AUGUST 2018 1. Mr Munro admits a charge that he breached rule 303(2) by directing abusive and insulting comments toward other drivers during and after the running of Race 8 at the Forbury Park Trotting Club’s meeting on 15 June 2018. 2. Mr Munro admitted the breach at the first available opportunity and by his agent on the day, Mr John Dunn, countersigned the information recording same, and a penalty hearing in respect of this charge was scheduled for and heard by this Committee on 3 August 2018. Mr Munro was assisted by Mr Robert Dunn during the hearing. 3. The rule provides: “303… (2) No person…who holds a…licence under these rules…shall misconduct himself…” 4. The consequences for a breach of the rule are dealt within the general penalties provisions of the rules namely by way of: “1003(1)… (a) a fine not exceeding $10,000.00; and/or (b) suspension from holding or obtaining a licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or (c) disqualification for a period not exceeding 12 months.” The Facts 5. A summary of facts was presented by Mr Ydgren and agreed by Mr Dunn on behalf of Mr Munro. 6. The summary records that at the time of the incident Mr Munro was a junior horseman who was engaged to drive a horse called Reddington in a 2200 mobile race for junior drivers. Reddington drew barrier 6 and in the early stages of the race Mr Munro took Reddington forwards and raced to the outside of the leader, Miss Fandango, driven by Charlotte Purvis. 7. Near the 1700m Mr Munro let his horse drive forward and made a brief attempt for the lead. However, Miss Purvis allowed her horse to extend under the whip and it became apparent that she was intent on staying in front and did not surrender the lead. 8. Mr Munro’s drive then raced keenly and although initially restrained by Mr Munro it loomed up beside the leader and raced within a close proximity for approximately 800m. Near the 600m Reddington came under pressure to hold its position and began to weaken. 9. The conduct which sees Mr Munro before the Committee is summarised as follows. On returning to the check-in area Mr Munro and Miss Tomlinson, who drove the trailing Grace Burns, were involved in an incident where the two carts came together and an argument was observed by Stewards. Both drivers were summonsed by Stewards to explain their actions and Miss Purvis was also summonsed for questioning. During questioning by Stewards, it emerged that Mr Munro had directed unacceptable language to both Miss Purvis and Miss Tomlinson during and after the race. 10. The first instance of unacceptable language occurred while Mr Munro was racing in the parked position and making his attempt for the lead. According to Miss Tomlinson Mr Munro raced up beside her and called to Miss Purvis, who was leading, that his horse was racing keenly, that he couldn’t hold onto it and that she should surrender the lead to him. Miss Tomlinson who was racing in the trail called out to Miss Purvis to “get going” and to “stay in front”. 11. Mr Munro responded to Miss Tomlinson’s urgings of Miss Purvis by calling her a “dumb f****** b****”. 12. Unable to get to the front Mr Munro then abused Miss Purvis although Miss Purvis could not recall exactly what was said to her. Miss Tomlinson recalls that Mr Munro called Miss Purvis a “silly dumb b****” and a “dumb f****** b****”. 13. Miss Tomlinson believed the abuse continued throughout most of the race and was directed towards both herself and Miss Purvis. Both women told Stewards that they felt intimidated by Mr Munro and especially by his language towards them. 14. After the race, Stewards were told that Mr Munro had pursued Miss Purvis to offer her some advice on how she would be better served driving her horses in the future. Miss Purvis told Stewards that Mr Munro called her a “silly dumb b****” for not giving up the lead and that “next time you are out here I will get you”. 15. The summary of facts records that Mr Munro admitted the breach at the first opportunity but was yet to apologise to the two female drivers and that otherwise Mr Munro had no prior breaches of the rules, this being his first year back driving following a four-year absence. He is now licensed as an open horseman. Penalty Submissions 16. Mr Ydgren in his submissions described Mr Munro’s behaviour as bullying and that his language was both abusive and designed to intimidate fellow drivers. His behaviour fell well below the standard expected of a licenced horseman. 17. Mr Ydgren submitted that although Mr Munro had a clear record this was not the first occasion where he had come to the attention of the Stewards, Mr Ydgren provided the Committee with a record of warnings given to Mr Munro by Stewards during 2018 which all involve inappropriate language or otherwise intimidating behaviour on the racecourse. 18. Mr Ydgren submitted that the fact that the abuse was directed towards two female drivers ought to be viewed as an aggravating factor, that the level of offending was mid-range misconduct and that the appropriate penalty was a fine. 19. Mr Ydgren referred to a number of cases involving threatening and abusive language but noted that a previous JCA penalty guideline was in force at the time of those earlier decisions and that the new guide does not provide a starting point for misconduct. 20. Mr Ydgren submitted that the appropriate starting point for Mr Munro’s breach on this occasion was a fine of $500, which ought to be increased because the victims were female. From that Mr Munro was entitled to credit for his good record and admission such that Mr Munro ought to be fined $450 - $500. 21. For Mr Munro, Mr Dunn made a number of submissions which began with his criticism of the practice of drivers these days to yell out or otherwise attempt to intimidate other drivers during racing and that these incidents needed to be dealt with by the Stewards and that there was a degree of inconsistency in their treatment by Stewards noting recent cases of such behaviour in the North Island. For all of that Mr Dunn conceded, properly, that Mr Munro’s behaviour on this occasion was unacceptable and he outlined a number of personal matters affecting Mr Munro, which he submitted ought to be considered by the Committee in reaching its decision as to penalty. 22. Mr Dunn did suggest that Miss Tomlinson may have contributed to the incident by continuing to engage with Mr Munro. Mr Dunn then outlined an earlier incident in Mr Munro’s sporting career which meant that when this incident was picked up by the media, it was “front page news” and that it brought back significant bad memories and attention for Mr Munro. Mr Dunn submitted that not only did it tarnish Mr Munro’s image, but also that of harness racing, which made matters worse and which in and of itself was a significant punishment for Mr Munro to endure. 23. Mr Dunn and Mr Munro clarified that he had apologised to Miss Tomlinson and Miss Purvis, having had a close relationship with Miss Purvis whilst growing up. 24. Mr Dunn and Mr Munro openly discussed some of the personal matters affecting Mr Munro which the Committee will not recount in this decision, but which are connected to his behaviour on this particular occasion and in respect of which Mr Munro has sought help. 25. Mr Dunn said on Mr Munro’s behalf that he would accept whatever punishment was coming to him but did emphasise that this was a young man who was worth the effort and who could, with the effort, improve and redeem himself. 26. Following a discussion between the Committee and Mr Munro, he agreed to pay $200 to the Ovarian Cancer Charity, which charity has become synonymous with female drivers in New Zealand by virtue of their promotion of that charity at times during the racing calendar by wearing turquoise colours during race meetings. The Committee agrees that that would be an appropriate gesture of remorse by Mr Munro and determined to give him time to make that donation. 27. Further, Mr Munro was encouraged to engage with those helping him with his issues and in particular his addressing his temper. The Committee determined to delay its decision in respect of penalty until 24 August 2018 by which time Mr Ydgren was to provide an update on Mr Munro’s progress. 28. Mr Ydgren confirmed to the Committee that the donation was paid, and that Mr Munro had at least engaged with people who were qualified to assist him with his temper amongst other things. Penalty 29. This Committee does not have jurisdiction to require Mr Munro to make donations to charity or otherwise to actively engage in counselling. That is a matter for him. However, by his taking these preliminary steps towards correcting his behaviour and addressing his underlying problems, he is entitled to credit for both his insight and remorse. 30. Clearly, the circumstances in which Mr Munro comes before the Committee serve him no credit whatsoever. To abuse another driver for not giving him the front during a race was clearly misconduct, but to carry on with that abuse throughout the race and then to continue to abuse not only that driver but another driver after the race was, we accept, bullying behaviour designed to intimidate those drivers. 31. However, the Committee does not accept the submission that because the abuse was directed at females that that, in and of itself, is an aggravating factor. The abuse would have been just as unacceptable had it been directed towards another male junior driver or indeed to an open horseman. The Committee cannot create a special category of aggravating factor based on gender alone. There is no basis for gender discrimination in imposing a penalty. Further, the abuse here was not overtly sexual or misogynistic in overtone. It was ignorant and nasty, but it did not carry with it that sexual or misogynistic overlay, which might have otherwise justified an uplift. 32. We do accept that Mr Munro’s culpability was at least at the medium level. In fact, the Committee determines that it was medium to high on this occasion because it involved a continued and aggressive course of behaviour towards both drivers. It may well have been borne out of Mr Munro’s initial frustration at not getting the front and otherwise at the performance of Reddington, but it was plainly unacceptable and childish behaviour by a young man who cannot keep his cool while under pressure. 33. The Committee’s approach to this in the absence of any assistance from the Penalty Guidelines is that the starting point fine for medium to high level misconduct involving the abuse of other drivers during a race and afterwards is a fine of $750. There will be no uplift for the gender of the victims. To his credit, Mr Munro is entitled to a discount for his immediate admission of the breach, his donation to charity and otherwise for his insight and remorse. 34. The Committee acknowledges that Mr Ydgren sought a penalty which reflected the authorities available to him. However, the guidelines in force then, do not apply now and the Committee takes that as an acknowledgement that Committees should not be tied to precedent in assessing cases of misconduct. 35. The result is that Mr Munro is fined $500.    D M Jackson  Chair   Harnesslinnk Media

Harness racing trainer Brett Edwards has forfeited more than $36,000 in cash seized in a raid by the armed defenders squad in 2013. The cash forfeited was part of the $72,000 the Ministry for Primary Industries seized in September of 2013 in an investigation dubbed "Operation Partridge", for a suspected fraud of the fish quota system. Edwards claimed $26,000 of the the cash was from having $1000 at $20.00(win) and $1000 at $6.00 (place) on a race horse he trained called Dauntless and the rest came from a returned house deposit and from selling golf balls and firewood. Edwards was sentenced to five months community detention and 100 hours community work after admitting his guilt to some of the charges in the investigation. For more detail in this case read the two linked reports by Phil Taylor in the NZ Herald. Harnesslink Media  

Background At the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board hearing on 21 February 2018, Mr Tardio pleaded not guilty to a charge issued under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) for presenting the horse ‘Kissed Flush’ to race at Mildura on 4 April 2017, when not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when present at a concentration of greater than 100 micrograms per litre in urine. Mr Tardio was found guilty and issued with an 18 month disqualification. The full HRV RAD Board media release can be found here. VCAT Hearing On 19 June 2018, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) Senior Member Gerard Butcher adjourned the hearing to a later date due to Mr Tardio failing to pay the hearing fee on that date. Additionally, Mr Tardio had failed to file and serve any expert witness statement. VCAT Decision On 23 July 2018, VCAT Senior Member Butcher revoked the stay of proceedings issued on 19 March 2018, and dismissed the application for review lodged by Mr Tardio in respect of the decision of the HRV RAD Board on 21 February 2018, due to a failure by Mr Tardio to comply with a number of previous VCAT orders. Mr Tardio’s 18 month disqualification recommenced with immediate effect. The full written VCAT decision can be viewed here. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing trainer Kevin Townley has avoided disqualification but has been fined a further $15,000 for producing another horse to race when not free of a prohibited substance (Ketoprofen). The horse in question was Well Defined who won at the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s meeting held at Addington Raceway on 26 April 2018. This was Townley’s third breach of the same rule in less than three months. Full details below:   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE HELD AT CHRISTCHURCH IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing IN THE MATTER of Information No. A6425 BETWEEN Racing Integrity Unit KYLIE WILLIAMS Informant AND KEVIN DAVID TOWNLEY Public Trainer Respondent Judicial Committee: DM Jackson (Chair), RG McKenzie (Member) Rule Breach: 1004 (1A)(3)(4) RESERVED DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED 24 JULY 2018 1. Mr Townley admits a charge that he breached Rules 1004(1A)(3) & (4) by presenting WELL DEFINED at the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s meeting on 26 April 2018 with a prohibited substance in its system, namely Ketoprofen. Mr Townley admitted the breach at the first available opportunity and countersigned the information recording same and a penalty hearing in respect of this charge was scheduled for and heard by this Committee on 5 July 2018. 2. This is Mr Townley’s third breach of this rule in less than three months. The two previous breaches involved positive swabs for Ketoprofen taken from the same horse, WELL DEFINED, on 3 February 2018 and GEENA’S GIRL on 2 March 2018. Mr Townley was fined $7,000 by a Judicial Committee for the first breach and $11,000 by a different Judicial Committee for the second breach. That is a total of $18,000 in fines to date for ketoprofen breaches. 3. The rule provides: “1004 … (1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. … ... (3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules. … (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), (2), (3) or (3A) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the TCO2 level or prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse.” 4. Clause 5 of the Prohibited Substance Regulations provides that the therapeutic substance, Ketoprofen, is not prohibited when present at or below the mass concentration of 100mcg per litre in urine. 5. The consequences of a breach of the Rule are outlined in Rule 1004(7): “every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000.00 and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years.” 6. The Rule also requires the mandatory disqualification of the horse pursuant to Rule 1004(8) and 1004D. The facts 7. The Summary of Facts presented by Mrs Williams records that the horse WELL DEFINED is owned by Mr Townley’s wife, Mrs M E Townley and is trained by Mr Townley. The horse was entered and presented to race by Mr Townley at the Timaru Harness Racing Club (at Addington) Meeting on 26 April 2018. It won the race it was entered in but the stake has not been paid out. 8. Following the race, the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that WELL DEFINED be post-race swabbed, which occurred. On 10 May 2018 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory reported Ketoprofen was detected in the sample taken. 9. Upon confirmation of the positive swab, Mrs Williams and the Manager of Stewards, Mr Nigel McIntyre, visited Mr Townley’s property and spoke with him. He advised that he took WELL DEFINED to the races in his own float and that the horse was one of two horses that he had raced that day. He could not offer an explanation for the presence of Ketoprofen in the urine sample taken from WELL DEFINED and could not advise when the horse was last treated with Ketoprofen. 10. The last bottle of “key injection” containing ketoprofen on the property was taken for testing by the Racing Integrity Unit on 16 March 2018. 11. A urine sample was taken from WELL DEFINED on 11 May 2018 with the laboratory reporting that sample as negative to Ketaprofen. 12. In accordance with his rights, Mr Townley asked that the reserve sample taken during the initial testing on race day be tested, which occurred in Sydney and which test confirmed the presence of Ketoprofen in the reserve sample. 13. Mr Townley has had 14 horses swabbed since the first positive swab with WELL DEFINED on 3 February 2018. Aside from the two subsequent further breaches, all other tests have been clear. 14. Mr Townley keeps a diary in which he enters treatments that have a withholding time and all of his drugs are kept in a safe. The safe is an initiative implemented after the first positive swab. Mr Townley now primarily uses a vet for pre-race day treatments that have a withholding time, although it seems that was not the case before the return of the earlier positive swabs when he administered treatments himself. 15. The Summary of Facts records that the source of the Ketoprofen cannot be accurately determined despite considerable enquiries. 16. Mr Townley has been training since 1986-87 initially in partnership with his father Mr D J Townley and then on his own from 1994/95 on to the present day and has trained over 460 winners in that time. He has held a licence in one form or another for over 50 years. 17. The Summary of Facts was largely accepted by Mr Townley although he informed the Committee that he did give Investigators an explanation for the presence of Ketoprofen in the urine sample, which was that he could not account for it because there was no record of it in his diary, which diary he has always kept, and further, because there was no Ketoprofen on the property (having been taken away on 16 March 2018). Mr Townley confirmed to the Committee that he had not treated the horse with Ketoprofen prior to the race. 18. Mr Townley openly conceded that he had used Ketoprofen in the past and that he had had bottles of Ketoprofen in his stables during the period of his two earlier swabs. However, the third positive swab had caused him to engage a vet, at considerable expense, to not only administer pre-race treatments, but also to advise him on the keeping of his stables, the use of treatments and the possible sources of Ketoprofen contamination. 19. Mr Townley was at pains to explain to the Committee that he had removed all possible contaminants, be they ointments, be they food, anything which he thought the Ketoprofen may have come into contact with or which by some process, created or transformed into Ketoprofen. Mr Townley emphasised that since he had involved a vet and disposed of these items he has had 7 horses swabbed, all of which have tested negative. He emphasised that this was a brief and isolated incident in the history of his stable for which he could offer no real explanation. Penalty Submissions 20. Mrs Williams presented written penalty submissions for which the Committee is grateful. Mrs Williams submitted that Mr Townley should be disqualified for a period of one (1) year or fined $18-20,000.00 or otherwise be penalised by way of a period of disqualification and fine. 21. Mrs Williams identified that the JCA guidelines suggest a starting point of $8,000.00 for a first offence of this kind and for a second offence a starting point of 2 years disqualification and a fine of up to $10,000.00. 22. Mrs Williams identified by reference to Mr Townley’s earlier fines of $7,000.00 and $11,000.00 that a fine on this occasion ought to be at least a fine of $18,000.00 (being the total of those two earlier fines). 23. Mrs Williams submitted that an aggravating factor here was the third positive swab in a two-month period and further, Mr Townley’s earlier breach in 2003 for a prohibited substance in Australia. 24. Mrs Williams referred the Committee to four decisions concerning breaches of this rule namely RIU v TW Mitchell (12 July 2012), RIU v R Brosnan (13 February 2018), RIU v C and A Edmonds (31 March 2016) and RIU v B Negus (20 March 2018). The Committee will discuss those decisions below. 25. Mrs Williams said that Mr Townley was to be given credit for the manner in which he had conducted himself during the enquiry, his admitting the breach at the first opportunity and otherwise being cooperative but the end result was that he had breached the rules for the third occasion and that that was unacceptable. Mrs Williams also sought the disqualification of WELL DEFINED under rule 1004(8) and costs of $1,250.00 for the testing of the reserve sample. 26. Mr Townley relied upon his explanation which the Committee has recorded above, and also brought two character witnesses with him, namely Mr Dean Hunter and Mr Bruce Dawson. 27. Mr Townley’s primary submission was that he ought not to be disqualified because it would be devastating to him not only because of the consequences (being at this age, the end of his training career), but also the personal pride and reputational damage which he will suffer. Mr Townley reiterated to the Committee that he was flabbergasted as to how this had occurred and could offer no explanation for the presence of the Ketoprofen in the horse’s system on this third occasion. 28. Mr Townley explained that he had purchased two bottles of “Key Injection” containing Ketoprofen in July 2017 and that he had only half a bottle left by the time the second positive swab was returned, which meant of a total of 15 doses available, he had given more or less one dose per horse in his team for approximately 10 or so months. 29. He emphasised that after the second swab and the removal of the bottles by Racecourse Investigators there was no Ketoprofen on the property. The absence of Ketoprofen from the property post 16 March 2018 was not disputed before this Committee. 