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Many harness racing horseman are currently unhappy with the surface of the Alexandra Park track at the moment, with several going as far as to declare it unsafe in patches and not up to standard. Richard Brosnan the president of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Owners Association is adamant an accident is going to cause serious harm to horse or driver if the state of the Auckland track is not fixed in the near future. Richard says “the track is very inconsistent in some areas and it varies in depth especially on the bends. It needs a good overhaul to bring back to the condition it was in several years ago”, he said. >Harnesslink contacted the following Drivers and here are their comments; David Butcher For me I think they could do a far better job of preparing it for race day. The staff are just going through the motions the same way they have done for the last 30 years. They might need a trip to Australia and see what they do. Brent Mangos The surface is very inconsistent. Soft in places and hard in other places. It was very soft the other night. After race three I told them that they needed to put water on the track which they did and it was much better. Maurice McKendry The surface is not as good as it has been. Philip Butcher For a Metropolitan track the surface is a disgrace. Steven Reid The surface is deep in places and not that good although I only drive occasionally. Todd Mitchell The track is the worst it's ever been, just a disgrace for a leading track. The surface is deep in places and its a shame they didn't take notice of Dan Coon when he developed the track, they did not listen to him about the ongoing maintanence. Peter Ferguson The surface is like concrete underneath and marbles on top. The track is in bad shape for a top track. The Manawatu track is the same. They have a great club like Auckland and doing all the right things in the public arena but not looking after the track is probably the most important thing to have right to protect the horses from breakdown and to protect the drivers from accidents. Scott Phelan Went to a meeting and voiced my concerns once but nothing gets done. Jay Abernethy The track is very inconsistent, loose in places, hard in others. Not good. Todd MacFarlane - Drivers Association Representative The trainers and drivers association have been trying to sort it out. The Auckland Club has already had John Denton up from Christchurch and he is about to come back to help fix the track shortly. This all brings to mind the case in North America about the Anthony Coletta accident at Harrahs Chester Track.  Anthony Coletta was left paralyzed and permanently brain damaged after he was thrown from his sulky and trampled by a horse in a chain-reaction wreck his attorney blamed on poor track conditions. Horse trainers, harness drivers, and the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association had complained for years — before Coletta’s Nov. 17, 2013, crash — that the track was unsafe, said attorney Bob Mongeluzzi, who represents Coletta’s parents in a 2014 negligence lawsuit they filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. “The complaints included that it was like going from a hard surface, hard pack, to actually like being on the beach, and being in deep sand, and that the horses would lose their footing,” Mongeluzzi said. “These complaints came from many, many drivers over a period of years. These complaints were documented in emails [and] letters. And the tragic fact is that Harrah’s — rather than making the track safer, rather than taking the complaints seriously — ignored them and didn’t do anything about it.” Coletta, now 35, who was engaged to be married at the time of the crash, instead has been declared incapacitated and lives with his parents, Alfred and Rosemary Coletta, in Hammonton, New Jersey. “He’s in a wheelchair. He needs round-the-clock care. He will never be able to care for himself again,” Mongeluzzi said. “He has virtually no memory, very little comprehension of anything you would say to him … Unfortunately, I think where Anthony is [now] is where he will be for the rest of his life — in a wheelchair, brain damage.   Here is the Presidents report to the members of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Owners Association; Firstly I’d like to thank everyone here today. You are here because you care about our industry. This has been a very interesting year for the NZ Owners Association. We in Auckland are only one of three branches still actively operating. The National Body seems in free fall and is not getting up and running. This branch needs to keep up with what’s going on with the National Body. It needs a person with the time and the name who can go around NZ and sell the idea of the importance of Owner Issues and Representation. At last year’s AGM our HRNZ owners rep Trevor Beaton came up and spoke to the members. Unfortunately the promised communication has not eventuated and we don’t get a lot of information. Jess Smith has just taken up a new post with HRNZ on Owners Issues and we must be hopeful that her appointment will make a difference. She has our support. The present good financial position this branch is in can be initially attributed to Rosena Pyers because as our secretary she started operating the cafe at the workouts which we ran here on Saturdays. This has continued on with members of our committee who have run raffles, trophy days and collected our share of workout monies. This association had nothing when I started so we must thank our committees for all the work that has resulted in our healthy position today. Now that the ATC no longer runs Saturday workouts at the Park in favour of Franklin Park we rely mainly on the money that is allocated to us through the North Island Harness Awards. The Ladies running the awards have done an amazing job and we are very grateful to them. I’d like to thank our Secretary and members of our committee for their efforts throughout the year. It is only their dedication that keeps us going and we need to grow stronger with more interest from other owners. Our Owners website is still up and running and any contributions to it are very welcome. We have had a few articles written for us by Barry Lichter which created a lot of interest so we are looking to continue that . Many thanks to Gayleen Mackinnon for her time in uploading the material onto our website. While the ATC is doing many good things for harness racing in Auckland  there needs to be more done for the people who support them. The Board need to improve their PR skills and make themselves known within the industry here. At the moment the Alexandra Park racing surface is not up to standard and needs regular attention to make it fair to all horses. It is too deep on the bends and varies in depth all around. If not fixed it will cause a serious problem sooner or later. Thank you to everyone for all your help and support. May this branch grow stronger and make sure that the National Body gets up and running. If you think HRNZ are going to look after you then look back on the last 12 months and think again. A strong Owners Body and lobby group is imperative. Again thank you for attending and come back next year to a stronger and healthier and more enthusiastic Auckland Trotting Owners branch. Richard Brosnan.

On 23 November 2017, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard an application from Daryl Douglas for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board of 11 October 2017 to issue a range of penalties relating to breaches of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). The details of that HRV RAD Board hearing can be found here Background Mr Douglas was issued with four charges under the AHRR, relating to his activities at the registered training establishment of Marnie Bibby on 27 February 2017. The four charges were as follows: Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows: A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them. The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  VCAT Review Hearing At the VCAT review hearing, on 23 November 2017 before Member Wentworth, HRV Stewards withdrew ‘Charge 1’, which related to Mr Douglas entering a registered training establishment whilst a disqualified person due to the provisions of section 51(3) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998(Vic). In relation to the remaining charges evidence was taken from HRV Steward John Packer, HRV Steward Russell Anderson and Daryl Douglas himself, along with submissions from the HRV Stewards and Andrew Peace on behalf of Mr Douglas. Upon consideration of the evidence Member Wentworth was not satisfied that ‘Charge 2’ was proven as it was not established that Mr Douglas was aware it was the HRV Stewards he was running from given they had not had the opportunity to identify themselves. The HRV RAD Board decision in relation to this charge was set aside. In relation to ‘Charge 3’, Member Wentworth found that Mr Douglas did refuse to answer the questions of the HRV Stewards. Member Wentworth highlighted that the role of the Stewards is well established and being able to questions parties is vital to their duties. In respect of penalty, following submissions from both parties, the fine imposed by the HRV RAD Board was set-aside and replaced with a fine of $200. Member Wentworth also found ‘Charge 4’ proven in that Mr Douglas knew there was an inquiry scheduled and the reasons for him not attending were insufficient in the circumstances. Member Wentworth set-aside the warning off imposed by the HRV RAD Board and determined that the appropriate penalty was a fine of $300, however also placed Mr Douglas on notice that he is required to attend an inquiry as required by the HRV Stewards. The written reasons from VCAT will be published when available.

