*What do Remiss, Valhalla, and Mattjestic Rebeck all have in common? well, apart from all having tested over the allowable TCO2 level they are all very nervous horses which became particularly stressed on the day the day in which the tested high. NZ Trainers and Drivers Association Secretary Peter T Cook, who has had his own personal experience with Valhalla, tells more. As you have probably read among the Remits being submitted to this years’ HRNZ Annual Conference, the Board, after a prolonged period of consideration, has finally decided to bring the allowable level of TC02 in line with pretty much every other jurisdiction in the World, i.e.36mmol/L, with a “guard band” of 1.0mmol/L. At the same time, however, they have also recommended an astonishingly large increase in the penalties involved for trainers who are found guilty for a first time. From a previously recommended $2-4000 for a first offence, the Board is proposing an automatic 2 year disqualification. The change has been likened to an increase from a ten year prison sentence to the death penalty in the real world. In other words, this would potentially be a career ending penalty for most, if not all trainers. The understanding is that most Australian states have a six month penalty for a first offence which is more realistic. Not only is this proposal totally out of “kilter’ with penalties attached to other charges, it is likely encourage someone whose career is in jeopardy and who had the financial wherewithal, to contest the matter in the Countrys’ legal system. All has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? Do we really want thousands of dollars more of Industry money keeping lawyers in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to? And while the Association is strongly supportive of measures against cheats, there is no guarantee that such legal proceedings against HRNZ would not be successful. Such a penalty offers no window for either the RIU or JCA for anyone to be found innocent. With a fine, even though it goes against natural justice, that may reluctantly be acceptable, but a two year ban is a different story. This decision has been made following long awaited, and somewhat controversial, advice from the HRNZ Veterinary Advisor Andrew Grierson. It is interesting to note that, in the press release from HRNZ, Chairman Gary Allen is quoting as saying “any positive will in almost all certainty be the result of an administration of prohibited substances.” The use of the word “almost” is interesting, considering that, in the past and currently, the RIU appear to have a policy of totally ignoring any evidence put before them suggesting a trainers’ innocence. This time last year, I had cause to have discussions with him concerning a horse in the stable I help out in, Valhalla. Andrew reeled off statistics (same as those accompanying the remit) stating categorically that the chances of a horse returning a level of 36mmol/L rises from around 15,000 to just over 2 million for a level of 37 without having TC02 administered. On the day that he was tested, Valhalla (normally a nervous horse at the races at the best of times) attempted to climb the walls of the float en route to the track, was bathed in sweat, was very agitated, and his eyes were out on storks as he was geared up. The RIU, as I could have told them, found no evidence of either Bicarbonate or anything to administer it with in the stables. The official reading was 38.2 which presumably makes him by far the rarest horse on the planet! While the requirement to present drug free horses is understandably paramount, this needs to be balanced with the rules of natural justice, and disqualifying a trainer for two years for a high level of a substance already present in every horse, doesn’t seem to match those requirements. It is quite possible that a Court of Law may take the same view, particularly when there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the trainer. Mark Jones is currently enduring the same nightmare of presenting compelling evidence that he did not administer bicarb, only to have it totally ignored by the authorities. As for performance enhancement, both Valhalla and Remiss, Marks’ horse that is currently under investigation, both finished last in their respective races! Peter T Cook (Courtesy of the Trainers and Drivers Association)
Suspended harness trainer Jamie Keast applauds a move to lift the allowable level of bicarbonate in racehorses but he warns lengthy automatic bans could crucify the innocent. Keast, based at Amberley with his partner Henriette Westrum, has just been suspended for six months for his third breach of the bicarb rule, and says he is unlikely to return to training when his time is up at the end of the year. ''I've lost a lot of clients over this and I don't think I'll even bother training again,'' Keast said. ''I'm not making any money out of it. ''I can earn more money in 15 minutes shoeing a horse than I can training one.'' Keast said he basically put his hands in the air after Westburn Creed returned a level of 36.2 at Kaikoura last November even though he had not cheated. ''We knew after the last case that there was no point fighting them because of their strict liability rule and we're still struggling to pay off the last fine.'' Two containers of bicarbonate of soda were taken from Keats' feed room, along with a drenching tube and bucket but Keast denied that he put any bicarb into Westburn Creed's feed. He said they regularly drenched horses who had raced, trialled, or done fast work with a mixture of substances which included DMSO and one tablespoon of baking soda. But after Wally's Girl tested high last July they changed their practice and drenched their horses three days before a meeting, not two. The RIU's veterinary adviser Andrew Grierson said an administration three days before the race could not have elevated the horse's TCO2 levels on the day. Keast's counsel Mary-Jane Thomas submitted Westburn Creed had a throat condition which could have raised his bicarb level because it restricted the intake of oxygen and exhaling of carbon dioxide. After Westburn Creed underwent surgery in mid 2012, his levels decreased but about a year later, in October, 2013, their vet discovered the growth had returned. Thomas submitted Grierson did not expressly discount the possibility of the nasal obstruction being the cause, concluding rather that the readings did not support that as the likely cause. Grierson said the level was best explained statistically by the administration of an alkalising agent. Christopher Lange for the RIU said Westburn Creed's levels were between 32 and 34.1 when trained by Ivan Court, between 35.2 and 36.2 when with Keast and Westrum, and between 31.3 and 32.8 when taken over by Bob Rochford. Keast says he's all in favour of a Harness Racing New Zealand remit which will be put at the annual meeting of clubs in Christchurch next month that the level go up one point - with the built-in margin of error it would mean the new cutoff was 37, a threshold neither of his horses would have tripped. But he said rather than having automatic minimum sentences of two years for a first offence, five years for a second and 10 years for a third breach, penalties should be determined by the level. ''We reckon we're innocent and there have been a lot of other people crucified for this already. ''Any vet will tell you this is not an exact science. Lots of factors like dehydration, feed, nervousness and respiratory conditions can have an affect.'' Keast will be allowed to continue driving in races, and carry out his farrier work but he cannot work horses or break them in until January. Courtesy of Barry Lichter Reprinted with permission of Fairfax media
Rallying from off the pace with a three-wide move, Union-Endicott High School student Rachael Oltmer prevailed in the 2014 Tioga Downs harness racing scholarship race, earning a $3,000 scholarship through her victory with Newyorkjoyants. Oltmer, teamed with Tioga Downs driver Corey Braden for the non-betting race, moved Newyorkjoyants three-wide at the top of the stretch, moving clear of Ten Yard Penalty (Kayla Martin / Phil Fluet) and What About Brian (Megan Vanvorce / Mike Deters) to cover the 5/8-mile race in 1:17. Ideal Temptation (Jason Hill / Tim Lanpher) and Isthatallyagot (Shania Shaver/Edgar "Sparky" Clarke) completed the field. Oltmer will enter the veterinary technician program at SUNY Canton in the fall. Thanks to the efforts of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, the New York Sire Stakes, and the New York State Agriculture Fund, all five participating students earned at least $1,000 in scholarship money. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
Also prior to the Council meeting proper, HRNZ CEO Edward Rennell came along to outline HRNZs’ plans for the Industry in the near future and discuss any issues that the Association may have. He began with comments on Trackside, saying that he felt that the new format should have been fully set up prior to the launch, instead of on 1 August. He was hopeful that the new domestic only channel (Trackside 1) would benefit harness racing, particularly on the two meeting Fridays, when there would be no greyhound racing shown. With regard to Industry funding, it was likely that extra funding would, once again be available this season, the question to be considered by the Board was how that would be allocated to Clubs. He outlined the proposal for next seasons’ Premier meetings, with Addington holding eight and Auckland six, all with $20,000 minimum stakes and, in conjunction with the Sires Stakes Board, five new feature races for three and four year-olds would be included in these meetings. Unfortunately, due to constraints of the Calendar, four of these Premier dates would clash with minor meetings in the other Island. However this format was planned to be a constant structure for five years, with suitable gaps between the meetings to ensure maximum inter-island participation. Next years’ Calendar had been virtually finalised with 3 or four less harness meetings that the current season scheduled. This season was currently up on last season in regard to turnovers and horse participation, with stake levels up around 5%. Exports were slightly down on last season, with the reduction of Australian interest due to the new levy being offset by interest from China, which was considered to be moving in a positive direction. A major concern for the industry was the reduction of funds allocated from gaming money, and on-going problems with trusts etc. Ken Barron questioned why the stakes for Sires Stakes, Sales, and Fillies Series