Day At The Track

HRV RAD board hearing - Des Hilton

10:56 PM 29 Nov 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Racing Analytical Services Limited
Racing Analytical Services Limited

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) and 190B against licensed trainer Mr Des Hilton.

 ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:

    A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Hilton related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Itmademyday’ following its 1st placing in Race 3, the ‘Discount Carpets 3YO Pace’, at Mildura on 19 June 2015.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold.

The charge under AHRR 190B related to stable inspections conducted by HRV Stewards when investigating the arsenic irregularity on 10 August 2015 and 8 September 2015 where Mr Hilton was found not to maintain a logbook as required by the Rules.

During the investigation Mr Hilton explained that he did not use any arsenic based products and that Itmademyday had a tendency to chew the fence posts in the horse’s yard.  Subsequent analysis of samples of these fence posts revealed they contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber.

As background, with the acquisition of a machine capable of testing for cobalt by RASL (preventing need to test for samples to be sent interstate or overseas), in June 2015 the laboratory (RASL) were also able to commence the routine testing of all collected urine samples for other metals including arsenic.  With a number of samples above the threshold becoming apparent in racing jurisdictions, and common explanations as to the cause of such irregularities provided, the University of Melbourne were engaged to conduct an administration trial by RASL, HRV and other racing authorities that had also been screening raceday samples for the presence of arsenic.

At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the HRV RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust. 

The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber. 

Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic.

Mr Hilton pleaded guilty to the charge issued under AHRR 190(1).  After considering submissions from the HRV Stewards and Mr Hilton, the HRV RAD Board formally found Mr Hilton guilty though imposed no penalty against Mr Hilton in all the circumstances of the case.  In making this order, the HRV RAD Board had regard to the nature of the substance in that arsenic based products have been suggested by manufacturers as a tonic that are purported to improve appetite or the appearance of the coat of a horse. 

The RAD Board also considered that the arsenic threshold had been developed a number of decades ago in Hong Kong in response to the suggestion (at the time) that horses were being ‘stopped’ through the use or arsenic rather than any suggested enhancement of performance. 

The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the  results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne, the results of  analysis of the fence posts from Mr Hilton’s property, Mr Hilton’s guilty plea and clear record in regard to this rule over a 30-year involvement in the industry and also the length of time involved as a result of the thoroughness of the investigation and administration trials conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The HRV RAD Board ordered that ‘Itmademyday’ be disqualified from Race 3 at Mildura on 19 June 2015, under ARHR 195, and that the placings be amended accordingly.   Additionally, the HRV RAD Board ordered all prizemoney for this race be returned under AHRR 200.

Mr Hilton pleaded guilty to the additional charge under ARHR 190B in that he failed to keep and maintain a log book and was subsequently fined $250.

Harness Racing Victoria

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: