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Today, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards, acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183, suspended the Trainer’s Licence of Mrs Belinda McCarthy after receiving advice from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the substances boldenone, nandrolone and 5alpha-estran-3beta,17alpha-diol were detected in a post race urine sample collected from VINNY CHASE subsequent to that horse winning at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday, 14 June 2016. Mrs McCarthy was provided with an opportunity to make submissions to HRNSW as to why the provisions of AHRR 183 and AHRR 183A should not be imposed by 9am on Friday, 19 August 2016. Submissions were received. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it was also determined that VINNY CHASE, the horse subject of the certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. In making these decisions, HRNSW took into account that AHRR 191 (1) provides that a single certificate of analysis by an approved laboratory shall constitute prima facie evidence of the presence of a prohibited substance. Stewards took into account the nature of the substances and that these substances are also prohibited at all times in the registered standardbred. HRNSW considered that in the interests of the industry it impose the suspension pending the outcome of the investigation and further analytical testing by HRNSW. Mrs McCarthy has not been charged with any breach of the Rules and has been advised of her rights of appeal against the imposition of Rule 183. HRNSW Stewards have commenced an investigation into this sample result, including further analytical samples collected from VINNY CHASE and an Inquiry will be scheduled in due course. 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. Reid Sanders

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have today concluded an inquiry into a matter emanating from the Geelong Harness Racing meeting on 31 July 2016, involving former licensed trainer and driver Mr Scott Gill. In accordance with Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 183(d), which states: Pending the outcome of an inquiry, investigation or objection, or where a person has been charged with an offence, the Stewards may direct one or more of the following that a licence or any other type of authority or permission be suspended, HRV Stewards initially suspended Mr Gill’s trainer and driver licences as of 31 July 2016, until such time as an inquiry was conducted into Mr Gill’s failure to provide a urine sample when directed to do so by HRV Stewards at the Geelong Harness Racing meeting on 31 July 2016. Given evidence tendered by Mr Gill, HRV Stewards provided Mr Gill a further opportunity to provide a urine sample on 1 August 2016, however Mr Gill refused to do so and he then elected to relinquish his licenses with HRV. After considering all of the evidence tendered, Mr Gill was subsequently found guilty of a charge under ARHR 250A (1)(b) which states: A person carrying on or purporting to carry on an activity regulated by licence at any time or carrying on official duties at a meeting commits an offence if he or she refuses or fails to deliver a sample as directed by the Stewards, or tampers with, adulterates, alters, substitutes or in any way hinders the collection of such sample or attempts to do any of those things. The particulars of the charge being that at the Geelong Harness Racing meeting conducted on 31 July 2016, Mr Gill as the trainer and driver of Shell Green in Race 3 the ‘Flying Brick Draught Cider Pace’, failed to provide a urine sample as directed by the Stewards and furthermore after being provided another opportunity to deliver a urine sample at his registered address on 1 August 2016, Mr Gill refused to provide a urine sample when directed by Stewards to do so. Mr Gill was disqualified for a period of six (6) months with immediate effect. In assessing penalty Stewards considered the following factors: That Mr Gill had voluntarily relinquished his trainer and driver licence with HRV on 1 August 2016; Mr Gill’s previous long standing and clear prior record in the industry; Previous penalties under the relevant rule; That such offence is considered to be serious in nature; That any penalty in this instance required a general and specific deterrent in relation to such conduct. Mr Gill was advised of his rights of appeal and notified that any future application for a licence will be subject to a ‘Show Cause Sub-Committee’ hearing and him providing a urine sample to Stewards. Harness Racing Victoria

The Gold Coast Harness Racing Club is set to launch an audacious bid to find a new home. Confidence that the club will score a site is so high it plans on bidding for the sports blue riband event, the Interdominion­, which is in the final two years of a contract to hold the event in Perth. The club has been without a home track since 2013 when Parklands was closed to be redeveloped for the 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes’ village­ and health and knowledge precinct. While relationships between the club and Queensland Government have been a knife edge with the club taking legal action in an effort to force the government to loosen its purse strings, it’s understood the club has moved to mend bridges. A club spokesman said legal actions­ had been suspended for the past six months in an effort to kickstart negotiations with the new Labor government. “We recently met with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and CEO Dale Dickson and have secured the very strong support of council for the initiative­,” he said. “There isn’t publicly owned land available so our focus will remain on privately held land.” It’s understood club representatives hope to hold a meeting with Racing Minister Grace Grace in the near future. It’s also understood the club has letters from former Bligh-era treasurer Andrew Fraser committing to compensation being paid and a new club facility being built on the Gold Coast. It is searching private land opportunity and also exploring the possibility of co-location at the Gold Coast Turf Club. “We will welcome approaches from greyhound racing clubs to join in any future development,” the spokesman said. A proposal to build a track at Alberton­ purchased by harness racing patron Kevin Seymour remains the favourite for the club. However, the club is also exploring options to build closer to the coastal strip. Tweed Heads Coursing Club spokesman Steve McGrath said the club would evaluate its future when a final decision on the future of greyhound racing in NSW was made. He said the club, which owns the Border Park site close to Gold Coast Airport, would look at all its options once a decision was made. “We will need to have a business plan whereby the club can still make a profit or, if we find none, we may reinvest the funds back into local sport. “Who knows, we could build the world’s richest marble club.” The club estimates the Border Park site would realise between $15 million to $20 million if sold. By Denis Doherty Reprinted with permission of The Gold Coast Bulletin

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards has received notification from the Queensland Racing Science Centre that Cobalt in excess of the permitted threshold has been confirmed in a urine sample taken from ASHLEYS ANGEL which competed at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016.Acting under the provisions of AHR 183(a) it has been determined that ASHLEYS ANGEL shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the inquiry has been concluded, and the trainer Darren Hooper has been advised accordingly. Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards has received notification from the Queensland Racing Science Centre that Cobalt in excess of the permitted threshold has been confirmed in a urine sample taken from ZAC MAC NZ which competed at Albion Park 4 June 2016.Acting under the provisions of AHR 183(a) it has been determined that ZAC MAC NZ shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the inquiry has been concluded, and the trainer Darren Hooper has been advised accordingly. Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards has received notification from the Queensland Racing Science Centre that Dexamethasone has been confirmed in a urine sample taken from ROARN which competed at Albion Park 28 May 2016.Acting under the provisions of AHR 183(a) it has been determined that ROARN shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the inquiry has been concluded, and the trainer Kristin Cunningham has been advised accordingly. Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards has received notification from the Queensland Racing Science Centre that Dexamethasone has been confirmed in a urine sample taken from ROARN which competed at Redcliffe on 3 June 2016.Acting under the provisions of AHR 183(a) it has been determined that ROARN shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the inquiry has been concluded, and the trainer Kristin Cunningham has been advised accordingly. For details on Dexamethasone For details on Cobalt

ON Monday 8 August 2016, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry into a report received from the Stewards at the Bankstown race meeting on Monday, 1 August, 2016 that driver Lachlan Booth had failed to provide a urine sample prior to leaving the racecourse.  Attempts to locate Lachlan Booth later in the afternoon were unsuccessful. Before the Stewards today Lachlan Booth provided an explanation to his circumstances on the day and his grandfather, Licensed Trainer R Baverstock, also provided a submission to Stewards. Lachlan Booth pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 250(1)(b) in that after driving at the Bankstown race meeting on Monday, 1 August 2016 he had left the racecourse having failed to provide a sample as directed by Stewards acting within the powers provided. Lachlan Booth’s Licence was suspended in full for a period of 6 months commencing from 2 August, 2016, the date upon which he was stood down. In determining this penalty Stewards took into account his guilty plea as well as personal subjective and mitigating factors.  In regards to the mitigating factors, at the expiration of four months of this penalty, L Booth is permitted to furnish written evidence in regards to these matters for the further consideration of the Stewards. Mr Booth was advised that prior to any future licence being granted he would be required to provide a sample free of substances banned under the rules upon direction. Lachlan Booth was advised of his right to appeal this decision. Reid Sanders 

29 July 2016 - Anthony Llewellyn and Amanda McHenry - The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against licensed trainer Mr Anthony Llewellyn and licensed trainer/driver Ms Amanda McHenry.  Charges Mr Llewellyn was charged under AHRR 190(1), which reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.  The charge related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Land Of Panaarm’ following it competing in Race 1 at Melton on 25 September 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain the prohibited substances amphetamine and hydroxyamphetamine. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in New South Wales reported confirmation of these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample. Mr Llewellyn was also issued with a charge under AHRR 190B for failing to keep and maintain a log book.  On 29 October 2015, as part of the investigation, Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry provided urine samples that were subsequently analysed by RASL for any banned substances. RASL reported that the samples provided by both Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry revealed the presence of amphetamine. Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry were subsequently each charged under AHRR 252C and AHRR 250 (1)(a) respectively regarding these results. On 28 January 2016, Mr Llewellyn provided a further urine sample that was shown, upon analysis by RASL, to also contain the banned substance amphetamine.  Mr Llewellyn was also issued with a charge under AHRR 231(1) for acting in an abusive manner towards HRV Stewards when interviewed as part of the investigation on 15 February 2016.  Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry were both issued with a charge, relating to the same set of circumstances, under AHRR 187 (2) for providing false information to stewards when interviewed on 29 October 2015. Pleas Mr Llewellyn pleaded guilty to all 6 charges. As a result of Mr Llewellyn’s plea to the charge issued against him with respect to 187(2), a charge issued against Ms McHenry under the same rule was withdrawn by HRV Stewards. Ms McHenry pleaded guilty to both remaining charges.  Penalty In deciding an appropriate penalty for the offences, the HRV RAD Board considered the nature of the substances involved, previous cases involving the substances in Victoria and interstate, the clear record of both persons in regard to these matters, their respective involvement and history in the industry and the personal circumstances relevant to both Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry. The RAD Board also took into account that Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry had their respective licences suspended by HRV Stewards for the majority of the investigation. The penalties imposed were; Anthony Llewellyn Charge 1 - AHRR 190 (1)            18 Months disqualification    Charge 2 - AHRR 190B                $250   Charges 3, 4 - AHRR 252C          6 months suspension (time served)    Charge 5 - AHRR 231 (1)             $750    Charge 6 - AHRR 187 (2)              $250    Amanda McHenry Charge 1 – AHRR 250 (1)(a)       8 months suspension (time served) Charge 2 – AHRR 187 (2) -         $750 The HRV RAD Board also directed that prior to being considered for re-licensing, Mr Llewellyn and Ms McHenry must provide evidence of having completed a relevant counselling course and provide a urine sample clear of banned substances. Acting under AHRR 195 it was also ordered that Land Of Panaarm be disqualified from Race 1 at Melton on 25 September 2015 and that the placings be amended accordingly. Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board    

A former horse trainer found guilty of race-fixing in relation to the 2013 Tamworth Cup has admitted to similar corrupt conduct in harness racing. Robert James Clement, 51, was due to face a sentence hearing on Thursday in Sydney's District Court after a Tamworth jury found him guilty of engaging in conduct to corrupt the betting outcome of the Cup. His co-accused, horse trainer, Cody Glenn Morgan, 30, was found guilty of the same charge and two other offences. The Crown argued the pair had an agreement to obtain a financial windfall and drenched the winner Prussian Secret just hours before the race. On Thursday, Acting Judge Colin Charteris was told Clement had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally possessing a firearm. Before the judge, he then pleaded guilty to facilitating corrupt conduct in relation to a Tamworth harness race and asked the court to take into account two similar matters. His case was adjourned to September 13. Morgan is due to give evidence on Thursday afternoon in relation to his sentencing. Reprinted with permission of the site

A Queensland harness racing trainer who allegedly assaulted a steward has successfully appealed to have his licence reinstated. Justin Abbott was in February disqualified for two years by Racing Queensland after an inquiry found him guilty of assaulting stipendiary steward Paul Zimmerman the month before. That decision was quashed and set aside by the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday. Justice David Jackson found the inquiry lacked impartiality because the chief steward, who was chairman of the panel that handed down the decision, failed to disclose conversations he had with Mr Zimmerman before and after the alleged incident. Justice Jackson ordered the allegation against Mr Abbott be referred to a different panel of stewards for a new hearing. Reprinted with permission of the site  

RUTHERFORD, NJ -- June 4, 2016 -- Harness racing President Mark Ford along with Anthony Perretti and Mike Gulotta aligned forces with top state Democrats, county officials and union leaders on Friday at a news conference to convey their confidence to the public that casino gambling will be brought to the northern part of the state. Among those who spoke in favor of the expansion were Democrats Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Bob Gordon, and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney stood at the conference in front of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce stating that bringing casino gambling to the area was “the right thing to do for the whole state.” "This gives us an opportunity to create thousands and thousands of construction jobs in the northern part of the state of New Jersey," Sweeney said. "But guess what; it gives us the ability to create thousands and thousands of jobs in the southern part of the state and helps us to rebuild Atlantic City, and gives Atlantic City the opportunity to be the destination we want it to be." Building northern casinos will have a ripple effect that will benefit the economy state wide, not just Bergen County, according to County Executive Tedesco. The Meadowlands is not the only proposed location, Hudson and Essex County are also being considered. However, it is the most important location for New Jersey horsemen. Tedesco believes the Meadowlands is a “perfect spot” for gaming expansion it is already a “premier entertainment destination” because of the Met Life Stadium, large-scale concerts and the current development of the American Dream project that already take place in the area. “The best is yet to come especially when we add casino gaming to the mix.” The public will have the opportunity to vote this November on whether or not casinos should be expanded via ballot question. New Jersey Senate Democrats released figures that state casinos could generate an estimated $4 billion in economic activity, and up to 20,000 construction and permanent jobs in North Jersey. The Atlantic City region will also benefit with $3 billion and thousands of jobs. It is very important that all horsemen go out and vote in favor of casino expansion this November. Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

After years of sparring about the best way to split the pot, Michigan's two remaining horse tracks (thoroughbred and harness racing) have found some common ground when it comes to divvying up the money from bets placed on horse races. That consensus, though, hasn't yet reached other parts of the business that owners of both tracks say will be necessary if the industry is going to be relevant in the 21st century — namely, the introduction of electronic wagering. Past efforts didn't bear fruit. And now the tracks — Hazel Park Raceway, which holds thoroughbred races, and Northville Downs, which runs standardbred harness races — find themselves on opposite sides of proposed legislation that initially attempted to resolve the issue. Executives at Northville Downs say the bill as written is a nonstarter, even after a controversial provision that would have allowed some Internet-based wagering at the tracks was stripped from the bill on the Senate floor. In response, Hazel Park Raceway and its affiliated horsemen's group, the Howell-based Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, say they intend to ask the Michigan Gaming Control Board to pursue online wagering as an administrative rule change, rather than in statute. The practice, known as advance deposit wagering, would allow people to place bets on simulcast races from their cellphones or tablets without having to visit a track. Current law requires anyone betting on horse racing to do so from within a track. Hazel Park and Northville Downs consider online betting on horse races an extension of what they already do, replacing paper with the mobile devices that people carry everywhere. TheMichigan Lottery has introduced online games, which track owners believe is essentially the same thing. And because more than 95 percent of the tracks' wagering revenue comes from people who place bets on simulcast races, rather than live ones, the interest in electronic wagering is also financial. The tracks say they're competing for business against out-of-state mobile wagering sites that don't pay state taxes and don't offer a cut of the proceeds to support either track and their affiliated horse owners' group. Earlier versions of Senate Bill 504, sponsored by state Sen. David Robertson, included a provision that would have allowed the horse track with the larger handle during the past five years to operate advance deposit wagering. By numbers alone, Hazel Park had the larger simulcast handle — $56.6 million in 2015, compared to $45 million for Northville Downs, according to Michigan Gaming Control Board figures. "I would have had to take everybody to court," said Mike Carlo, Northville Downs' operations manager. "That was the biggest slap in the face I've ever seen in this industry. "In our world, we live under the purview of our license," he added. "Basically, what it would have done is it would have said that Hazel Park has a different license to operate pari-mutuel wagering in a manner that Northville Downs can't." The bill that passed the Senate does not include that language. Instead, it would allow Michigan's racing commissioner to draft administrative rules to govern the practice. The Michigan Gaming Control Board, which regulates the horse industry along with Detroit's three commercial casinos, opposed the earlier version of the bill. Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, said the board and harness racing groups wanted the language removed. A 2004 amendment to the Michigan Constitution requires a statewide vote for any expansion of gaming. The board has not yet publicly said whether it would consider authorizing advance deposit wagering. Robertson, track owners and horsemen's groups all say they don't believe the practice would violate the constitutional provision. "The (board) will have to see what the options and its authority are if the bill becomes law," gaming board spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean said via email. The bill could get a hearing in the House agriculture committee this week after clearing the Senate last week in a 30-7 vote. A new formula? Robertson's bill would be the first update to Michigan's 1995 horse racing statute. Among other things, it would rewrite the formula that distributes revenue from wagers. Currently, all wagers placed on simulcast races at Hazel Park and Northville Downs are pooled into a common purse, where it's split between the tracks and horsemen's groups. Track owners say that setup made more sense years ago, when Michigan had more horse tracks in operation. But waning interest in horse racing led to the closure of seven tracks since 1998, leaving just two tracks. Hazel Park and Northville Downs essentially compete for the same audience, despite the fact that they don't race the same breeds of horses, and have lost money as the wagering pool decreased. Thus, competition for market share has become increasingly important. Today, the common purse is divided in a way that offers roughly 65 percent of the proceeds to the harness racing standardbreds, after winners and a 3.5 percent state tax are paid, with the rest going to the thoroughbreds. Robertson's bill would eliminate the common purse in favor of a "site-specific" model, meaning all of the wagers placed at Northville Downs and Hazel Park would stay at the respective tracks. "Horse racing has had very tough times. It's been diminishing as a sport, and this is an attempt to try to amend the law in a way that will help all of racing," Robertson said. "This language is archaic." Northville Downs agreed to the funding formula change, which ultimately is a concession that would award them a smaller share of the simulcast purse pool than they receive now. But Carlo and the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association say the change triggers a problem with a different section of the bill, which they believe would require Hazel Park's owners to sign off each time Northville Downs wanted to simulcast a thoroughbred horse race. Their fear is that Hazel Park and thoroughbred groups could block Northville Downs from simulcasting the Kentucky Derby, for instance, since the money collected under the new model would not be shared with Hazel Park and thoroughbred owners. "Since the dawn of simulcasting, all tracks have taken all breeds," said Tom Barrett, president of the harness horsemen's group. "We are only going to support a bill that treats both tracks the same." George Kutlenios, president of the thoroughbred horsemen's association, said his group doesn't intend to prevent Northville Downs from showing thoroughbred races. "I don't know why we would not want to send a signal," Kutlenios said. "The more signals, the more product you have to offer. I can't even envision a scenario where that makes sense." Simulcast dollars The fight over simulcast revenue in some ways explains the desire for advance deposit wagering. Simulcast wagers contributed $3.6 million in state tax revenue last year, a drop of 9 percent from 2014, according to the gaming control board. And the roughly $106 million wagered on live and simulcast races last year is well below the $261 million bet in 2007. Kutlenios said he has heard some industry estimates peg the amount wagered illegally in Michigan through services in other states at between $90 million and $120 million. Robertson also sponsored Senate Bill 505, which would make it a felony to accept wagers on live or simulcast horse races in Michigan without a license. That bill also moved to the House. Proponents say they want to stop vendors like TwinSpires, which is owned by Churchill Downs, from taking unlicensed wagers from potential track visitors that otherwise could be used to support Michigan's race tracks. "There are people right now on site using their phones but not wagering even through us," said Dan Adkins, vice president of Southfield-based real estate developer Hartman and Tyner Inc., which owns Hazel Park Raceway. Carlo, of Northville Downs, said Michigan's horse tracks could make inroads into the market for advance deposit wagering if a third-party vendor managed it on behalf of both tracks, rather than allowing one track to operate at the expense of the other. "We're in favor of it being in place somehow and some way," he said, "but I don't think we have figured out the best way for our industry in Michigan." By Lindsay Vanhulle Reprinted with permission of the Crain's Detroit site

To help drivers understand how Stewards in NSW will regulate the new Australian whip rules, Harness Racing New South Wales has produced a full breakdown of the new interpretation.  HRNSW has developed penalty guidelines to impose penalties for those that breach the rules and encourage drivers to curtail their whip action to reduce the risk of infringing again. The follow penalty structure will be in use in NSW and is a reflection of the national policy. 1st Offence Fine $200 2nd Offence – if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 1st Offence Fine $400 3rd Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 2nd Offence Fine $400 and 7 days suspension 4th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 3rd Offence Fine $1,000 and/or 14 days suspension (at the discretion of the Stewards) 5th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 4th Offence 21 days suspension HRNSW interpretations of Rule 156(4), which essentially explains the correct use of the whip, are as follows: A Driver who drives (apart from activating approved gear), or uses the whip, with a free hand or in any or all of the following would be in breach of the whip Rules, that is using the whip in “an unapproved manner”. Draws the tip of the whip further than the Drivers shoulder. If the whip hand is drawn back further than or above the Driver’s shoulder. If the whip action involves more than a wrist or elbow action. If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time.“Loose reining” is considered to occur, but not exclusively, when the reins act in a “whipping motion” on the hindquarters of the horse. If the whip is used other than in a flicking motion. If the whip continues to be applied to a horse which is considered to;                         (i)         not be visibly responding;                         (ii)         be out of contention;                         (iii)        no longer be maintaining or improving its position;                         (iv)        be winning clearly;   Use the whip in a "side" action so as to be outside the confines of the sulky Use of the whip irrespective of whether the whip is striking the splash sheet or sulky shaft, a driver's whip action can still warrant a charge under the rules In instances where a Driver is found to have breached the “Whip Rules” on more than eight (8) occasions in any twelve month period HRNSW may require the Driver to show cause as to why he remain licensed by the Controlling Body. In the event a Driver is required to show cause the Controlling Body may direct that the Driver not be permitted to drive pending the said Driver responding to such Notice. Greg Hayes

