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Following Harness Racing New South Wales' endless commitment to fight against the use of illegal and banned substances, more than 40 out-of-competition swab samples have been collected over the past two days. These samples were taken from horses that are competing at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night. This strategy follows tests obtained from horses that were engaged at Penrith last Thursday week and also Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night and HRNSW Integrity Officers will continue collecting more samples according to Chairman of Stewards Graham Loch. "This strategy will be continued in coming weeks as feature meetings and Carnival of Cups race meetings wind up," Loch said. "In addition, whilst our recent focus has been close to Sydney similar visits are planned across the state." For further information please contact Graham Loch at (02) 9722 6600 or gloch@hrnsw.com.au AMANDA RANDO

19 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 11 January, 2017 where criminal charges were served on harness racing Participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update; HRV advises that in response to requests from some of the legal representatives of the relevant individuals, the HRV Stewards have granted an extension of time to Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt regarding the timeframe by which they are required to provide any submissions addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against the respective licences of the individuals to participate in the industry. Any such submissions are now to be provided by 5.00pm on Monday 23 January 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 further comment. Harness Racing Victoria

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards today concluded the inquiry opened on 2 November 2106 into the analysts finding of Dexamethasone in the urine samples taken from the registered Standardbred Plain Dream from Race 6 at Redcliffe on 12 May 2016 and from Race 8 at Redcliffe on 19 May 2016. Plain Dream was trained for these events by John Edmunds. Dexamethasone is a potent synthetic member of the glucocorticoid class of steroid hormones that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant. After considering the evidence presented Stewards charged John Edmunds with two (2) breaches of Australian Harness Racing Rule 190(1) which reads: 190      (1)        A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances Charge 1 - Specifics being that John Edmunds did present Plain Dream to race at Redcliffe on 12 May 2016 not free of a prohibited substance in that a urine sample taken from the horse has detected the presence of Dexamethasone. Charge 2 - Specifics being that John Edmunds did present Plain Dream to race at Redcliffe on 19 May 2016 not free of a prohibited substance in that a urine sample taken from the horse has detected the presence of Dexamethasone. Mr Edmunds pleaded guilty to both charges.   In determining an appropriate penalty, amongst other things, Stewards considered the following: Mr Edmund’s previous record relating to this type of matter; Ms Edmund’s personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of this case; The guilty plea entered The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; After considering penalties applied in recent comparable matters Stewards deemed that in relation to Charge 1 a fine of $5,000 be imposed and in relation to Charge 2 a fine of $5,000 be imposed. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 190(5) Plain Dream was disqualified from Race 6 at Redcliffe on 12 May 2016 and from Race 8 at Redcliffe on 19 May 2016 and the placings amended accordingly. Mr Edmunds was advised of his rights of an Internal Review. Stewards’ Report – Harness Trainer – John Edmunds Date – 22 December 2016 Panel – N. Torpey; L. Wilson & E. Little

Result of a hearing held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 9 January 2017. Zeke Slater – Disqualified Person Charge 1 – Rule 259(1)(a) & (g) – Associating with trainer Kymberley Barr for purposes related to the harness racing industry and entered the registered training premises of Ms Barr on 19 October 2016. Guilty plea 6 Month period of disqualification imposed to be served cumulatively to current periods of disqualification. Total periods of disqualification to expire on 14 August 2018. Kymberley Barr – Licensed Trainer Charge 1 – Rule 230 – Associating with disqualified person Zeke Slater for purposes related to the harness racing industry and allowing him to enter her registered training premises on 19 October 2016. Guilty plea $2,000 fine imposed with $1,500 of that penalty suspended for a period of 2 years.    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD MR ANTHONY BURNS, Chairman MR JOHN DENAHY   EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS KYMBERLEY BARR ZEKE SLATER   DECISION MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2016 MR B DAY appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MS BARR AND MR SLATER appeared on their own behalf (via telephone) ............................................... Ms Barr pleaded guilty to a breach of Rule 230 in that she associated with Zeke Slater, a disqualified person, for the purposes of harness racing. She and Mr Slater are de facto partners so an association is of course allowed. However, she must not involve him in matters associated with the harness racing industry. To have him convey an empty horse float to a licensed training facility was a request in furtherance of harness racing logistics and we find the appropriate penalty is a fine of $2000 with $1500 of that amount wholly suspended for 2 years. This amount is less than was submitted by the Stewards but given her co-operation, her relative inexperience, her guilty plea and the financial hardship which is evident we find it is the appropriate amount.  As for Mr Slater he is a person currently disqualified until 14 February 2018. Australian Rule of Harness Racing 259A came into existence in Victoria in December 2015. It states “in addition to any penalty imposed pursuant to Rule 259(7) the original period of disqualification shall unless otherwise ordered by the stewards, automatically recommence in full”.  Whilst this rule is in place to ensure the integrity of any disqualification is maintained its strict application may sometimes lead to an unjust result. Here we note the rule allows for our discretion and we exercise it in favour of Mr Slater given the circumstances suggesting an inadvertent breach rather than anything sinister. Added to that is his guilty plea and we accordingly decline to recommence the disqualification in full.  None the less strict adherence to respecting the disqualification is required and a further disqualification to be served cumulatively is appropriate. Given the guilty plea and the circumstances we order a further disqualification of 6 months. When added to the 21 months currently imposed and commencing on 14 February 2016, a further six months will see his disqualification conclude on 14 August 2018.  Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

December 30th - Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued charges against Mr Daryl Douglas under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 187(3), 187(2), 231(1)(d) and 91(1)(a) in relation to his conduct at a registered stable while not the holder of a licence. Along with his activities while unlicensed, it is alleged that Mr Douglas failed to comply with the directions of HRV Stewards, refused to answer questions and made abusive comments. These charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have also issued a charge against licensed driver Mr Matthew Walsh under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 231(1)(d) in relation to a text message sent to another harness racing participant. This charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

Fabrice Souloy, who is one of the leading harness racing trainers in France, is one of five trainers who have been suspended and fined after findings of Cobalt in tests. It was after a race in Cabourg, Normandy, in July, that Lover Face trained by Souloy came up with a positive test for Cobalt. Some weeks after it was announced that four more trotters trained by Souloy had tested positive for Cobalt in Sweden and Norway in races like the Elitlopp and Oslo Grand Prix. However, these cases are still under investigation. On Monday (Dec. 26) the French Trotting Association Le Trot made it public that five trainers -- including Souloy -- each had been fined $15,500 and their licenses were revoked for one year, starting Jan. 2, 2017. Souloy is nicknamed Mr. Group 1 as he has trained the winners of more than 70 Group 1 races all over Europe. In France horses trained by Souloy earned around $4 million this year. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Ever since Martin Pakula was given the portfolio as Victoria's Racing Minister, he has been prepared to make change. Change not for the sake of change, as others may have done, but for the sake of improving the sport. No code was safe. But it was all about timing. Since the Andrews Government came to power in Victoria in late 2014, Pakula has witnessed scandals across all three codes of racing. I remember interviewing Pakula when I hosted Racing Ahead on RSN927 and he made a telling confession, "Aside from being the Minister for Racing, I am also the Attorney General - yet it is racing issues that are taking up all of my time". He acted. Greyhound Racing Victoria, through the live baiting scandal, had its board turned over. The sport is rebuilding itself. Similarly, he turned over the board of Harness Racing Victoria, after years of industry frustration, and new leadership is dealing with issues head on that were seemingly swept under the carpet in years gone by. And now the thoroughbred industry is in his sights. Tuesday's announcement from Premier Daniel Andrews that his government will amend the Racing Act 1958 to create an independent board for Racing Victoria (RV) is a case of 'enough is enough' for Pakula. He doesn't want to create a racing commission or a statutory authority, Pakula wants the sport to be able to appropriately govern itself. Pakula's decision has come off the back of last week's announcement of David Moodie's resignation as chairman of RV after an investigation by Sal Perna, Victoria's Racing Integrity Commissioner, over allegations of leaking information relating to the cobalt cases of trainers Danny O'Brien and Mark Kavanagh. This is not the first time that there has been criticism of leaking from the RV board but this, potentially, was the most serious. Although cleared of being the initial source of the leak, Perna had substantiated that Moodie had inappropriately disclosed information that could have compromised the cobalt investigations and that he had knowingly misled or provided incomplete information to the RVL Integrity Council and RVL Board regarding his disclosures. These were weighted comments from the Integrity Commissioner. Yet RV did not address either in its announcement of Moodie's resignation. Considering Moodie and his predecessor, Robert Roulston, both resigned under contentious circumstances, the leadership at RV is apparently at the cross roads. Pakula had to act. Processes to create an independent board for RV will begin immediately, with plans to change the legislation expected to be entered into Parliament early in the New Year, with an independent board potentially in place by the start of the 2017-18 racing season. Its look and make-up will be the subject of debate but expectations are that it will be a smaller board than currently exists, with perhaps five or seven members. Racing NSW has a seven-member board. But one thing is clear - the board will be vastly different to what operates now. Pakula has been frustrated by the many controversies that have impacted Victorian racing over the past few years, and one of the most significant concerns has been around leaking of information across many levels. An independent board, with no allegiances, will not be beholden to the past. And there will be a considered attempt to limit conflicts of interest, perceived or real, which has dogged racing administrators since the sport began. Pakula's comments are telling when he announced his plans. He wants independence and diversity in the structure of the board that oversees the governance of the sport. With a new chairman to be announced at February's RV board meeting, it may now fall on Acting Chairman Mike Hirst to remain in the role until legislation is changed and lead until an independent board is put in place. RV is still trying to find a replacement for outgoing CEO Bernard Saundry who resigned earlier in the year. It is understood that process has been impacted by concerns as to the governance structure of the sport. Hirst released a statement on Tuesday acknowledging the government's plans and pledging to work with them, with the board "committed to acting in the best interests of the Victorian thoroughbred industry and its 70,000 active participants". Melbourne Racing Club Chairman Mike Symons also offered his support. "The MRC welcomes the governance reforms to the RVL board appointment process proposed by Minister Pakula today, and we are confident this will optimise the long-term sustainability and growth of the thoroughbred racing industry in Victoria," Symons said in a statement "We look forward to working with Minister Pakula and our fellow stakeholders in Victorian racing in embarking on that progression." The government will consult with the industry stakeholders in the months ahead to determine the best way forward but, with the frustrations that have existed between RV and its stakeholders in recent times this will require a fundamental change of approach by many. Battles between RV and the clubs over funding has created unease between the key players, along with differing views as to whether the Sandown and Moonee Valley racecourses have long term futures. These differences will need to be dealt with. There are also Pakula's plans for an integrity overhaul to be considered with a view of linking the three codes of racing together, as per recommendations released earlier this year by respected administrator Paul Bittar in his review for government. This has been on a slow-boil but expect the heat to increase. The Victorian thoroughbred industry has long been the jewel in the Australian crown but it has been tarnished in recent times due to controversies that it has faced. Pakula's move has reset the course for the industry to continue to prosper. By Shane Anderson Reprinted with permission of racing.com