MANALAPAN, NJ — November 22, 2017 — Governor-elect Phil Murphy has announced, the appointment of SBOANJ Director and CEO of Deo Volente Farms, Mike Gulotta to his Budget transition committee.  Gulotta will make recommendations on state policy, issues and initiatives as Murphy’s administration prepares to take office. The committees will meet over the next two months and then submit reports and recommendations to the governor-elect and his leadership team prior to inauguration. The SBOANJ congratulates Mike Gulotta on this amazing appointment and sees it as a positive for the New Jersey harness racing industry. Courtney Stafford

With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 14 November, 2017 where a 60-year-old male from the Bendigo area was interviewed and released without charge, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update. HRV advises in respect of this matter, they have spoken to the licensed participant allegedly involved and advised them to provide submissions addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). Any such submissions are to be provided by 10.00 am on Friday 24 November 2017 and will be given due consideration thereafter prior to any decision being made. With respect to the Victoria Police investigation, HRV is unable to make any comment. Harness Racing Victoria 

ON Wednesday 15 November 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry in relation to complaints reported to HRNSW Stewards at the Newcastle meeting on Saturday 5 August 2017. Licensed trainer Mr Robin Hosking (Snr), licensed stablehands Mrs Christine Hosking and Mr Rex Spencer attended and presented evidence to the inquiry. Additional evidence was also presented by the following persons: Ms Laura Spencer (licensed trainer/driver) Mr Peter Allen (licensed trainer) Mrs Pamela James (licensed stablehand) Mrs Sandra Smith                            After considering the evidence HRNSW Stewards issued two (2) charges against Mr Rex Spencer pursuant to the Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 231(1)(d): AHRR 231(1)(d) A person shall not (d)          abuse… anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it The details of the charges related to Mr Spencer abusing Mr Hosking (Snr) and Mrs Hosking at the Newcastle Harness Racing Club on Saturday 5 August 2017. Mr Spencer was found guilty of both offences and was disqualified for a period of three months to commence immediately. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: The nature of these offences; Mr Spencer’s not guilty plea; Previous offences of this nature; Mr Spencer’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Mr Spencer has appealed these decisions.    MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

ON Monday 13 November 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry in relation to the betting activities of licensed trainer/driver Mr Grimson. Mr Grimson appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence. Evidence including betting records and race results were also presented. Stewards issued two (2) charges pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 240(c) as follows: AHRR 240.  A person shall not, whether alone or in an association with others, do, permit or suffer anything before, during or after a race which in the opinion of the Stewards or Controlling Body:- (c)           is improper. The details of the charges issued against Mr Grimson are as follows: On 3 January 2017, Mr Grimson placed a five (5) leg multi bets via the wagering operator Tabcorp which included race 7 at Menangle on that date. In that leg, Mr Grimson placed a bet on SALTY ROBYN NZ when he was the trainer of WYDNBERG TERROR in that race. On 2 February 2017, Mr Grimson placed a win bet via the wagering operator Tabcorp on race 5 at Penrith on that date. Mr Grimson placed a bet on EASY LIGHTNING to win that race when he was the trainer of MACHIN OUT in that race. As Mr Grimson had placed bets on horses other than those trained by him to win the respective races, Stewards considered those actions improper. Mr Grimson pleaded guilty to both charges and he was disqualified for a period of three months in respect of each charge, effective immediately and to be served concurrently. In determining penalty, Stewards considered the actions of Mr Grimson, his licence history, his guilty plea as well as his personal and subjective factors Mr Grimson has appealed these decisions. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

A member of a prominent Tasmanian harness racing family who punched a horse in the head just before a race at Launceston has been stood down by TasRacing. The incident, involving harness racing driver Wade Rattray, was captured on a mobile phone camera while the attendant was handling the Angela Brakey-trained Century Arrow prior to the first race of Wednesday's Newmarket Handicap meeting, with the footage posted to Twitter. Mr Rattray was working as a barrier attendant at the race. He has been described in racing circles as a member of the Rattray "harness racing dynasty". In a statement on Thursday afternoon, TasRacing said Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) stewards had "concluded an inquiry into an incident that occurred at the barrier prior to Race 1 involving barrier attendant Mr Wade Rattray and Century Arrow" at the meeting, finding he had "struck that horse with a clenched fist in the vicinity of the head". "After taking initial evidence at the race meeting, Mr Rattray was stood down from his duties for the remainder of the meeting by the Stewards acting under the provisions of AR 8(r)," TasRacing said. Mr Rattray, who represented Tasmania at the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers' Championship in Perth, was found guilty of "conduct prejudicial to the image of racing". TasRacing said stewards took into account the nature of the offence, the detrimental effects to the image of racing, deterrent factor as well as "Mr Rattray's clean record" and his "personal circumstances". Mr Rattray was fined $1,500. A TasRacing spokesperson said Mr Rattray had been "stood down pending an internal review" which is expected next week and that Mr Rattray "won't be handling horses for TasRacing in the meantime". PHOTO: Wade Rattray's future as an employee with TasRacing is unclear. (Facebook: Wade Rattray) Racing officials 'don't condone cruelty' TasRacing said the ORI would "submit a report relation to this matter" and "work with TasRacing in developing appropriate standards and conduct for barrier staff". Earlier on Thursday, TasRacing CEO Vaughn Lynch said his organisation did not condone animal cruelty. "Animal welfare is a strong focus for TasRacing, and we do not condone what appears to have occurred in the incident in question in any way," he said. Mr Lynch said "training requirements are regularly reviewed and will be considered further following the conclusion of the stewards investigation". With Jason Maskiell aboard Century Arrow, the four-year-old gelding entered the race as favourite, but went on to finish second behind the Mick Burles-trained Clean Acheeva. Mr Rattray has been contacted for comment. Elio Celotto, from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, said the $1,500 penalty was "totally inadequate". "What happened in Tasmania is animal abuse, it's a breach of the prevention of cruelty to animals act and they need to be punished accordingly, perhaps a jail sentence." Mr Celotto said the incident was "just another example of the racing industry abusing their horses and forcing them to compete". Reprinted with permission of ABC News

A Victorian harness-racing trainer has been arrested by police as part of a criminal investigation. The Herald Sun has been told the inquiry is looking into allegations of race fixing from several years ago. Detectives from the Victoria Police sporting integrity intelligence unit executed two warrants in central Victoria on Tuesday. The searches were made on properties in the Bendigo area. A Victoria Police spokesman said a 60-year-old man was arrested and interviewed and has been released pending summons. That man has been a harness-racing trainer for decades. “The investigation remains ongoing,” the police spokesman said. A harness-racing figure connected to the properties declined to comment when contacted by the Herald Sun. “I’ve got no comment at all,” he said. Victoria Police set up the sporting integrity intelligence unit in 2013 amid heightened corruption concerns. It has previously run significant investigations into fixing in harness-racing. By Leo Schlink and Mark Buttler, Herald Sun Reprinted with permission of The Herald Sun  

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is pleased to announce its appointment of veterinarians Julia Aspinall and Lesley Hawson, who have joined the HRV Integrity Department. Dr Aspinall has been appointed Senior Veterinarian and Dr Hawson as Veterinarian, and both bring extensive experience including considerable backgrounds working in equine fields.            The pair’s appointment follows a commitment by HRV to increase post-race swabs by 100 per cent and out-of-competition testing by 50 per cent, activity funded by a $3.1 million State Government contribution over two years that Racing Minister Martin Pakula announced in September. HRV General Manager – Integrity Brent Fisher said Dr Aspinall and Dr Hawson were welcome additions to the team and would help provide a level playing field for all of the sport’s participants. “HRV identified there was a need to have extra veterinarians at race meetings and to support veterinarians and swab assistants performing those roles,” Mr Fisher said. “The newly-appointed veterinarians will also assist with the implementation of micro-chipping for newly bred yearlings, with Integrity Department investigations and looking at best practice in relation to animal welfare.” Mr Fisher said almost 100 microchips had last week been inserted into Victorian-bred foals, an implementation strategy that started in the state’s south-west and would continue across Victoria until April/May 2018. Harness Racing Victoria

The trial starts this week in a negligence lawsuit filed by the family of a South Jersey harness racing driver who nearly died in a 2013 crash at Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester. Anthony Coletta was left paralyzed and permanently brain damaged after he was thrown from his sulky — the two-wheeled vehicle harnessed to a horse — and trampled by a horse in a chain-reaction wreck his attorney blamed on poor track conditions. Horse trainers, harness drivers, and the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association had complained for years — before Coletta’s Nov. 17, 2013, crash — that the track was dangerously unsafe, said attorney Bob Mongeluzzi, who represents Coletta’s parents in a 2014 negligence lawsuit they filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. “The complaints included that it was like going from a hard surface, hard pack, to actually like being on the beach, and being in deep sand, and that the horses would lose their footing,” Mongeluzzi said. “These complaints came from many, many drivers over a period of years. These complaints were documented in emails [and] letters. And the tragic fact is that Harrah’s — rather than making the track safer, rather than taking the complaints seriously — ignored them and didn’t do anything about it.” The track hadn’t been resurfaced since it opened in 2006, Mongeluzzi alleged in the lawsuit. Ten months before Coletta’s crash, harness drivers warned Harrah’s management that the track had deteriorated so much that a tragedy could happen, according to a recent court filing. “I would really like you to please do something about the track conditions here at Harrah’s,” trainer and harness driver Anthony DeFrancesco III wrote to Harrah’s security director Charles O’Hala after a December 2012 race. “I would hate to see a driver or horse get really hurt [due] to poor track conditions.” Harness driver Yannick Gingras emailed O’Hala the next day: “The surface yesterday was in very poor condition. It was very hard to see and really dangerous. I am not an expert in track maintenance, but I’ve raced at a large amount of racetracks, and yesterday’s condition [was] one of the worst I have ever seen.” Harrah’s managers responded to such pleas by trading interoffice emails in which they belittled Mike Izzo, who as president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association loudly advocated for track repairs, as “a garbage can,” “a POS” (piece of shit), and “a weak man,” court documents show. “I’ll be diplomatic, but will F with him [Izzo] every chance I get (without putting us in jeopardy of course),” O’Hala wrote in December 2012 to Harrah’s racing director Barry Brown. Harrah’s and its parent company, Caesars Entertainment Corp. of Las Vegas, did not respond to requests for comment. Coletta, now 35, who was engaged to be married at the time of the crash, instead has been declared incapacitated and lives with his parents, Alfred and Rosemary Coletta, in Hammonton, New Jersey. “He’s in a wheelchair. He needs round-the-clock care. He will never be able to care for himself again,” Mongeluzzi said. “He has virtually no memory, very little comprehension of anything you would say to him … Unfortunately, I think where Anthony is [now] is where he will be for the rest of his life — in a wheelchair, brain damage. By â€‹Dana DiFilippo   Reprinted with permission of the WHYY site

The investigative arm of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has struck again. This time it is high-profile harness racing media personality Marshall Dobson, who has been arrested and bailed to face court at a date to be set. The charges are "money laundering” through a fictitious betting account and the sums are believed to run into the millions. Dobson was at one time a popular choice as on-track Master of Ceremonies at major harness carnivals. With the election just a few weeks away, harness punters and harness participants want to hear that a commitment to iron tight control, and a punter friendly race format, will be the aim of all major parties. Join Marburg excitement THE countdown is on again as the Marburg Pacing Association heads prepares to host the postponed "Oktoberfest/ Harriott Memorial” race meeting. It has been rescheduled for Sunday November 12, with a projected nine race program. That includes the "Summerfest/Harriott Memorial”. It will feature two bookies plus "funny money”, two $100 lucky gate draws, $1250 "pick the last six winners” comp, monster raffle, craft beers from three boutique breweries with German sausage and sauerkraut to complement the lager and ale. The meeting will also have a Tug-O-War, a harnessing demonstration, the introduction of the "Costin Plastic” horse shoe, craft stalls, jumping castle and other attractions for the kids. Gates open at 11am. Meanwhile, the Marburg Pacing Association AGM is this morning after trials at 9.30am. Stable's high hopes THE Turpin/McMullen stable have exciting five-year-old Mattgregor starting at TABCORP Park, Menangle, tonight. Unbeaten in both starts this campaign, Mattgregor will head to Melton the following week for the Group 2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship. "He'll start this week at Menangle and that should top him off for the feature the following week,'' it was reported on the Australian Harness Racing website. "He's in great order and enjoys the surroundings at Menangle. "He's come through his trial last week in good shape and we're happy with the way he is right now.” Mattgregor won an Albion Park 1660m trial on October 24 in 1:54.9 while finishing off in 26.9 seconds. The Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding has won 12 from 24 to date. While the above is cause for joy, it is balanced by the news that stable star, Watch Pulp Fiction, sustained a tendon injury at his most recent start. Watch Pulp Fiction will be on the receiving end of sophisticated vet treatment for some time. It is not always "beer and skittles” in the world of harness racing, quite often the downs outweigh the ups. Extreme heat policy THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) has released advice on caring for racing animals in extreme heat. "With summer almost upon us, it's a good time to be able to provide this advice through the Commission's extreme heat policy which sets out the key principles for caring for racing animals in hot weather,” Commissioner Ross Barnett said. "The policy defines the measures to be taken in hot weather when temperatures rise above 35°C including the allocation of extra staff and other resources to race meetings to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all racing animals.” The advice includes two fact sheets to assist with preventing and treating heat stress in horses and greyhounds as the two species respond to heat in different ways. The QRIC's extreme heat policy and associated fact sheets can be viewed at Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-5-6-8: War Dan Appollo (T. Moffat)-Feel The Courage (P. McMullen)-Polished Rocks (M Neilson)-Written In Red (P Diebert). R2: Quinella 2-4: Comply Or Die (N McMullen) and Shareapassion (P. McMullen). R3: Quinella 1-8: Lancelot Bromac (H. Barnes) and Withalotofluck (I. Ross). R4: Village Witch (N. McMullen) and Always My Mate (P. McMullen). R5: Quinella 2-5: Philanderer (M. Neilson) and Chal Fire (K. Dawson). R6: Quinella 1-7: Living Grand (H. Barnes) and Glenferrie Boss (C. Petroff). R7: Box trifecta 1-3-4-8: Projectile (K. Smith)-Only In Rome (T. Dawson)-Jakes Joy (G Dixon)-Domestic Art (H. Barnes). R8: Quinella 3-4: Win Or Die (N. Dawson) and Weedons Express (N. McMullen). R9: E/w 7: Ultimate Art (A. Sanderson). R10: Quinella 4-10: Heavens Hint (N. Dawson) and Firebby (C. Cini). Honour board Sisters in-law on the leader board this week with Chantal Turpin top trainer, leading in four winners, and Narissa McMullen driving for the same result in the sulky. Most pleasing is the continued success of ex-Sandgroper Michael Tenardi, with Top Flight Cruize at Redcliffe. Albion Park, October 27: Call Me Yours (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves); Fon Ideal (Adam Richardson) for Donny Smith); Comply Or Die (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis). Albion Park, October 28: Flaming Hero (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Bettabe Perfect (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Always My Mate (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Wattlebank Flyer (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Village Witch (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Royal Counsel (Darrell Graham). Albion Park, October 31: Only In Rome (Isobel Ross for Trent Dawson); Timmo Time (Adam Sanderson for Shawn Grimsey). Redcliffe, November 1: Real Knuckey (Hayden Barnes for Peter Jones); Royal Counsel (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Heez Perfect (Gary Litzow); Summer Money (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie); Summer Money (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie); Cocoa Cheval (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Top Flight Cruize (Michael Tenardi); Luv You Grazaella (Nathan Dawson for Merv Hieronymus). Redcliffe, November 2: The Restauranteur (Adam Richardson for Lee Storie); Lynchman (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Zenmach (Paul Matis); Master Montana (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); The Lunchbox Bully (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin); Magnussen (Lachie Manzelmann for Adam Richardson). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer/driver Matthew Craven under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The AHRR defines "Race" as a race or official trial or official time trial or event in which harness racing horses race or participate. It is alleged that Mr Craven presented ‘Ruthie Yamaguchi’ to race at the Terang trial meeting on 18 June 2017 when not free of the prohibited substances Triamcinolone Acetonide and Meloxicam. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer John McCullagh. 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 ‘Mear Princess’ after it finished first in Race 4, the ‘Yeomans Slate & Stone 3Y) Pace’, at Tabcorp Park Melton harness racing meeting on 14 June 2017. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of that urine sample revealed the sample to contain arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.  Mr McCullagh pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr McCullagh. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr McCullagh’s guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation; Mr McCullagh’s good record over a long period in the industry; both general and specific deterrence; consistency of penalty and other similar matters. Mr McCullagh was subsequently fined $3000, of which $2000 was suspended for a period of 12 months. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Mear Princess’ be disqualified from Race 4 at Tabcorp Park Melton on 14 June 2017 and that the placings be amended accordingly. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Kerry Willcock Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board ............................................................. HRV RAD Board Hearing – Robert Arundell The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1) and 190B against licensed trainer-driver Robert Arundell. 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 ‘Sammy Fitz’ after it finished second in Trial 1 at the Terang trial meeting on 18 June 2017. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of that urine sample revealed the sample to contain arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold. Mr Arundell was also charged with a breach of AHRR 190B (1) being that he failed to properly keep and maintain a log book in accordance with this rule. Mr Arundell pleaded guilty to both charges before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Arundell. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Arundell’s guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation; Mr Arundell’s good record over many years of involvement in the industry; both general and specific deterrence; and consistency of penalty with other similar matters. Mr Arundell was subsequently fined $2000, of which $1000 was suspended for a period of 12 months. In relation to the log book charge, Mr Arundell was fined the sum of $250. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Sammy Fitz’ be disqualified from Trial 1 at Terang on 18 June 2017. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Kerry Willcock Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board

Harness racing trainer Henriette Westrum has been fined $8000 for presenting Elite Excuse to race with the prohibited substance Phenylbutazone in its system. The horse won at Addington on 26 May 2017 paying in excess of $60.00, but has since been disqualified. Ms Westrum said "She did not give Bute to ELITE EXCUSE or any other horse on any occasion". "She would have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by giving such a drug to a horse close to race day".   Full details of the hearing.   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 AND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU) Informant AND MS HENRIETTE WESTRUM Licensed Public Trainer Respondent Information: A6644 Judicial Committee: Prof G Hall, Chairman Mr A Smith, Committee Member Appearing: Mr C Allison, for the Informant The Respondent in person DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE [1] The informant, the RIU, has laid information A6644 with respect to the respondent, Ms Westrum. [2] This information states: “On 26 May 2017, Henriette Westrum, being the registered trainer of the Standardbred ELITE EXCUSE presented the horse to race in Race 2, the PI AND GJ KENNARD BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE, at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely Phenylbutazone, in its system in excess of 100 micrograms per litre of urine. This is a breach of the prohibited substance rule, r 1004(1A), (3) and (4) and you are therefore liable to the penalty or penalties which may be imposed in accordance with r 1004(7)(a) and (b) and to the horse penalties in r 1004(8) and 1004(D).” [3] The informant produced written authority in accordance with r 1108(2), dated 24 August 2017, from Mr M Godber, the General Manager of the RIU, to file a non-race day information for a breach of r 1004(1A). [4] A teleconference was held with the parties on 14 September last, at which Ms Westrum stated that she admitted the breach. [5] We thus find the breach of r 1004(3) proved. [6] The relevant rules provide: 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) … the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules. (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), … (3) … is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the TCO2 level or prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. [7] The penalty provisions which apply in this case are rr 1004(7) and (8) and 1004D: 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule … (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years. (8) Any horse connected with a breach of sub-rule … (3) shall be disqualified from any race entered and/or liable to a period of disqualification not exceeding five years. 