Douglas & Anderson disqualified for death of horse

05:37 AM 09 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Glenn Douglas, harness racing Mr Eric Anderson, Harness Racing
Licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas
Licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas, licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson and veterinarian Dr Sarah Jalim.

The charges were issued in connection to the conduct of the relevant parties concerning the Glenn Douglas trained horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ which was scheduled to compete at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013.  After arriving at the racecourse, the horse became unwell and its health quickly deteriorated resulting in the horse being assisted onto a float by Mr Anderson, Mr Douglas and Dr Jalim before the horse was euthanized by Dr Jalim.  The fact that the horse was euthanized was not brought to the attention of the attending HRV Stewards on the night by Mr Douglas, Mr Anderson or Dr Jalim.

Mr Eric Anderson

Mr Eric Anderson pleaded guilty to 6 charges issued by HRV Stewards.

Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6)  

            A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation.

The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Anderson frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ and by arranging and conducting the burial of the horse in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse.

Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2)          

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 Charge 2 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been alive when it was removed from the Bendigo racecourse and also alive when it arrived at the stables of Mr Glenn Douglas after being transported by Mr Anderson in a float.

Charge 3 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 3 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, falsely advised that Mr Glenn Douglas whilst checking on the welfare of ‘Talk To The Hand’ in the night of 21 August 2013 had found the horse to be alive and that Mr Anderson had only discovered the horse to be deceased at the stables of Mr Douglas on the morning of 22 August 2013.

Charge 4 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 4 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by denying that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been euthanized in the vicinity of the Bendigo racecourse on 21 August 2013.

Charge 5 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 5 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by advising that the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been burned at Boundary Bend, Victoria, when the horse had in fact been buried at this location.

Charge 6 – ARHR 105(5)

The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards

The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Anderson disposed of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ without the permission of the HRV Stewards.

After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Anderson in relation to charges 1-6 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately.

Mr Glenn Douglas

Mr Glenn Douglas pleaded guilty to 10 charges issued by HRV Stewards

Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6)  

            A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation.

The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Douglas frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’, by arranging the removal of the horse from the course and by permitting the horse to be buried in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse.

Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2)          

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 Charge 2 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 21 August 2013 regarding the welfare and late scratching of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been treated and taken home to be monitored when Mr Douglas was aware the horse had been euthanized.

Charge 3 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised a HRV Steward that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had returned alive to his property after being removed from the Bendigo racecourse when in fact the horse had been euthanized.

Charge 4 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised that he had checked on the condition of ‘Talk To The Hand’ a number of times during the night of 21 August 2013 and found the horse’s condition to have improved when in fact Mr Douglas was aware the horse had been euthanized.

Charge 5 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 5 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised that he discovered on the morning of 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had died during the night of 21 August 2013.

Charge 6 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had returned alive to his property from the Bendigo harness racing meeting on 21 August 2013.

Charge 7 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 7 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had ‘ate up’ and ‘drank up’ on the evening of 21 August 2013 when in fact the horse was deceased.

Charge 8 – ARHR 209

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else.

The particulars of Charge 8 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had died sometime during the night of 21 August 2013.

Charge 9 – ARHR 187(2)          

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 Charge 9 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse was seen eating and drinking after it had become unwell at the Bendigo racecourse and was alive at his property on the night of 21 August 2013 when Mr Douglas was aware that the horse had been euthanized.

Charge 10 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 9 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that he had checked on the horse’s welfare overnight at his stables before becoming aware on the morning of 22 August 2013 that the horse was deceased.

Mr Douglas was found guilty of a further charge issued by HRV Stewards.

Charge 11 – ARHR 105(5)

The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards

The particulars of Charge11 were that Mr Douglas permitted the disposal of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ to occur without the permission of the HRV Stewards.

Mr Douglas was found not guilty of a further charge issued by HRV Stewards under ARHR 190B with regard to keeping and maintaining an appropriate log book.

After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Douglas in relation to Charges 1-11 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately.

Dr Sarah Jalim

Dr Jalim pleaded guilty to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under ARHR 239A.

Charge 1 – ARHR 239A

A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence.

The particulars of this charge were that Dr Jalim, as the on-course veterinarian at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013, had remained silent when Mr Douglas falsely implied to the HRV Stewards that the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ was still alive and that Dr Jalim’s negligence in failing to immediately notify the HRV Stewards of her actions in euthanizing the horse could have led to a breach of the ARHR.

After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a severe reprimand upon Dr Jalim on the condition that Dr Jalim does not provide on-course veterinary services in the harness racing industry for a period of 12 months.  The HRV RAD Board noted that Dr Jalim had not provided on-course veterinary services since 21 August 2013 and that Dr Jalim may also be required to answer to the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria.  The HRV RAD Board also noted Dr Jalim’s forthright evidence and co-operation once approached by the HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013.

In considering the various charges, the HRV RAD Board considered written statements from HRV Deputy Chairman of Stewards Nicholas Murray, HRV Assistant Steward Stephen Svanosio, General Manager-Integrity Andy Rogers, HRV Investigative Steward Anthony Pearce, HRV Consultant Veterinarian Dr Daniel Carmody and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra.  The RAD Board noted the tissue samples retrieved by the HRV vet when the horse was exhumed from its resting place in Boundary Bend on 26 August 2013 were not found, upon analysis by RASL, to contain any prohibited substances.  The HRV RAD Board also considered a written statement of Dr Sarah Jalim and the evidence provided by Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas along with submissions made by all parties with regard to penalty.

HRV Stewards will consider seeking written reasons from the HRV RAD Board with respect to the various decisions outlined above.

HRV RAD Board Panel - Brian Collis QC, John Kellett, Rod Osborne

Harness Racing Victoria

 

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