A local harness racing trainer who injected a racehorse with performance-enhancing drugs in 2010, then was caught six weeks later intending to do it again, has been fined $3,750 and is “branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat,” the prosecutor in the case said Friday. Derek Riesberry’s convictions for fraud over $5,000 and attempted fraud over $5,000 mark the first time in Canada horse doping was prosecuted criminally, instead of having regulatory agencies such as the Ontario Racing Commission hand out fines and suspensions. Riesberry, 46, now carries a criminal record, noted assistant Crown attorney Brian Manarin, speaking at the end of a 5½-year legal odyssey that took the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. “He’s been branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat, which is a terrible thing,” he said. “He’s going to have to do a lot of things to make amends for shooting up a horse with a performance-enhancing drug.”  Manarin said there’s a difference between cyclist Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs and Riesberry injecting them into a horse, Everyone’s Fantasy, before it ran in Race 6 on Sept. 28, 2010, at Windsor Raceway. “The horse has no choice,” said Manarin. The horse was a defenceless victim in the hands of an unscrupulous trainer, Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin said as he passed sentence — a $2,500 fine for the fraud (injecting a horse) and $1,250 for attempted fraud (being caught with drug-filled syringes). People bet $12,746 on Race 6. Though Everyone’s Fantasy was injected with the drugs prior to the race, it finished in sixth place, out of the money.  On Nov. 7, 2010, Riesberry was intending to inject another horse, Good Long Life, but was caught before he had the chance. The horse was scratched from Race 3. The public placed bets totalling $11,758. Horse doping threatens the horse industry’s reputation and sends the public to other forms of gaming, Hugh Mitchell, the CEO of Western Fair and a longtime horse racing executive, said in an impact statement to the court. “It’s imperative the bettors always feel they are betting on a fair and ethical product,” he said. “Those who threaten (the industry’s) future through fraudulent practices must be held accountable.” Mitchell said he’s seen the “deplorable” effects of drug abuse on horses. “These horses are strong, beautiful, loyal animals and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.” Riesberry’s licence is suspended. He has been working on a local farm, taking home $465 a week. His lawyer Andrew Bradie said his client has no intention of ever getting back in the business. “I believe he realizes he made a mistake and shouldn’t have done it and he’ll never do it again,” Bradie said outside the courthouse. Speaking to the Star’s Nick Brancaccio as he left the courthouse, Riesberry said: “It’s over with, glad to be done and I’m moving forward with my life.”  Both sides in this case thought the fine was fair. Riesberry had no previous criminal record, and he had no record of problems with the racing commission. Though he made a serious error in judgment, he shouldn’t go to jail, Manarin said. “But he should get a criminal record, which is what he got.” Manarin said the decision to go after Riesberry criminally was made in 2010 at the request of the OPP. Officers who investigated the horse doping told him that some of the penalties imposed by the racing commission were not enough to deter people, Manarin said. Now that Riesberry is convicted, “we’ll just see how it shakes out with respect to less or more cheating in the industry.” A second local trainer, Chris Haskell, is facing similar allegations, but his case has been delayed while awaiting the outcome of Riesberry’s case.  Drugging horses to enhance their performance is animal abuse, Ontario Racing Commission CEO Jean Major said in an impact statement to the court. Not only is it cheating, but it also can injure the horse as well as endanger everyone else participating in a race, he said.  “The offence has brought the integrity of horse racing into question,” he writes. “If allowed to continue without appropriate deterrents, such conduct could jeopardize the future of a multimillion-dollar sector of the Ontario economy.” by Brian Cross for The Windsor Star Reprinted with permission of The Windsor Star  

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today inquired into the circumstances relating to a report received from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that SOTALOL, a prohibited substance under the Australian Harness Racing Rules, had been detected in a pre race urine sample taken from FAMILY DECISION prior to it competing in Race 1 at Albion Park on 15 January 2016. Evidence was taken from the registered trainer of FAMILY DECISION, Mr Noel Parrish, who explained the circumstances leading up to the race and the husbandry practices adopted in the days prior. After considering all the evidence provided, Mr Parrish was charged pursuant to AHR rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Parrish presented FAMILY DECISION to race at Albion Park on 15 January 2016 when a urine sample taken from that horse was found upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance SOTALOL. Mr Parrish was found guilty of the charge as issued. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The particulars of the case The licence history of Noel Parrish which indicated one prior breach of this rule over a thirty year period 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. The trainer’s and driver’s licence of Mr Parrish was suspended for a period of six months effective immediately. Acting under AHR Rule 195, FAMILY DECISION was disqualified from its sixth placing in Race 1 at Albion Park on 15 January 2016. Mr Parrish was advised of his rights of appeal. Stewards report - Noel Parrish D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey For more on SOTALOL click here.