1004D Any horse which has been taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it any prohibited substance shall be disqualified from that race. [8] The Committee determined that the matter be heard on the papers. We received written submissions from the parties and held a further teleconference on 5 October at which both parties made oral submissions. The facts [9] The respondent in this matter, Ms Westrum, has been licensed with HRNZ since 2011. First as a Stablehand, and then a year later, with a Licence to Train. She currently holds a Public Trainer’s Licence. [10] Ms Westrum entered and started the registered Standardbred ELITE EXCUSE in Race 2, the PI AND GJ KENNARD BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE, at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club meeting held on Friday 26 May 2017. Total stake money for the race was $9,950. The breakdown of stake money was 1st $5740, 2nd $1120, 3rd $560, 4th $360, 5th $280, and others $210. [11] ELITE EXCUSE was driven by Mr D Keast and won the race, which was run over 1950 metres, by a head in a time of 2.22.6. ELITE EXCUSE was 14/14 in the betting and was the rank outsider of the field. She paid $62.90 to win and $11.50 for a place. [12] On the night of the races ELITE EXCUSE was a four-year-old bay mare and she had started 13 times for one win, one 2nd, and one 3rd, for total stake money of $9,445. As at 12 September 2017, she had had three subsequent races for two unplaced runs and one 3rd placing. ELITE EXCUSE is owned by Ms H Westrum, P J Cusdin, C P Keast and B J Sangster. [13] Following the race, the Chairman of Stewards, Mr Tidmarsh, requested that ELITE EXCUSE be swabbed. A urine sample numbered 133194 was obtained from ELITE EXCUSE at 6.10 pm in the presence of stable representative, Mr D Keast. This sample was subsequently sent to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services for analysis. [14] On 4 July 2017, this Laboratory formally advised the sample numbered 133194 contained the prohibited substance Phenylbutazone (commonly referred to as Bute). The concentration of Phenylbutazone exceeded 200 micrograms per litre of urine, which was the upper limit of the calibration range of the method used. The regulatory limit is 100 micrograms of Phenylbutazone per litre of urine. The control sample was clear. Mr Howitt the General Manager of the Laboratory later advised the reading was extremely high. [15] Dr Grierson, the Chief Veterinarian for HRNZ, forwarded a formal report, which confirmed Phenylbutazone was a prohibited substance under the Rules of HRNZ. [16] On Wednesday 5 July 2017 Racing Investigators visited Ms Westrum at her stable at Yaldhurst on the outskirts of Christchurch. Ms Westrum is assisted in the daily training and preparation of her horses by her partner, Mr J Keast, who is licensed as an open horseman. Ms Westrum and Mr Keast had previously been licensed together, up until this season. Three other trainers use the stable complex, with two main barns shared by the trainers. [17] When advised of the positive test, Ms Westrum was surprised and advised the Racing Investigators she had never used Phenylbutazone on ELITE EXCUSE. She was at a total loss to explain how the sample contained Phenylbutazone. Ms Westrum was co-operative throughout the investigation and openly made her stable available for inspection immediately she was advised of the positive result. [18] The RIU stated that Ms Westrum’s medicine cupboard was insecure and, when searched, no Phenylbutazone was located. However, insecure DMSO, which is required to be prescribed by a veterinarian, was located. The RIU described the security of medicines at the stable complex as “poor”, with prescribed medication being kept by other trainers in insecure and unlocked areas. Feed rooms were also insecure. The main bulk feed of barley and bailage was shared by all the trainers at the stable. [19] The inspection located Phenylbutazone in an unlocked cupboard in the main smoko room. This had been prescribed to another trainer at the stable and had been used on a broodmare, which had spent time in the stable complex. [20] The broodmare, which was being treated for laminitis, was being administered Phenylbutazone in a box in the stable area directly across from where ELITE EXCUSE was boxed. [21] Ms Westrum and the trainer using the Phenylbutazone, Mr Kennedy, advised there was no possibility that they had mixed the horses up as the mare being treated was particularly lame and had a poultice on her infected leg. [22] Ms Westrum initially advised she did not use Phenylbutazone at her stable but, when later spoken to, she acknowledged she had used it around 18 months previously. Enquiries revealed Mr Keast had purchased a 500ml container of Phenylbutazone in November 2015. This had been used on the horse JEANIE POPS, which had suffered a fractured pastern. She also acknowledged she had been prescribed Phenylbutazone for the horse ARCHIMEDES but this was after ELITE EXCUSE had raced and tested positive. Mr Allison’s inquiries confirmed this was the case. [23] The stable has a security fence, which is closed later in the afternoon, however it can be opened with the push of a button without a security code being required. [24] Ms Westrum did not keep records of any medications she had used, as she only has a small racing team. Inquiries with Ms Westrum’s veterinarian, Dr Senior, confirmed Ms Westrum had never purchased any product containing Phenylbutazone from him for ELITE EXCUSE. That horse was not suffering from any injuries or issues that required the use of Phenylbutazone or any other pain killer or anti-inflammatory. [25] Ms Westrum accepted the swabbing process was conducted correctly and declined the opportunity to have the “B” sample tested. [26] ELITE EXCUSE was swabbed on 7 July 2017 at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club meeting where she finished in 10th placing. The swab returned no irregularities. [27] The two horses Ms Westrum raced on the evening at issue were both transported to the races in a double float by Mr Keast. During the evening of the races Ms Westrum left ELITE EXCUSE unattended while watching another horse race earlier in the evening. The stables at Addington Raceway are well policed and the horses were stabled in full view of other licence holders. [28] Inquiries with the RIU Betting Analyst failed to detect any irregular betting patterns. [29] The cause of the positive test is unknown. Informant’s submissions [30] Ms Westrum holds a Public Trainer’s licence on her own account, however she had previously been licensed as a Public Trainer in partnership with Mr J Keast for the 2013 and 2014 season. [31] Rule 1004(1A), (3) covers the conduct of licence holders in relation to the presenting of a horse free of a prohibited substance at any race meeting. [32] The four principles of sentencing could be summarised as: Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrongdoing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense that the punishment is disproportionate to the offence but the offender must be met with a punishment. In a racing context, it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences. A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of behaviour in question. The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. [33] The RIU believed all four principles were applicable in this case. [34] The Rules of HRNZ include the principles for Judicial Committees. These are reflected in cl 5.1 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Judicial Committee and Appeals Tribunal which states: The purpose of proceedings before a Judicial Committee or Appeals Tribunal include: to ensure that racing is conducted in accordance with the code rules; to uphold and maintain the high standards expected of those participating in the sport of racing and the racing industry; to uphold and maintain the integrity of the sport of racing and the racing industry; and to protect the participants in the sport of racing, the racing industry, and the public. [35] The RIU identified a number of decisions, which might be of assistance to the Judicial Committee. [36] In RIU v Dalgety 20 February 2013, Mr Dalgety presented a horse to race with the presence of Phenylbutazone. Phenylbutazone was located at the stable, however Mr Dalgety could not explain how the horse tested positive. The breach was admitted. Mr Dalgety had a previous breach of the prohibited substance rule. Mr Dalgety admitted the breach and was fined $6,000 plus $350 in JCA costs. [37] In RIU v A & L Neal 7 May 2015, Mr and Mrs Neal presented a horse to race with Flunixin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, analgesic (pain relief) and antipyretic (reduce fever). The Neals advised they had been treating the horse within the withholding period guidelines for the medication. The Neals had a previous breach of the prohibited substance rule. The breach was admitted and the penalty was a $5,500 fine. [38] The final case was NZTR v Howe 12 November 2015. Mr Howe presented a horse with Dextrorphan, which is found in cough medicines and suppressants. Mr Howe was unable to offer an explanation as to how the positive swab occurred. The breach was admitted and Mr Howe, who had not previously breached the prohibited substance rule, was fined $5,000. [39] The RIU identified the aggravating features of the case as being: a. The security of prescribed medications at the stable was poor with medications not being locked away securely. b. Other trainers at the stables also had medications insecure including Phenylbutazone. c. The stables were shared by four trainers at the time of the positive swab occurring, with none of the trainers present securely locking their respective medicines. d. Ms Westrum had left the horse ELITE EXCUSE unattended for a short period of time when watching another stable runner race. e. This was the third breach of the prohibited substance rule within a four-year period for Ms Westrum. f. Ms Westrum’s two previous breaches of this rule were while training in partnership with her partner Mr J Keast. Both these breaches involved high TCO2 readings. Ms Westrum was fined $2,500 plus $700 JCA costs for the first breach in July 2013. For the second breach in November 2013, Ms Westrum was suspended for a six-month period and fined $2,000 plus costs of $600 to the RIU. The decision stated the breaches had occurred a short time after the initial decision was released, which was an aggravating feature. Mr Keast did not have his horseman’s licence suspended and was permitted to continue driving. g. The level of Phenylbutazone in ELITE EXCUSE was very high. [40] Mitigating circumstances were: a. When spoken to by RIU Racing Investigators, Ms Westrum was co-operative and made her stables openly available for inspection. b. Ms Westrum’s stable was clean and presented in a tidy condition. c. The stable entrance has a homestead in the driveway that has to be passed prior to gaining access to the stabling area. d. Ms Westrum admitted the breach of the Rules at the first available opportunity. e. Ms Westrum’s conduct throughout the investigation had been totally professional and she had been co-operative at all times. [41] The RIU sought the disqualification of ELITE EXCUSE pursuant to r 1004D. [42] The JCA guidelines dated 1 May 2015 provide a starting point of $8,000 for a breach of r 1004(1A). The RIU submitted a fine of $10,000 was appropriate after taking into consideration the aggravating factors, which they believed outweighed the mitigating factors. [43] The RIU made no application for costs. Respondent’s submissions [44] Ms Westrum commenced her written submissions by stating ELITE EXCUSE had surprised her connections by winning the race in question. Leading up to the race, the horse and stablemate HANDLEBAR HANK had been working together during the week. HANDLEBAR HANK had improved in his work and “had the mare covered every step of the way”. She had advised her owners that this week it would be his “time to shine”. [45] The respondent stated that betting records would show the stable connections put their money on HANDLEBAR HANK. Nobody touched ELITE EXCUSE because the stable did not think she could win from her poor draw. [46] HANDLEBAR HANK had raced well but did not win. Ms Westrum explained she was not watching ELITE EXCUSE’s race, as she was “on the Lindauer Lawn wrangling her 2-year-old as he had had enough of the races at this stage. Towards the end of the race the other guys caught my attention as they screamed louder than anyone else. I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted ELITE EXCUSE in front and charging for home with several lengths on the others. She won the race.” [47] Ms Westrum said she was very surprised ELITE EXCUSE had returned a positive, as the stable did not use Bute on their racehorses. The only time the stable would use Bute would be if there was an injury and the vet advised that the horse be put on that medication. In those circumstances, the horse would not be racing. [48] The level of Bute in ELITE EXCUSE at the time of swabbing was extremely high, and the respondent said this had not happened by contamination or carelessness. Someone had administered one or more excessive doses of Bute close to the mare's race day. She said: “It sure wasn’t me, and I am surprised and disappointed that the RIU is holding the extremely high level of Bute in the swab against me as an aggravating factor. If anything, it indicates that whoever gave the horse Bute wanted to be sure it was to be over the threshold.” She said she would never know who did it but she was adamant that someone had purposely done this to harm her and Mr Keast. She described how his stock saddle had been taken to with a knife recently and rugs and bits of gear (overchecks and leads) had gone missing. [49] Ms Westrum explained that she had now shifted into a different stable on the property, and she was taking precautions to stop anyone from getting to her horses. The gear room, in which there was a cabinet for medications, was padlocked every afternoon. They had also installed cameras and several warning signs to notify of the surveillance. [50] Ms Westrum reiterated that she did not give Bute to ELITE EXCUSE or any other horse on any occasion. She would have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by giving such a drug to a horse close to race day. She stated: You will never win a race on Bute and escape a positive swab. So, you don’t get the stake, you have the embarrassment of telling the owners they are not going to get the several thousand dollars payout they were expecting, and as the trainer I risk losing my licence as well as being fined heavily. You could argue that I could have collected off the big dividend of $62 that the mare paid to win. Only I didn’t, because I didn’t bet on the horse at all, and I am positive that investigations into the betting records on the horse on the night showed no one had a decent punt on it. Why on earth would I put myself through this trouble with absolutely nothing to gain? I do not feel that I have been negligent in caring for our horses, and I think that if somebody targets you and deliberately trips you up by giving something to your horse(s) there is little you can do about it when you don’t see it coming. [51] Ms Westrum said she understood the point of sending a message out that a trainer could not give a horse a prohibited substance close to the races and get away with little consequence. However, she added, “The rigid rule of needing to punish anyone who has a positive swab unless they have solid proof of no wrongdoing sets it up for someone who wants to get one over an opponent.” [52] The respondent said her and her partner’s financial situation was not great. They have a young child, and also provide for his elderly mother who lives with them, as she is recovering from a stroke. [53] The past year she and her partner had finally managed to get some nice horses around them, and Mr Kotzikas, whose property they were training from, had given them a great opportunity to break in all his young stock that were coming through. This had also resulted in some quality horses for her to train for him. [54] Ms Westrum asked that the Committee take her circumstances into consideration and take the race off her only. It would be “terribly unfair that [she] should be punished harshly by a large fine or worse for something that not only did [she] not do, but whoever gave the horse Bute did so to achieve exactly that harsh punishment for [her].” [55] When questioned by the Committee at the telephone conference on 5 October, Ms Westrum stated she had informed the RIU about the vandalised gear (overchecks, leads, etc) but not the police. She said this had been in the old gear room in the barn that they used to share. She believed there had been a burn up in a drum on the property and that was possibly where the gear had ended up. Mr Allison confirmed that she had spoken to him about the gear. He had seen the damaged saddle, and he had advised her to improve security and to go to the police. [56] Ms Westrum explained that she and Mr Keast had not gone to the police at the time as the owner of the place, Mr Kotzikas, was overseas and, by the time he had returned, they thought it was then too late to go the police. She stated this was after the positive test. [57] Ms Westrum said the stable feeding practice was that the first person in the barn in the morning would feed the horses. The horses were not in named boxes but each horse had its own box that it occupied on a regular basis. There was an automatic water trough that was fixed in the horse’s box. Prior to the positive test, the only concern was with her horses not eating. Since they had changed barns, this was no longer a worry. [58] Mr Allison stated that the RIU had investigated Ms Westrum’s claims. The persons, to whom they had spoken, had all vehemently denied any involvement. There had been a claim from these persons that ELITE EXCUSE had received a bonus winning maiden payment but the RIU had concluded there was nothing to this claim. Ms Westrum said there was a possibility this claim was made because other trainers were jealous she and Mr Keast were breaking in horses for Mr Kotzikas and, as a consequence, they were receiving some good horses to train. [59] Ms Westrum said the horse with laminitis that was being treated with Bute had been in and out of the stable. It was only there sometimes. She understood the Bute was being administered by way of a paste. [60] Mr Allison confirmed that there were a number of trainers sharing the barn that ELITE EXCUSE was stabled in at the time. Medications were not held securely. This included the Bute, which belonged to another trainer, and the respondent’s own medications, which were in unlocked drawers. Ms Westrum stated that now they had moved barns, all her medications were locked away in a secure area. Decision [61] The maximum fine under r 1004(7)(a) was increased by HRNZ from $10,000 to $20,000 in 2011, reflecting the desire of that body to provide a greater deterrent. Therefore, in the Committee’s view, penalties imposed for breaches of the rule prior to March 2011 need to be viewed in that light, and we refrain from referring to these. [62] The JCA Penalty Guidelines provide a starting point of $8,000 for a breach of r 1004(1A). We adopt this figure. [63] The RIU submit a fine of $10,000 is the appropriate final penalty. This figure seems high when regard is had to the JCA starting point, and to Dalgety ($6,000 — similar fact scenario to the case before us and there had been a previous breach of the prohibited substance rule) and Williamson (December 2012 — $3,500 — procaine — no previous breaches of rule). We note that both these cases predate the JCA Penalty Guide, which applies from 1 May 2015. We also refer to Neal (horse treated with drug within withholding periods — previous breach of rule — $5,500 — RIU submitted a $6,000 fine was appropriate — no reference to JCA Penalty Guide). [64] The parties agree it is imperative for the future of the industry that racing be perceived to be, and indeed is, drug free. To this end, in imposing penalty we believe the relevant considerations were correctly identified by the Appeals Tribunal in Justice (14 March 2012) when it stated at [81]: “Once a breach is established, general deterrence and denunciation are appropriate in imposing penalty. There is a need to bring home to trainers/owners the heavy responsibility of presenting horses free of prohibited substances.” [65] We agree that the duties on trainers with respect to prohibited substances are high and appropriately so. As stated by the Appeals Tribunal in L 27 April 1998, which considered the predecessor to the prohibited substance rule, the drug negligence rule, proper care and vigilance is required at all times at the stables and the track. [66] The RIU have submitted the aggravating features outweigh the mitigating ones. Hence, the submission that a fine of $10,000 is the appropriate final penalty. We now examine whether this is so. [67] The circumstances of the breach can be described as “unusual”. The level is very high, the horse, which won the race, was racing poorly at the time, as evidenced by the fact that the horse was the outsider in the field, and the betting patterns evidenced no irregularities. [68] The charge, of course, is one of presenting, not one of administration. As is common with cases of presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance, there is no explanation as to how the horse came to return a positive test. The onus under r 1004(1A), however, is on the trainer to present a horse free of any prohibited substance. [69] This breach of the Rules is one of absolute liability: see Justice 2011 — confirmed both by an Appeals Tribunal and by the High Court in Justice v HRNZ [2012] NZHC 3484. Hence, the respondent’s admission of the breach. We acknowledge that this admission has been made in circumstances where Ms Westrum cannot see an obvious fault of her doing. Her suspicions are that unknown “unscrupulous persons” who have a vendetta against her have “got at” the horse. If this is so, and we draw no conclusion on this point, as there is simply no evidence before us, other than to note Ms Westrum has expressed concern to the RIU as to unauthorised activities (damage to gear, etc) at the property, including her stabling area. [70] The parties’ submissions as to penalty are disparate. The RIU has submitted a final penalty $2000 above the starting point in the JCA Penalty Guide is appropriate due to the respondent’s previous breaches and poor security. Ms Westrum has requested that there be no penalty, due to the fact, as we have noted, she believes she has not been at fault and has only admitted the breach because she is aware it attracts absolute liability. She has submitted that a suspension is not appropriate and, if we impose a penalty, that it should be only a modest fine. [71] We believe this breach of the Rules is not of such gravity that we need to place Ms Westrum’s livelihood in jeopardy by way of the imposition of a penalty of disqualification or suspension. Nevertheless, the penalty that is imposed upon the respondent has to be at a level that protects the public by ensuring appropriate standards of professional behaviour. This is a key consideration. [72] As Mr Allison acknowledges in his penalty submission, the RIU investigation has been unable to determine the cause of the positive test. Ms Westrum is adamant that neither she nor Mr Keast had been responsible for the positive. [73] That someone unknown has been able to give Bute to the horse, or there was a mix up in the feeding, or the Bute was given not to the horse housed opposite ELITE EXCUSE but to ELITE EXCUSE, raises the issue of stable security. And this is where the emphasis has to be when we determine penalty. [74] Mr Allison described the security at the stable as “poor” or “lax”. The RIU inspection of the respondent’s stable evidenced that the gate to the property could be opened without a code and cabinets containing medications were insecure. We are reluctant on the evidence before us to draw any inference adverse to the respondent from the fact that other trainers at the stables shared by Ms Westrum had insecure medications. We thus do not accept points, b. and c. (see [39]) in the informant’s submissions, as constituting aggravating factors. Ms Westrum is only responsible for her cabinet and its medications but we would have thought previous breaches of the prohibited substance rule would have alerted Ms Westrum to the need to ensure prohibited substances were securely housed and that her team of horses were kept at an appropriate distance from horses being treated with such substances. This clearly was not the case. [75] We note that Ms Westrum left ELITE EXCUSE unattended whilst watching another horse in her team race. This, of course, is not an unusual practice where trainers have a number of horses racing on the card. The Club provides security at the stables. We observe the Committee in Dalgety stated: “It has been held, in many previous cases, that it is negligent to leave a horse or horses unattended at the racecourse for any length of time. In saying this, the Committee accepts that to do otherwise can often involve very real logistical problems for trainers.” Thus, in assessing Ms Westrum’s degree of culpability, we do not attach any significant weight to the fact she left ELITE EXCUSE unattended for a short period of time. [76] A further factor when assessing Ms Westrum’s degree of culpability and the seriousness of the breach is how much weight to give to the fact that the level of Phenylbutazone was very high. The issue of the effect upon the horse of Bute at the level disclosed in the test has not been addressed in the submissions before us. However, the informant’s submissions appear to ask us to draw the inference that this is a factor that influenced the performance of the horse. The fact the horse’s performance was out of character when regard is had to her recent starts would support this, but the respondent also has a valid point when she submits that had a person “got at the horse”, then the higher the level, the greater the chance the horse would perform well and that the horse would be drug tested after the race. In the circumstances of this case, we are reluctant to place undue weight on the level of Phenylbutazone. It is a factor that goes into the mix and is considered in the round. [77] The respondent’s previous breaches were different in nature to the one before us, involving, as they did, elevated TCO2s. They occurred at a time when Ms Westrum was not training in her own right but was co-training with Mr J Keast. Nonetheless, this a third breach of the prohibited substance rule in four years. [78] There has to be an increase in the $8,000 starting point for the previous breaches but the fact they were TCO2s rather than Bute is, in our view, a relevant consideration. In addition, we recognise the need to have regard to proportionality with both our starting point and the penalty imposed on the earlier occasions when assessing the size of this uplift. [79] Taking into account also the comparable cases that we have identified (where there had been only one previous breach), and the security measures then in place at the respondent’s stable, we believe an uplift in the starting point to $10,000 is appropriate. [80] The most significant mitigating factors are the admission of the breach and Ms Westrum’s immediate co-operation with the RIU investigation. With the breach of the prohibited substance rule being one of absolute liability, we believe a 10% reduction is appropriate for the admission. Factoring in a further 10% discount for co-operation, remorse and personal circumstances, the total discount is 20%. [81] Ms Westrum is fined the sum of $8,000. Disqualification of horse [82] Pursuant to rr 1004(8) and 1004D, we order that ELITE EXCUSE be disqualified from race 2, the PI AND GJ KENNARD BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE, at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club’s meeting on 26 May 2017. Stakes are to be paid accordingly. Costs [83] The RIU do not seek costs. The matter has been heard “on the papers”. There is no award in favour of the JCA. Dated at Dunedin this 18th day of October 2017. Geoff Hall, Chairman   Harnesslink Media

A harness racing identity will face court accused of running millions of dollars through a fake betting account. The 61-year-old, from The Gap in Brisbane’s west, will face court next month after being charged under anti-money-laundering and terrorism-financing laws. Detectives from the Racing Crime Squad, working with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, charged the man after a long-running investigation into his betting activities. Commissioner Ross Barnett said the man was accused of using a false name to place bets on harness races in Queensland and Western Australia via an online account. “The money that has gone through the account over a 10-year period is well into the millions,” he said. “In one 16-month period — from September 2015 to December 2016 — the figure was $1.77 million.” Police described the man as a “harness racing participant”. The man was today granted bail and will appear in court on November 13. By Kate Kyriacou Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail

Millstone Township, NJ- 10/24/17 - During the week of August 26th, 2017, the harness racing twelve-year son of Mach Three, Killean Cut Kid, was found in a Louisiana pen where horses are held before shipping for slaughter to Canada or Mexico. The volunteers of Save Our Standardbreds From Slaughter (SOSS), present on Face Book, stepped in to offer help with the assistance of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF).   Kid has been the controversial focus in the racing community and also received a great deal of attention from horse lovers everywhere, as it was posted on Face Book that he had been euthanized about one month earlier in Ohio.   Kid presented in thin weight when removed from his appalling situation. He had Decubitis ulcers on all four legs, and a fracture. Decubitus ulcers are pressure sores causing the tissue to die and slough off. Kid had also chewed or gnawed through the flesh exposing his extensor tendon on one of his legs. There is no confirmation of how he sustained his injuries, but veterinarians suspect that they are from bandage on for too long a period of time or they were too tight, or both.   This week, now that kid is in good weight, had time to heal and recover from his heinous ordeal; he will ship to Cream Ridge, NJ to Dr. Hogan who will perform grafts on his legs to reduce the scarring. The procedure, and recovery care are a gift to Kid. The same generous offer was also received from Dr. Barry Carter, located in Ohio. All who care are anxious to see him get to his last stage of this ordeal, a loving home. A few wonderful offers have been received to give him a soft place to land for life. Click here to see a current video of Killean Cut Kid.    Donations are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible, SRF, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Ste. 101, Millstone Township, NJ 08535, through the website, through PayPal to, or by calling SRF at 732-446-4422.                   SRF is different as it helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused; is feeding and caring for more than 280 trotters and pacers; is providing lifetime homes for more than 150 who are aged or injured and passed over by adopters; provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again. SRF is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. with over 3,000 adoptions since 1989.                                  

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