Australian harness racing is banning the abuse of whips in training and racing from 1 September 2017 in a world-leading animal welfare initiative that improves the industry’s image and enhances its sustainability. The decision sets the pace in animal welfare and for the long-term support and sustainability of the industry. It aligns with high expectations of the community, fans, and industry participants in harness racing. The announcement which followed the jewel event on the Australasian harness racing calendar yesterday – the Inter Dominion in Perth – makes Australia the first country in the world to voluntarily ban the whip. The whip ban broadens Harness Racing Australia’s (HRA) world leadership position in the industry, which is already established through a wide-ranging welfare agenda, including zero-tolerance to prohibited substances in racing. The Chairman of HRA, Mr Geoff Want, said today: “The whip ban decision was not taken lightly, but was made on our own initiative because we believe it is the right decision at the right time. We have been moving down this path for six years by limiting its use with a strong focus on health and welfare of horses. “We see the ban as a vital way of demonstrating our responsibility as an industry, and to earning and maintaining the social acceptance and sustainability of harness racing”. HRA Executive meeting yesterday unanimously agreed to the implementation details of the ban, following the proactive initiative of members at the Annual General Meeting of Harness Racing Australia last October. The Executive also gave detailed consideration to the likely effect of the ban on harness racing audiences and the punting public. “We are strongly of the belief that the improved image of our sport will add to the appeal of our racing product and be broadly welcomed by fans,” said Mr Want. “We are confident that wagering turnover will not be impacted and indeed a number of professional punters have indicated support for the ban”. The implementation of the ban from 1 September 2017, will allow for a program of awareness, education, and research and monitoring to be undertaken across the industry. The program will embrace the education of drivers and horses. It will also include a major research task to ensure safety is maintained when drivers do not have a whip to control unexpected horse movements. Mr Want said many drivers were concerned that control over a horse would be curtailed without a whip, especially when horses shy (leap sideways) or back up. He said HRA Executive accepted the challenges the ban presented for ensuring safety was maintained for drivers, people, horses, trainers, stablehands, and people nearby. “Between now and the implementation of the whip ban, we will consult widely in the industry, especially with drivers and trainers, and with animal welfare advocates, such as the RSPCA,” Mr Want said. “Whatever tool evolves from this process it will only be allowed to avoid or guide a horse out of a dangerous situation to itself, other horses, drivers or anyone nearby. “It will definitely be banned from use to urge a horse to better perform, and strict penalties will apply for any breaches of its use. “Undoubtedly, some people may resist change, or feel the decision limits competitiveness in harness racing. We are confident they will be proved wrong and will eventually see the merit of banning the whip,” he said. "We know some drivers are concerned about safety issues, but we feel the process of developing a tool to maintain safety will allay concerns. “There is ample evidence the whip is not needed in our industry and that its use to enhance racing performance is questionable,” he said. “If no driver uses a whip then no driver has a perceived advantage – each race will be conducted on a level playing field, have a fair winner and horse welfare will be enhanced”. Mr Want said animal welfare would continue to be addressed during the transition to banning the whip, and the industry would seek input from the RSPCA going forward. CEO of the RSPCA Australia, Ms Heather Neil, commended the HRA’s leadership, and said: “This is a powerful sign that the harness racing industry is both listening to its stakeholders, and acknowledging the concerns of the wider community. “As Harness Racing Australia has recognised, racing should celebrate quality horsemanship, breeding and training - whips shouldn’t come into it.” Mr Want said: “Our members have a considerate and ethical equine welfare agenda and rules, and we do a great deal to enforce rigorous animal welfare protocols. The whip ban is part of continued improvements. “For example, we have just appointed our inaugural Equine Health & Welfare Coordinator to benchmark states, review policy, manage disease and quarantine, and clear international horse movements”. Australia’s leading driver – and 11-times winner of the national drivers’ championship – Chris Alford said he supported the ban. “Drivers are very sensitive to their horses and appreciate and support moves to ensure high standards of animal welfare that are aligned with community expectations,” he said. “We also know that a shying horse is a danger to itself, drivers, people and other horses nearby. I fully support the decision to ban the whip, plus maintain safety for all involved”. For information or interviews contact: Alex Messina – 0413 316 478 Robert Masters – 0413 147 080

Australia’s Harness Racing Industry will tomorrow (Saturday) announce an historical change to its racing and training practices; specifically, to the use of whips. The announcement will put Australia at the forefront of international reforms in racing, with the safety of drivers, horses and people being maximised and new standards set for animal welfare. The significant changes are considered vital to the long-term sustainability of the industry, the generation of a new fan base and to achieving best practice. In Australia, Harness Racing generates $2.5 billion annually and employs more than 19,000 people (13,000 Full Time Equivalent). Who: - Mr Geoff Want, Chairman, Harness Racing Australia - Mr Andrew Kelly, CEO, Harness Racing Australia What:   Media Conference -- World-leading change in racing practices for harness racing in Australia Where:   - Gloucester Park, 3 Nelson Crescent, East Perth WA 6004  - JP’s Sports Bar, Ground Floor (drive into Nelson Crescent Main Entrance. Staff will direct you to the Media Conference Room) - Map at: http://www.gloucesterpark.com.au/about/map-of-gloucester-park/ When: 10am Perth time (1pm AEDT) Event Date: Saturday 10 December 2016 Media interviews:   - Mr Geoff Want, Chairman, HRA - Mr Chris Alford, Australian Champion Driver (TBC)  - Ms Heather Neil, National CEO, RSPCA Pictures and Overlay Video News Release Vision available showing historical progression of harness racing practices in Australia Media Contacts: Alex Messina -- 0413 316 478 Rob Masters -- 0413 147 080

In October 2016, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards commenced an investigation into disqualified person Mr Jackson Painting and the ownership of the registered standardbred ULTIMATE SHELDON NZ after information was received from Harness Racing Victoria (HRV). On 25 October 2016, HRNSW Stewards commenced an Inquiry in relation to this matter. Mr Jackson Painting, Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Ellen Bartley and Mrs Janet Painting all appeared at the Inquiry. HRNSW Stewards issued the following charges against Mr Jackson Painting: Charge 1   AHRR 259 (1) 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   -    (a)  associate with persons connected with the harness racing industry for purposes relating to that industry… (h)  participate in any manner in the harness racing industry….  (j)  place, or have placed on their behalf, or have any other interest in, a bet on any Australian harness racing race…. (7)  A disqualified person who fails to comply with this Rule is guilty of an offence and is liable to a penalty. Charge  2 AHRR 245 A person shall not direct, persuade, encourage or assist anyone to breach these rules or otherwise engage in an improper practice. Charge 3 AHRR 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. Mr Painting pleaded guilty to Charges 1 & 2 and was found guilty of Charge 3. Mr Painting was issued with the following penalties: Charge 1- 12 month disqualification to be served cumulative to the recommencement of the original period of disqualification. In total, Mr Painting is disqualified for a period of 3 years and 3 months from 6 May 2015. Charge 2-      $1000 fine Charge 3- $1000 fine Mr Painting was advised of his right to appeal this decision HRNSW Stewards issued the following charges against Ms Ellen Bartley: Charge 1 AHRR 230 Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority. Charge 2 AHRR 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. Ms Bartley pleaded guilty to both charges and was issued with the following penalties: Charge 1- 6 month disqualification to commence immediately Charge 2- $1000 fine Ms Bartley was advised of her right to appeal this decision. HRNSW Stewards issued the following charge against Mrs Janet Painting: AHRR 239A A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence. Mrs Painting pleaded guilty to the charge was issued with a fine of $1000. Mrs Painting was advised of her right to appeal. HRNSW Stewards also issued the following charges against Mr John Pett: Charge 1 AHRR 239A A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence. Charge 2 AHRR 230 Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority Mr Pett pleaded guilty to both charges and was issued with the following penalties: Charge 1- $1000 Charge 2- 6 month disqualification to commence immediately Mr Pett was also 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 an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.   To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Chief Operating Officer Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au

As a result of a hearing held on Nov. 30, the New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt 15 days and fined him $500 as a result of a positive test on Resolve in the $273,600 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt also received a second positive on his trotter Blue Muse, who won an $8,000 amateur race on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands with his wife, Sarah, driving, and received the same penalties. The positives were for Dexamethasone, which is a Class C violation as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. With Ake Svanstedt driving, Resolve won the Cashman in a career-best 1:50.2, besting Obrigado by 1-1/4 lengths. As a result of the positive test and subsequent disqualification of Resolve, Obrigado is now the official winner of the race. According to the New Jersey ruling, Svanstedt's two 15-day suspensions will be served consecutively, starting on Jan. 2, 2017, and continuing through and including Jan. 31, 2017. The ruling also states that "in addition to the penalty issued, a total of two Multiple Medication Violation points, as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, shall be assigned as a result of these Class C violations."   Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) John Cashman Memorial TVG FFA Trot     Courtesy of harnessracing.com 