Victoria’s harness racing industry is set to be revitalised under the leadership of a new board, with members highly skilled in the areas of integrity, animal welfare, marketing and governance taking office. Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of seven members to the board of Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) following a four-month expression of interest process. Dale Monteith, former CEO of the Victoria Racing Club and the Melbourne Racing Club will chair the board. Former Rothaker Medallist Elizabeth Clarke, a long-time participant in the Victorian harness racing industry and a member of the board since 2012, has been appointed as deputy chair. The other members, who will each serve a three-year term, include veterinarian Catherine Ainsworth, media and communications expert Jane Brook, lawyer and integrity official Brett Clothier, former AFL Coaches Association CEO and passionate harness racing participant Danny Frawley and experienced public servant and harness breeder Peter Watkinson. The appointment of the new board follows key recommendations from the 2015 Audit of Harness Racing Victoria Report and subsequent amendments to the Racing Act 1958, introduced in October last year. The report recommended modernising the board membership and appointment process to allow for a greater balance of skills and expertise. Under the amendments, the Minister for Racing can now appoint individuals with the relevant skills, experience and knowledge necessary to assist HRV to carry out its functions. The Victorian harness racing industry contributes $421.8 million annually to the Victorian economy and supports almost 4000 full-time equivalent jobs, mainly in regional Victoria. Quotes attributable to Racing Minister Martin Pakula “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of the new members to the Board of Harness Racing Victoria today.” “The diverse range of skills and knowledge will enhance Harness Racing Victoria’s ability to develop and promote the sport in this state.” “The harness racing industry is a major contributor to the Victorian economy and supports jobs in our regional cities and towns.” “I thank the previous board members, including former chair Ken Latta, for the substantial contribution they have made to harness racing in Victoria.” Christine Tyrrell 0423 092 752 | 

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry on Friday 11 March 2016 into the conduct of Mr John Basham in that he failed to provide proper care to the registered standardbreds JUST TARZAN and SING AND SWING up to an including 18 January 2016 and had commenced to prepare those horses to race up to and including that date, whilst not the holder of an appropriate licence. An investigation was commenced on 18 January 2016 after HRNSW Stewards received a report that raised concerns with regards to the welfare of the subject horses. Mr Basham attended the Inquiry and provided evidence. Evidence was also presented to the Inquiry by HRNSW Stewards, Mr Travis Quick and Mr Phil Frost. After considering the evidence HRNSW Stewards issued the following charges against Mr Basham pursuant to the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR): AHRR 218.  A person having responsibility for the welfare of a horse shall not fail to care for it properly. AHRR 203.  A person shall not train a horse on a racecourse or training track unless that person holds a training licence. Mr Basham was found guilty of the charge pursuant to AHRR 218 and disqualified for a period of 2 years to commence immediately. In relation to the charge pursuant to AHRR 203, Mr Basham pleaded guilty and was disqualified for a period of one (1) month to be served concurrently. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; The serious nature of these offences; The pleas entered by Mr Basham; Mr Basham’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Mr Basham was advised of his right of appeal. Reid Sanders

The Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner (the Commissioner) and Sportradar are pleased to announce the signing of the Cooperation and Information Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna and the Managing Director Security Services Andreas Krannich signed the Cooperation and Information Exchange MoU earlier this week. “This agreement, strengthens cooperation between my office and Sportradar, particularly with respect to information exchange, to assist sports’ controlling bodies to achieve their objectives in reducing the threat presented by criminal and corrupt conduct in Australian sport, particularly in the Victorian Racing Industry (VRI)” Mr Perna said. “The MOU not only helps both agencies gather and share relevant information, but leads to increasing the public confidence in racing.” The partnership underlines efforts to ensure the integrity of Victoria’s $2.8 billion racing industry, which employs approximately 60,000 people. “The MOU formalises the already existing cooperation between Sportradar and the Racing Integrity Commissioner and solidifies the strong ties between the two agencies. The Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner is one of the key sporting integrity units operating in Australia and our Security Services team look forward to working with them even more closely, utilising our integrity related wagering analysis, intelligence gathering and training experience to assist in upholding the integrity of all three codes of racing operating across Victoria. ” Mr Krannich said. Paul Stevens Manager Integrity Operations Sportradar +44 203 695 2214 Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (03) 8684 7776     

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