Day At The Track

Blood supplement leaves Walkinshaw out on a limb

05:19 PM 15 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Shane Walkinshaw - His case with the RIU and the JCA seems to on hold for no good reason
Shane Walkinshaw - His case with the RIU and the JCA seems to on hold for no good reason

Ryal Bush harness racing horseman Shane Walkinshaw would love to turn the page and put the last few months behind him but at the moment he is stuck in limbo as the wheels of justice turn incredibly slowly.

Ever since he got a knock on the door from Barry Kitto, the racecourse inspector that the five year old Julius Caesar gelding he trains, Not Bad had returned a very large positive to Cobalt, Shane has been under the spotlight for being the first New Zealand harness racing trainer to be charged with the use of Cobalt.

At first Shane thought it must be an error with the testing or the samples but it quickly became apparent to him that the results were correct and worse still they had come from Not Bad.

Shane is known for not having a vet to his small team unless it is absolutely essential and for keeping impeccable records and when Barry Kitto inspected the stables he remarked to Shane that it was one of the most compliant stables they had ever inspected.

Shane knew he hadn't done anything wrong so he set out to prove to the Racing Integrity Unit that he was innocent of any deliberate administration.

It wasn't long before Shane came across the culprit for the massive cobalt highs that his horses were returning.

The one additive that Shane regularly gave his horses who were in work was a blood sachet.

" I had brought them off Farmlands for years but when I went in in September they were temporarily out of stock but suggested a blood booster they had there would do the same job."

"It was the Equin Blood Booster made by McMillians and after talking to them at length, it seemed perfect for what I wanted."

" The label said there was a small amount of Cobalt in the product but it was well within the 200 limit and there was no with holding time on its use according to the label."

" To make matters worse Not Bad was one of those rare horses that had a high Cobalt reading even when he was out of work."

" They tested him and his resting level was 85 which took the RIU back a bit."

"I sent away two samples of the product away to be tested to different laboratories and the RIU sent one away to be tested."

" One of my samples came back 355 times over the legal limit while the RIU sample was 190 times over the legal Cobalt limit."

"Once I had those results, I thought the RIU in conjunction with Harness Racing New Zealand would publicise the fact that the blood booster was potentially a major problem as I was aware that there were other trainers who had brought the product but todate there has been a deathly silence," Shane said.

As for any progress on his case, Shane has heard nothing from the RIU about a possible hearing date.

" It is just dragging on and on and the longer it does that, the more damage it is doing to my reputation."

" I want the facts out there so people can see that see that I didn't give Cobalt to my horses deliberately," Shane said.

The delay seems hard to justify at this point with all parties agreed on the facts of the case.

The case should be dealt with urgently and it is time for the RIU and the JCA to get on with it.

Harnesslink Media

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