Harness Racing South Australia (HRSA) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that Cobalt was detected in a urine sample taken from RAP ARTIST prior to it competing in Race 3, 2016 Sky Racing 3YO Colts & Geldings Southern Cross Final at Globe Derby on 30 July 2016. Evidence was taken from trainer Mark Billinger regarding his feeding and treatment regime and he provided his Log Book of Treatments to support this.  Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Roger Haensel and Mr Paul Zahra Scientific Manager from RASL also gave evidence. The evidence included two evidentiary certificates reporting the cobalt level for the ‘A’ sample of 215 micrograms per litre (measurement uncertainty of 10) and for the ‘B’ sample 220 micrograms per litre (measurement uncertainty of 20).  Further evidence provided by Dr. Haensel was that cobalt affects various body systems of a horse including the blood system and endocrine system and therefore is considered a prohibited substance.  The evidence of Mr Zahra from RASL was that the odds of the ‘B’ sample being 200 micrograms or below, was less than 1 in 333 and that there was a confidence level of greater than 99.7% that the ‘B’ sample was over the threshold. Mr Billinger was found guilty of charges under Rules 190(1), 190(2) and 190(4) in that he presented RAP ARTIST to race at Globe Derby on 30 July 2016 not free of a prohibited substance.  Stewards relied on Rule 191(6) which allows Stewards to establish in other ways (and not just the evidentiary certificates) that a horse was presented to race not free of a prohibited substance. In determining penalty, Stewards took into account: the not guilty plea the length of time Mr Billinger has been involved in training horses the penalties applied in other Cobalt cases in SA and other States the status of the race in that it was a Group race that created  interest and the subsequent negative perceptions when the winner returns a positive swab. Mr Billinger was disqualified for 3 years effective immediately and ordered to pay $1500 to HRSA to cover costs incurred including analytical testing. Acting under Rule 195 RAP ARTIST was disqualified from its first placing and all placings amended accordingly.  Barbara Scott CHAIR OF STEWARDS

Harness Racing South Australia (HRSA) Stewards today, acting under Rule 183 have suspended the licence of Trainer/Driver Mr Wade Knight after receiving advice from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that O-desmethylvenlafaxine has been detected in a urine sample taken from LOVING LIFE followings its win in Race 4 Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace at Port Pirie on 14 October 2016. The ‘B’ sample has been confirmed by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory in NSW. Mr Knight was given an opportunity to make submissions to HRSA as to why the provisions of Rule 183 should not be imposed.  Submissions were received and together with all available information, were considered by HRSA Stewards. No date for an inquiry into this matter has been set. Barbara Scott CHAIR OF STEWARDS   O-desmethylvenlafaxine

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

Harness Racing South Australia (HRSA) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a urine sample taken from PENNY SNATCHER prior to it competing in Race 3, the BGC Industrial Cleaning Supplies 3YO Pace at Globe Derby on 8 August 2016. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Chem Centre in Western Australia. Evidence was taken from trainer Scott Garraway regarding his feeding and treatment regime and regulatory veterinarian Dr. Roger Haensel. Mr Garraway was found guilty of charges under Rules 190(1), 190(2) and 190(4) in that he presented PENNY SNATCHER to race at Globe Derby on 8 August 2016 not free of a prohibited substance.  Mr Garraway was disqualified for 3 years and ordered to pay $1500 to HRSA to cover the cost of analytical testing. In determining penalty Stewards took into account: ·        the level of Cobalt recorded (350 ug/L) ·        the short period of time Mr Garraway has held a trainers licence ·        his not guilty plea ·        the penalties applied in other Cobalt cases in SA Mr Garraway has since lodged an appeal with the Racing Appeals Tribunal and has been granted a stay of proceedings. Barbara Scott CHAIR OF STEWARDS

Stewards today questioned harness racing driver Mr K Harper (BETTORS FIRE) in relation to comments made on TAB Radio on Sunday 27th November 2016 in relation to his intentions with respect to Heat 2 of the Inter Dominion Series being run at Bunbury tomorrow.   Mr Harper explained that although his choice of words may have been misinterpreted by some listeners, all he meant by his comments were that he believed it would be very hard to beat short price favourite, HECTORJAYJAY because of the barrier draw in Tuesday night’s second heat at Bunbury. As a result of the draw it would be tactically necessary to drive BETTORS FIRE in a more conservative manner to afford it the best opportunity in the race as the horse would have been better suited if drawn more favourably.    The Stewards issued Mr Harper with a reprimand in relation to his comments that left open to question his intentions.   Mr Harper was also reminded of his obligations under the Rules, in particular that the Stewards would be expecting him to demonstrate through his actions, that he was taking all reasonable and permissible measures during the course of a race to ensure that the horse was given full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing in the field.    Any failure to comply with this rule would be dealt with accordingly.

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