30. Both parties addressed the Committee on the relevant penalty principles with Mrs Williams emphasising the key principles of denunciation and deterrence, that the punishment ought not to be disproportionate to the breach, the need to rehabilitate the offender and the overall interests of racing in promoting the presentation of horses for racing which are free from prohibited substances. Mr Townley accepted that those were the relevant sentencing principles and understood that the Committee must mark its disapproval of any breach of this rule, let alone a third breach of this rule, but emphasised that there was no need to further deter him given the fines already imposed on him and the steps he has taken to address the problem after the second positive swab. 31. Mr Townley called two men to give character evidence for him. The first was a Mr Dean Hunter who was a member of the New Zealand Police for 21 years and thereafter involved in asset recovery and otherwise the holder of a licence to train for many years. He told the Committee that he had known Mr Townley for 45 years and that he found him to be honest and trustworthy, that he was a man of considerable training skill and prowess who was a great mentor to him and someone who had, in Mr Hunter’s experience, always been careful around supplements and additives and was something of a stickler for compliance with the rules and in particular, the prohibited substance rule. Like Mr Townley, Mr Hunter suggested that after the second positive swab and the removal of Ketoprofen from the stables by the Racecourse Investigators the only possible source for the third positive swab was contamination. 32. Mr Hunter was at pains to emphasise Mr Townley’s integrity. 33. The second man who gave character evidence to the Committee was a Mr Bruce Dawson. Mr Dawson was for many years a Justice of the Peace and sat in a judicial capacity in the District Courts of the Otago/Southland area. Mr Dawson had visited Mr Townley’s stable on a number of occasions and was impressed with how clean it was and how well it was run and commented that he found Mr Townley to be “very fussy”. He said that given his personal experiences of dealing with Mr Townley, he was extremely surprised that he suffered three positive swabs in quick succession and in circumstances where there was no real explanation for the third positive swab at all. Mr Dawson suggested that this third charge should be dealt with more leniently because Mr Townley had done all he could reasonably do after the second positive swab to ensure compliance with the Rules. Mr Dawson was concerned for Mr Townley’s financial position noting the level of fine proposed and emphasised that disqualification would be catastrophic to Mr Townley. 34. Mr Townley concluded his penalty submissions by commenting that only a fool would continue to use or otherwise present horses to race with a prohibited substance when under investigation or otherwise charged for presenting horses with the same prohibited substance. He noted that this period of two or so months during which three positive swabs were returned, had already cost him $18,000.00 in fines and that the Committee ought to deal with this third breach differently than the two earlier breaches where he was perhaps slow to react. Mr Townley was distressed at the prospect of disqualification. Fixing a starting point 35. The JCA penalty guide provides suggested tariffs for a first and second breach but does not go further and suggest penalties for further or multiple breaches. That the guide does not go further is reflected in the penalties imposed in the decisions referred to by Mrs Williams, which vary both as to type and quantum or length. No two cases are alike and the Committee must start the penalty exercise by determining the level of culpability in the instant case. 36. We believe Mr Townley’s culpability to be in the low to mid range on this occasion. The Committee accepts that Mr Townley made a number of changes to his stable operation following the earlier positive swabs, which have seen his horses pass a number of subsequent urine samples with clear results. Mr Townley has hired a vet to administer all pre-race treatments and otherwise to advise on the possible source of the ketoprofen in the third positive swab noting that it is not disputed by the parties that there was no ketoprofen on Mr Townley’s property after the bottle of “key injection” was removed from the stables by Investigators on or after 16 March 2018. 37. In fixing culpability and accepting Mr Townley’s submissions as to his reduced culpability on this third occasion, the Committee has had particular regard to the evidence of Messrs Hunter and Dawson as to Mr Townley’s character. They gave credible character evidence which enables the Committee to accept that Mr Townley is at a genuine loss as to how Ketoprofen entered the horse’s system and that this was neither a deliberate or negligent act on his part. Further, that he has done everything he could do since the two earlier positive swabs to root out the problem and remove it. That Mr Townley has succeeded is supported by the clear swabs since enjoyed by his team of horses. This is not a case of Mr Townley stumbling on blindly to the problem and taking no steps to address it after the second positive swab. 38. Accordingly, we fix the starting point fine for this breach in isolation but having regard to the JCA Penalty Guide at $12,000.00. Aggravating Factors 39. We find the sole aggravating factor to be the third breach of the Rule within a period of no more than three months. For that aggravating factor alone we increase the starting point fine by $8,000.00 to $20,000.00. We disregard the Australian breach as historic and no longer relevant. Mitigating Factors 40. We find the following as mitigating factors: Mr Townley’s frank and prompt admission, the changes he has made to the recording and storing of medications, the removal of a large number of old medications and treatments from his stable, his use of a vet and otherwise his good history and reputation. 41. For those factors combined we will deduct $5,000.00 from the fine for mitigation. 42. If we approach the penalty on the basis of a fine only therefore, we would get to a fine of $15,000.00. However, the circumstances of a third breach within a short timeframe and the nature of the two earlier breaches mean that we must consider whether a fine is the appropriate remedy or whether, as is submitted by Mrs Williams, Mr Townley ought to be disqualified. Analysis – whether to go further and disqualify? 43. It is important at this juncture to record the primary purpose of disciplinary proceedings under the Rules of Harness Racing. Punishment is not the primary purpose. Rather, the purposes of disciplinary proceedings are set out in Clause 5, Fifth Schedule, Rules of Harness Racing and include: a) to ensure that racing is conducted in accordance with the code rules; b) to uphold and maintain the high standards expected of those participating in the sport of racing and the racing industry; c) to uphold and maintain the integrity of the sport of racing and the racing industry; d) to protect the participants in the sport of racing, the racing industry, and the public. 44. These principles originate from the Supreme Court judgment in Z v Complaints Assessment Committee [2009] 1 NZLR 1 and have been expressly adopted by the Code in the Rules. They are binding on a Judicial Committee and must be observed. 45. As already noted the decisions referred to by Mrs Williams varied significantly as to penalty and highlight that disqualification is, in fact, rare even in cases of multiple breaches. Indeed the only case of disqualification presented to the Committee was that of Mitchell whose original disqualification for three charges of presenting horses with elevated TC02 results of 12 months disqualification was reduced on appeal to 9 months and a fine of $4,500.00 noting that Mr Mitchell had previously been charged with presenting a horse with an elevated TC02 and fined earlier such that on that occasion it was in effect Mr Mitchell’s second, third and fourth offence across a period of several months. This case is different in kind to Mitchell in terms of duration, substance and culpability. 46. That this is the third breach in a short period means that the Committee ought to also consider the overall effect of the penalty on Mr Townley across the three penalties imposed on him in total. The Committee has considered Mr Townley’s submission to this effect and has determined that the totality principle is relevant and applicable here. 47. At the heart of the totality principle is the need for the punishment to meet the crime and that when arriving at an appropriate penalty for several breaches, a Committee must not only assess each breach individually, but also assess the licensee’s overall culpability and determine what effective penalty is appropriate for the totality of the licensee’s conduct. 48. Again, this is an acknowledgement that the penalty analysis is driven by the need to match the penalty with the gravity of the overall conduct. Further, factors such as age are relevant considerations that should be taken into account when ensuring that the overall end penalty is not crushing or unfair. 49. The totality principle is not limited to assessing one penalty for multiple breaches and extends to assessing successive but proximate penalties for separate events. Here where there have been three breaches that have resulted in three penalty hearings before three different Committees, the proper approach is for this Committee to reflect on what the appropriate overall penalty would have been if Mr Townley had been sentenced on all matters at the same time, and to adjust the penalty imposed for the third breach accordingly. What is required is an assessment of the cumulative effect of the penalties in combination with earlier penalties, so that the end penalty for the overall offending is not wholly disproportionate. 50. We have done this. The Committee accepts that the effect of disqualification on Mr Townley would have a crushing effect, would see him forced into early retirement and ruin his reputation. It would be a tragic end to a notable training career. It would see his stable cease operation and horses transferred to other stables. We accept that that is too harsh a penalty and would be wholly disproportionate to Mr Townley’s overall culpability. 51. This third breach is different in kind to the two earlier breaches and, stepping back, the Committee determines that denunciation and deterrence are served by a further fine on this occasion. Mr Townley confirmed to the Committee that he could afford to pay another fine. 52. We have considered totality in terms of a fine too. Adopting the end point fine outlined above and then stepping back and viewing the three fines together ($7,000.00 plus $11,000.00 plus $15,000.00) means a total overall fine of $33,000.00. 53. A fine sum of $33,000.00 is not disproportionate to the gravity of his breaches overall, namely across the three breaches of the Rule to date. 54. That is a great deal of money. It will hurt Mr Townley but it will not break him and importantly, it will serve as a warning to all licensees of the importance of strict adherence to the prohibited substance rule. 55. Accordingly, while Mr Townley has avoided disqualification on this occasion, the fine will not be further reduced for totality purposes. 56. Mr Townley is fined $15,000.00 for this third breach of the Rules. 57. The Committee further orders that the horse WELL DEFINED is disqualified per Rule 1004(8) from Monday, 30 July 2018. 58. Mr Townley is ordered to pay the costs of the reserve sample in the amount of $1,250.00. There will be no other orders for costs either of the Informant or of the Committee. DM Jackson Chair ________________________________________________ Harnesslink Media

On Thursday 5 July 2018, RWWA Stewards conducted an inquiry into a report received from the ChemCentre in Perth that the pre-race blood sample taken from BORONIA GULLY prior to it competing in and finishing tenth in Race 3 the Golden Glass Fillies and Mares MS Pace (1684m) at Pinjarra on Monday 18 June 2018 was found to have a level of total carbon dioxide content (TCO2) in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. This finding had been verified by Racing Analytical Services Limited Laboratory (RASL) in Victoria. Evidence was heard from RWWA Investigator Mrs Freya Bennett, RWWA Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd, ChemCentre Analyst Ms Kelly Wilson and the Trainer Ms Stephanie Smith. Ms Smith pleaded guilty to the following charges; Under  HRR190 (1) and (2) – that Ms Smith as the trainer, presented BORONIA GULLY to race in Race 3 at Pinjarra on 18 June 2018 not free of the prohibited substance alkalinising agents, as evidenced by a concentration of TCO2 in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. Under HRR196C - that Ms Smith did administer the alkalinising agent EquiShure to BORONIA GULLY on Sunday 17 June 2018 which was engaged to race in Race 3 at Pinjarra on 18 June 2018, such administration being within one clear day of the commencement of the race, contrary to the provisions of Rule 196C. Under HRR190B(1)(b) – that Ms Smith failed to maintain a record of treatment of alkalinising agents and ulcer treatments to the mare BORONIA GULLY. Stewards having reserved their decision with respect to penalty, advised Ms Smith yesterday that a disqualification of 6 (six) months was being imposed with respect to the offence under HRR 190, that a fine of $2,000 was being imposed for the offence under HRR196C, and that a fine of $200 was being imposed for the failure to maintain a record of treatments to BORONIA GULLY. BORONIA GULLY which finished 10th was also disqualified from the race in question. In determining the penalties, stewards took into account amongst other things: Ms Smith’s very good record over a number of years in both Thoroughbred and Harness Racing. The professional and respectful manner in which Ms Smith conducted herself during the investigation and inquiry into this matter. The acknowledgement of all three offences. The question of the totality of penalties. The nature of the prohibited substance, being classed as potentially performance enhancing. The high levels of TCO2 reported by both the ChemCentre and RASL. Previous cases and penalties issued for the respective rules in question. The serious nature of these offences and the need for deterrence both general and specific.   Media Contact: Russell Quinn Manager Corporate Communications Ph: 9445 5418 M:

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