Thursday 21st May 2015 - Bankstown Harness Racing and Agricultural Society president Les Bentley will look to boost prize money for the club’s flagship race, the M.H Treuer Memorial, after winning a lengthy court battle. Bentley confirmed a court ruling meant the club would receive more than $1 million from the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club. “We have been working on this case since 2010, it has been a long haul but it is a great result for Bankstown with the news that we will receive $1.1 million in back rent up until today (Thursday),” said Bentley. “We are also entitled to interest on that money which goes back to May 2010 and we were awarded full legal costs and they are somewhere in the vicinity of $400,000 so it a great result for the Bankstown Paceway.” Bentley praised the solicitors involved in the legal action. “The team at Thurlow Fisher did a marvellous job and they need to be thanked for all of their hard work, we have two weeks to submit our costs to the judge and he will then order the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club to pay the amount within 28 days. “The good news for the Bankstown Paceway is that we can pay our debts and they have been growing because of this matter and then we can look to boost prize money.” Plans include lifting the prize money for the Treuer Memorial to $120,000. “The committee has discussed lifting the money and are looking to make it a race for three year olds rather than for the open horses and that proposal will be submitted to HRNSW soon. “We are hoping to introduce a few Gr. 3 races to our calendar as well.” Greg Hayes
The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) has advised HRNSW that phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone have been detected in the urine sample taken from THE SYSTEM STRIDE following its win in race 9, the St Marys Band Club Encouragement Stakes (2125 metres) conducted at Penrith on Thursday 12 March 2015. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) in Victoria. Trainer Mr R. Gatt has been advised and HRNSW will continue its investigation into this sample irregularity and an inquiry will be conducted in due course. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it has been determined that THE SYSTEM STRIDE, the horse subject of the certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This has immediate effect. Harness Racing New South Wales
Friday 8th May 2015 - Harness Racing New South Wales would like to inform participants of government assistance programs that are available as a result of the severe storms and flooding in the Hunter Valley. HRNSW provided emergency feed packages to participants last week but CEO John Dumesny advised those affected should check what government help is available. "Participants that have suffered losses as a result of the storms and flooding in the Hunter Valley could be entitled to government assistance on top of the help HRNSW has provided," Dumesny said. "Websites and information lines have been set up by the government and I would encourage those in need of help to use these services." The Australian Government Emergency Information Line - 180 22 66 Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP) - provides one-off financial assistance at a rate of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. Disaster Recovery Allowance - provides income support payments to employees, primary producers and sole traders who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the NSW East Coast Storms and Flooding. Disaster Welfare Assistance Line - 1800 018 444 operating 7 days a week, 8:30am - 5pm For information about disaster relief grants for contents and structural repairs, available to low income earners with no insurance contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line. Financial Assistance under this grant does NOT Replace food spoiled as a result of power outages Replace insurance Provide compensation for losses Cover insurance excess Personal Hardship and Distress Assistance The Ministry for Police and Emergency Services can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster. People with limited financial resources and no insurance may be eligible for assistance for essential household items and structural repairs to the home. Inquiries about the disaster relief grants and the eligibility criteria may be made by calling 1800 018 444. Dumesny confirmed participants that have been affected would continue to receive assistance from HRNSW and expected to make a further announcement in relation to more help for the region early next week. Greg Hayes
The John Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The SAFE Act, identical to a bill recently introduced in the House, would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose. Be sure to visit the Animal Welfare Institute for more information: https://goo.gl/ZLcIl5 CHRIS HEYDE Deputy Director Government and Legal Affairs ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association announced today it has retained the services of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau to conduct a variety of integrity services. "The USTA is committed to integrity in harness racing and working with the TRPB will provide our industry with a wide variety of investigative, security and analytical services from the most experienced and professional integrity services organization in horse racing," said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. "We look forward to assisting and supporting the USTA's integrity initiatives in horse racing and wagering, and tapping our shared resources to better serve customers, participants, racetracks and regulators in the Standardbred industry," said TRPB Vice President J. Curtis Linnell. The TRPB will utilize its in-house resource database to provide investigative reports and intelligence on topics, organizations, vendors and people as requested by the USTA. The TRPB will also seek to expand and develop information relevant to the Standardbred industry. TRPB Senior Agent Douglas Murray, working out of the headquarters office in Fair Hill, Md., will be the primary contact for the USTA to coordinate research and information requested by the USTA. Murray will support the USTA's role in integrity issues, including allegations of illegal medications, the identification and investigation of suppliers of such, and involvement of organized crime in any aspect of Standardbred racing. Also, the TRPB Wagering Integrity Unit will consult with the USTA in the event of allegations of wagering integrity issues, including tote security lapses, alleged altered races, and possible betting malfeasance of any type. Among other services to be provided to the USTA, the TRPB will conduct due diligence and background examinations of selected associations and vendors in the pari-mutuel industry. The TRPB will include Standardbred matters of mutual concern in USTA's existing industry relationships in France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, as well as throughout the U.S. and Canada. Located in Fair Hill, Md., the TRPB operates as a multi-jurisdictional investigative agency in the horse racing industry. The mandate is to expose and investigate all activity prejudicial to horse racing and to maintain public confidence in the sport. The USTA Communications Department
Five veterinarians presented their views on testing and medication issues at the Ohio State Racing Commission's (OSRC) monthly meeting on April 28 in Columbus. Early in 2015, the OSRC began listening to presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. Veterinarian Dr. John Piehowicz, who treats racehorses at his Cincinnati-based clinic said "the welfare of the horse must come first," mirroring the mindset of the other veterinarians in attendance. "I believe Ohio's policy is the most humane for treating horses," Dr. Piehowicz stated. "While uniformity is desirable, it is not practical. Currently I can help horses, but if we change to the RCI-RMTC rules, I can no longer effectively treat racehorses with safe, FDA-approved medications. We need a published curve based on real world information and rational decisions based on creditable research. The use of some medications, such as Clenbuterol, allow racehorses to live comfortably." "I commend the OSRC in the direction they are going regarding medication policies," stressed Dr. John Reichert, who practices on Standardbreds at Woodland Run clinic in Grove City, Ohio. "In Ohio we've had 122 positives from 12,000 tests in the past year, which is less than one percent. That says to me there are relatively few positive tests in Ohio and that the majority of people-vets and trainers-are playing by the rules. The hot issues with the RCI-RMTC are steroids and Clenbuterol, which we use primarily to treat inflammatory airway disease and joint issues." "In my practice, I'm addressing mainly soreness, lameness and breathing issues," Dr. Reichert continued. "Corticosteroids are used a lot in inflammatory airway disease and joint issues, and in the 25 years I've been a vet I have yet to see a catastrophic breakdown from the use of these steroids. Nobody wants a catastrophic breakdown-but unfortunately it is part of the athletic scene. We see more of these from backyard pleasure horses than we do in racehorses. "In regards to Clenbuterol, as vets, we have to be able to use Clenbuterol within reason," Dr. Reichert stressed. "My perspective as a vet is that I look at Clenbuterol as a therapeutic treatment of a racehorse. A five-day course of treatment is more of what is required for the Standardbred racehorse. Scientific research doesn't support performance-enhancement by the use of Clenbuterol." "It's difficult to obey the rules if you don't know what they are," explained Dr. Dan Wilson, a partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "We routinely test blood and urine, and the tests are sophisticated to the level of one grain of sand on a beach. There is nothing to suggest this level would enhance a horse's performance. Muscle and enzyme physiology is different for each breed: Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter horses-they are all different. As proposed, the RCI & RMTC rules would alleviate all therapeutic medications for the use in Standardbreds. The loss of Clenbuterol and corticosteroids for treatment in Standardbred racing would compromise the industry and limit my ability to effectively treat horses." "We need uniform medication rules," agreed Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "Corticosteroids are used daily by my friends in the human medical field and we need the same tools as veterinarians. A uniform program needs to be in place for daily treatments, and there needs to be regulated medications we are allowed to use therapeutically. The question I have is in regards to dosage in surgical medications, that's an issue. Where is the safe zone? The emergence of newer therapeutic medications being adopted into the regulations is another main concern regarding the welfare of the horse." "There is not another commission in the country that has gone to the depths of what the OSRC is doing here." admitted Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV) and Kentucky practitioner. "Eighteen of the 26 drugs in the RCI-RMTC report have no published data. The idea of thresholds is great and we're all about uniform rules, but let's get things right first. "In 2013 for instance, 24 hours out was the standard time for Banamine (to be administered prior to a race) and then in 2014 a new study came out and the RCI-RMTC said 'oops! we were wrong and Banamine can now only be used 32 hours out,'" Dr. Clara Fenger. "All kinds of people got positives as a result and purses had to be redistributed and horsemen were in danger of losing their livelihood. There was just vagueness in their limits. "We use medications because we need to," she stressed. "For instance, 27% of yearlings that go through the Keeneland Sale already have arthritis in their hocks-and that's not limited to Thoroughbreds. It's in all breeds-as these are living, breathing animals we're dealing with. We need education so that other practitioners can learn what works best in practical situations. Based on our preliminary data, most vets are using the appropriate amounts. Most Ohio rules we can live with and the RCI should be looking to Ohio instead of the other way around." The OSRC will listen to chemists and scientists present their views on these same medication and threshold levels in Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses at its June 23 meeting, schedule for 10 am, 31st Floor,East-B, 77 South High Street, Columbus. Kimberly A. Rinker
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner (the Commissioner) are pleased to announce the signing of the Cooperation and Information Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Sydney today. AFP Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton and Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna signed the Cooperation and Information Exchange MOU at the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) in Manly earlier today. AFP Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said the MoU formalises the cooperation between the AFP and the RIC and solidifies the strong ties between the two agencies. “The partnership will further the cooperation between the Commissioner and the AFP to support law enforcement activities and AFP investigations in regards to organised crime,” Deputy Commissioner Ashton said. The partnership underlines efforts to ensure the integrity of Victoria’s $2.8 billion racing industry, which employs approximately 60,000 people. “This agreement will be major benefit to both the AFP and the racing industry and will assist in the facilitation of sharing information between the two bodies,” Mr Perna said. “The MOU not only helps both agencies gather and share relevant information, but leads to increasing the public confidence in racing.” This MOU follows a recommendation made in the Commissioner’s 2012 Own Motion Inquiry into Race Fixing to identify the barriers to information sharing between police and racing bodies. The agreement will strengthen the cooperation between the participants, particularly with respect to information exchange, to assist law enforcement to achieve its objectives and reduce the threat posed by criminal infiltration of Australian borders. Paul Stevens Manager Integrity Operations Level 27, 121 Exhibition Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 T: 03 8684 7775 F: 03 8684 7778 M: 0419 921 586 www.racingintegrity.vic.gov.au
While the New York State Racing Commission certainly has the right to beat its proverbial chest about what it incorrectly views as a victory for integrity, it has a clear obligation to be both forthright and accurate. That an agency of New York government would issue a release that is so inaccurate is, at the very least, completely disingenuous. For example, consider that while the term “illegally drugged” is used in the release, the alleged “drugs” are, in fact, substances that are permissible to be administered under the Commission’s own rules within a given timeframe. Further, to say that the case has “finally come to a close” is clearly erroneous. The release conveniently fails to mention that a decision on a motion was issued just last week (April 15) by the State Supreme Court in Schenectady, and that the highly questionable evidence upon which the Commission based its ruling will now be fully litigated in the courts. Contrary to the Gaming Commission’s pronouncement, the case has really just started. Clearly, trumpeting integrity sounds quite hollow when the trumpeter lacks integrity of its own. ....................................................................................................... Here is Lou Pena's Attorney Andy Turro's response to the Gaming Commission's Press Release concerning its determination of the Pena case. "While we were disappointed about the Commission’s determination, we were not surprised given the that Agency’s record of routinely disposing of such matters in a manner adverse to the subject of its prosecution, especially since hearing officers are, in fact, hired by the Commission itself. The Commission’s press release also contains misleading statements and omits critical facts. First of all, Mr. Pena was not charged with administering any “illegal substances.” Rather, he was charged with administering substances that are expressly permitted to be administered by the Commission’s own rules, but was claimed to have administered them too close to the time of the race. And while the Commission did hold Mr. Pena responsible for 1,717 charged violations, the Commission’s press release fails to mention there was not a single positive test to support any one of its charges. While the Commission’s release claims that it reviewed “veterinary records,” the Former Chairman of the New York State Veterinary Board who testified at the hearing confirmed that these “records” were no more than billing records. The Commission’s release also does not disclose that the veterinary provider refused to certify the accuracy of those documents. For all of these reasons, we intend to continue to pursue Mr. Pena’s legal remedies and we remain confident that in the end, Mr. Pena will be fully vindicated." by JC for Harnesslink Media
This morning (April 28) the Honorable Sandra J. Feuerstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order staying the administrative hearing of the New York State Gaming Commission against Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott for alleged overages of therapeutic medication. Mr. Mott has sued Commission members, employees and the state's equine testing lab for violating his civil rights as a Commission licensee pursuant to what is commonly referred to as a federal "1983" action. In his suit, Mott raises the issue that the Commission and its predecessor, the New York State Racing & Wagering Board, routinely and consistently deny licensees accused of drug offenses and legitimate medication overages the right to split sample collection and independent referee testing. In fact, in just the last two years, blood samples were denied to numerous accused licensees under the premise that, after the state's own testing was completed, "not enough" blood was left over to send to one such referee lab. Mott was denied independent testing of the blood sample extracted from the subject horse. “The Judge had legitimate questions as it related to the Commission’s practices in its sample collection, and ordered the attorneys for all parties to brief the issue and be back in court in June,” said Andrew Mollica, Mott’s attorney. The Commission hearing, scheduled for May 6, has now been stayed indefinitely. The court issued a briefing schedule with a return to court date of June 29.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has filed a lawsuit in federal court as he seeks to overturn a 15-day suspension he received after one of his horses, Saratoga Snacks, tested positive for overages of the therapeutic medications furosemide (Lasix/Salix) and flunixin (banamine). Saratoga Snacks tested positive after finishing last in an allowance race at Belmont Park on Sept. 20, 2014. The suit, which names ten New York State Gaming Commission members, state steward Stephen Lewandowski, and New York Drug Testing and Research Program director Dr. George Maylin, alleges that the state failed to allow Mott due process in appealing the suspension and that the trainer’s livelihood is suffering as a result of the state’s unfair actions. Mott claims that when he requested a split blood sample to challenge the positives, the commission officials forwarded a urine sample, which was “completely useless to serve as a referee sample, given that only the quantitative levels allegedly found in the post-race blood sample served as the basis upon which Mr. Mott received his violation.” Mott attorney Andrew Mollica said Thursday his understanding is that urine samples are useful primarily to detect the presence or absence of a no-tolerance drug such as cocaine, not to determine the concentration of a therapeutic substance. To read the full article written by Natalie Voss on Paulick Report click on this link.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- (April 22, 2015) - Federal lawmakers today introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). The ASPCAÂ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsÂ®), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund announced their enthusiastic support for the legislation. Last year, more than 140,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. The animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest. At the slaughterhouse, horses are brutally forced into a "kill box" and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter-a process that can be inaccurate due to the biology and nature of equines and result in animals sustaining repeated blows or remaining conscious during the kill process. "For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride," said Rep. Guinta. "To that end, horses are not raised for food - permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food." "Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment," said Rep. Schakowsky. "We must fight those practices. The SAFE Act of 2015 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve." "The slaughter of horses for human consumption is an absolute travesty that must be stopped," said Rep. Buchanan. "This bipartisan measure will finally put an end to this barbaric practice." "Horse slaughter is an inhumane practice that causes great pain and distress to the animals, and poses numerous environmental and food safety concerns," said Rep. Lujan Grisham. "The vast majority of my constituents oppose horse slaughter. I'm proud to support the SAFE Act to ban this cruelty once and for all." The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American horse meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Because horses are not raised for food, they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments over their lifetimes that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Those drugs, although safe for horses, are potentially toxic to humans if consumed. In December 2014, the European Union (EU) announced its suspension of imports of horse meat from Mexico after a scathing audit of EU-certified Mexican horse slaughter plants, which kill tens of thousands of American horses each year. Additionally, the discovery of horse meat in beef products in Europe shocked consumers and raised concerns about the potential impact on American food industries. The ASPCA, AWI, and The HSUS encourage the public to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act, in order to protect America's horses and overall consumer health from horse slaughter. ASPCA: Rebecca Goldrick, 646-291-4582, Rebecca.Goldrick@aspca.org AWI: Amey Owen, 202-446-2128, email@example.com HSUS: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this year, the Ohio State Racing Commission began hearing presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. "The Ohio State Racing Commission values input from all parties within both the Ohio Thoroughbred and Ohio Standardbred racing communities in order to move forward into developing a sound medication policy," said Robert K. Schmitz, OSRC Chairman. At the February OSRC meeting, Edward J. Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) expressed their opinions on the current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. Martin stressed his support for adoption of rules that would have all trainers in all jurisdictions racing under the same medication protocols. Martin is also in favor of out-of-competition testing of horses in order to detect possible future lameness or injuries due to racing. Dr. Benson enlightened the audience concerning the testing procedures at the RMTC-accredited Consumer Analytical Laboratory at the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture (Reynoldsburg), where all of Ohio's racehorses' blood and urine samples are tested. Six personalities from the Ohio racing industry expounded on these same issues at the OSRC March meeting. Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, representing the United States Trotting Association (USTA); Dave Basler, Executive Director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Thoroughbred trainer William Cowans; along with Standardbred conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr., and Renee Mancino, Ohio Harness Horseman's Association (OHHA) Executive Director all expressed their views on the aforementioned subjects. "Published research should be the basis for any changes to medication threshold levels,'' Basler stressed. "Medication policies should be about protecting the welfare and safety of the horse based upon science not hype. Policies should be established via a completely transparent process with input from all interested parties. We applaud the OSRC for its measured approach on this issue." Langley and Tanner discussed the need for varying rules between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds, based on the variances in training and race of those equine athletes. Morgan, Jr., one of Ohio's leading harness racing conditioners, discussed the differences in training regimes between the breeds, while Macino reiterated the need for uniform rules and testing applications. Cowans, one of the Buckeye State's top Thoroughbred trainers, expressed dissatisfaction with the RMTC's process, adding that "no medication in horses? That's like saying no medication in humans." At the April 28 OSRC meeting (10 am, 19th floor, Riffe Center, 77 South High St. Columbus), five veterinarians have been invited to speak and will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries. They will also provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky. Kimberly A. Rinker
Well respected harness racing trainer/driver Peter Greig must have wondered weather all his bad luck had come at once when he had a night at Albion Park on Saturday night that he will never forget. The Queensland Police raided Albion Park Raceway on Saturday night executing a search warrant for drugs on horse trainers and drivers. When they came to Peter Greig in the stabling area, he objected to the widespread searching of bags and people and by all accounts was very close to being arrested at one point. In the end the Police slapped Peter Grieg with an infringement notice for allegedly obstructing a sniffer dog from inspecting a bag. A spokesman for Queensland police confirmed that no drugs were found during the extensive search and no arrests were made as a result of last nights operation. Mr Farquharson defended the searches when spoken to last night. “We have had several incidents in the recent past where cocaine has been found so we want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Farquharson said. If the night had started badly for Peter Grieg, it got worse in race 4, the $50,000 Autumn Staryers Cup where Peter was driving Major Moment for Grant Dixon. Away well from barrier one on the 20 metres mark, Major Moment was making good progress through the strung out field when Swarovski who had can canned away from barrier one and run up the track a touch, came back down the track and collected Major Moment who was in full flight, tipping Peter Grieg out of the bike in spectacular fashion. Peter was able to walk to the ambulance but at this time we have no further information as to how Peter is. We here at Harnesslink wish Peter a speedy recovery safe in the knowledge that he has just used up all his bad luck for this year in one night. Harnesslink Media
Four veterinarians entered guilty pleas for their illegal doping of thoroughbred race horses at Penn National Race Track in Grantville, Pennsylvania. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Dr. Kevin Brophy, age 60, Florida, Dr. Fernando Motta, age 44, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Christopher Korte, age 43, Pueblo, Colorado, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab in Harrisburg. Dr. Renee Nodine, age 52, Annville, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon. Each defendant is charged with allegedly administering drugs to horses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race. This conduct was in violation of the state law prohibiting the rigging of publicly exhibited contests and regulations prohibiting the administration of drugs to horses within 24 hours of when they are entered to race. Additionally, because the administering of the drugs was in violation of the state criminal laws, rules and regulations governing thoroughbred racing, they were not dispensed in the course of the defendants’ professional practice. At the guilty plea proceedings before Magistrate Judge Schwab, Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe explained that the drugs were not administered to treat the horses but to enhance the horses’ performance in the race or to give it an edge over other horses. According to Behe this constituted misbranding of the prescription animal drugs in violation of federal law. The alleged activity took place at various times beginning as early as 1986 and continuing up to August 2014. The Informations also allege that the defendants conspired with horse trainers, whose identities are “known to the United States”, to administer the drugs in violation of the laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of thoroughbred racing. The guilty pleas this week were pursuant to plea agreements in which the defendants agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the United States in the continuing investigation. At the guilty plea proceedings Behe informed the court that cooperation by the defendants was an essential part of the plea agreement and that the defendants had already identified for the United States the many trainers with whom the defendants conspired with to illegally administer drugs to the horses. Behe identified for the court the drugs that were administered to include, among others, Kentucky Red, Carolina Gold, Bute, Dexamethasone, Banamine, Stop2, Estrogen, L-Arginine, and ACTH. According to the charges, trainers allegedly placed orders for drugs and the defendants, after administering the drugs, backdated the billing records to avoid detection. The defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the State Horse Racing Commission, omitting from those reports any reference to the drugs administered to horses at the track on race day. The filing of these reports and the backdating of billing records were, allegedly, to further the conspiracy by concealing the illegal activity. These acts had the potential to defraud other owners and trainers whose horses were entered in the same race and defrauded the betting public as well. The matter is being investigated by the Harrisburg Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe is prosecuting the cases for the United States. Indictments and criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court. A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The maximum penalty in these cases under the federal statute is 2 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $200,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant. By Paul Smith Reprinted with permission of Fox43.com
Five veterinarians have been invited to speak at the Ohio State Racing Commission monthly meeting to discuss possible medication practices for Ohio horseracing. The meeting will be held on April 28, at 10 a.m., 19th floor of the Riffe Center, 77 South High St., Columbus. These veterinarians will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries, and provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky. At the March OSRC meeting, the USTA's Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, along with the HBPA's Dave Basler and trainer William Cowans and the OHHA's Renee Mancino and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr., offered their thoughts on medication and testing procedures. During February's OSRC meeting Edward Martin, RCI President and Dr. Dionne Benson, RMTC Executive Director provided input into these same subjects. The OSRC values input from all stakeholders within both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Ohio racing communities and is moving forward into developing a sound medication policy. Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund email@example.com Ohio State Racing Commission 77 S. High Street, 18th Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108 Phone 614-779-0269 Fax 614-466-1900
Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board Result of the appeal held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 10 April 2015. Graeme Lang Against a $500 fine imposed by the stewards under Rule 168(1) at the Bendigo meeting on 19 March 2015. Appeal dismissed. HRV RAD Board Panel: Brian Collis QC (Chairman), John Denahy Appellant Representative: Joe Beder HRV Representative: Kylie Harrison TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD BRIAN COLLIS QC, Chairman MR JOHN DENAHY EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS GRAEME LANG DECISION FRIDAY 10 APRIL 2015 MS K HARRISON appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MR JOE BEDER appeared on his behalf of Mr Lang The Board has considered the evidence given at the stewards inquiry held on the 19th of March as per the transcript of that inquiry which has been tendered. We’ve considered the video footage of the race and we’ve considered the evidence and submissions this day including the documentary evidence. Mr Graeme Lang is 82 years of age, he has been involved in the harness racing industry for at least 60 years and is held in high esteem in the harness racing industry generally. We’ve been taken to his record since the year 1980 and it has been pointed out that on occasions when he has been charged with dropping his foot from the sulky rest that that has not resulted in any charge of improper driving and the he has been dealt with by way of caution or by way of moderate fines to say the least and in so being dealt obviously the stewards were not satisfied that there was any intentional act in those occurrences. The horse Katmandonny is a horse of moderate performance. In the concluding stages the Board is satisfied that Mr Lang did maintain a balanced posture and whilst maintaining that balanced posture his left foot did come down from the sulky rest. We are not satisfied on the evidence that there was any contact caused to the hind legs of the horse Katmandonny but we are satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the opinion of the stewards that his foot to leave the footrest in those circumstances was improper driving within the meaning of 168(1) of the Australian Rules of Harness Racing was a reasonably held opinion and therefore we dismiss the appeal with the finding of conviction. Further notwithstanding Mr Lang’s long and excellent record as the Board has found that he was guilty of improper driving on this occasion and as the penalty imposed by the stewards was the usual penalty for this offence we dismiss the appeal as to penalty also. Graeme Lang driving Katmandonny - The race in question The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board