heats should vary, when all participants paid the same payments. There was also a feeling that more money should be paid for heats, with a reduction in stakes for Finals, so that the money is spread more to connections who have paid up for the Series. Edward suggested these matters should be taken up with our representative on the Sires Stakes Board. Edward also outlined details of remits that were planned to be submitted to the Annual Conference, including the change to the Protest Rule, which had been prepared by Rob.Lawson and the Rules Sub-Committee, and was supported by the National Council. Under the new Rule, the potentially disastrous situation surrounding the inquiry into interference at the start of the Sales Series Final by Alta Orlando would not have happened. Other remits would include ensure there would be more regular alcohol testing of drivers, the introduction of new Rules to cover Monte racing, and the banning of dual acceptors at the one meeting, which all present agreed offered an unfair advantage, and caused confusion for Pick Six etc. punters when a horse was left in two races. Other issues covered with Edward included the underutilisation of a number of tracks, such as Cambridge, complications surrounding centralisation (HRNZ were investigating aspects of this in regard to the Reserves Act), the allocation of actual costs to Clubs instead of the current flat rate, the swabbing of claimed horses (Edward undertook to request that the RIU swab all claimed horses where practical), the independent review of the RIU, and the developing issue of Cobalt Chloride. Edward had asked HRNZ’s veterinary advisor to address the Council, however he had been unavailable, so he suggested that Association representatives meet with Andrew Grierson at the end of May, or hold a telephone conference with him to discuss drug related issues. A suggestion that Andrew could be perceived as having a conflict of interest due to his interest in Woodlands Stud was rejected by Edward, who considered that he simply provided opinions based on veterinary expertise. However Gordon Lee countered this by quoting his recent case involving Boldenone, where that opinion had proven to be flawed. Edward advised that consideration was being given to standardising pay-outs to Clubs for on and off course turnovers, due to many on-course punters using new technology such as phones to place bets. (Part 3 next week) Peter T Cook (NZ Trainers & Drivers Association)
Top harness racing trainer Robert Dunn pulled off one of the biggest training feats of his illustrious career when Quinellering the Group One NZ Messenger with Elios and Franco Nelson at Alexandra Park tonight. Dunn’s two sons also produced the quinella in the $100,000 event with John Dunn and Elios diving along the passing lane to nab Franco Nelson in the shadows of the post, denying his brother Dexter three consecutive wins in the prestigious pacing event. Norvic Nightowl (James Stormont) was 4-1/2 lengths back in third with a neck back to Mossdale Connor (Ricky May) in fourth. “He was a good three-year-old but he has continued to get better as he has got older which is very pleasing,” said John Dunn. Elios led early before handing up to his stablemate Franco Nelson, who showed a dazzling turn of foot to leave his free-rolling stablemate flat footed at the 1100 metres. “In hindsight it probably worked out perfectly,” advised Dunn. “Last week he had to burn hard the whole way and got on the nickel a bit, but this time he was able to sneak a breather when in the trail down the back straight. “A lot of the credit must go to Matt Bowden, our travelling foreman. He has done a fantastic job with these two horses up here. He also did a great job with them in Australia.” Both pacers will now target the Harness Jewels, however afterwards they may be heading in different directions. “Elios will probably head to Australia for the Breeders Crown, while Franco Nelson, who is very good from a stand, will spell before being set for the NZ Cup,” advised Dunn. Elios’s win tonight was a reward for his risk-taking owners who purchased him for big money as a three-year-old despite the fact that he failed the veterinary examination. By Mitchell Robertson
The NZ Harness Racing Trainers and Drivers Association has just been advised that, following research by their Veterinary Consultant, HRNZ will be testing for the substance Cobalt Chloride from April 14 2014. Authorities in New South Wales have recently begun testing for this substance and their lead has now been followed by the Thoroughbred code in Victoria. The permitted level is 200mg per litre of urine. We understand that normal Vitamin B12 injections contain some measure of Cobalt Chloride, however according to the Chief Veterinarian in New South Wales, manufacturers of this product are mindful of keeping the levels low so as not to affect a horses performance. Further information will be forthcoming in due course. By Peter T Cook (Courtesy of the NZ Trainers and Drivers Association)
Over the past two days – April 9 and 10, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) have conducted a review hearing in the case involving Mr. Eric Anderson, Mr. Glenn Douglas and Dr. Sarah Jalim. Below outlines an overview of the hearing. A final decision regarding penalty will be handed down by His Honour Judge Nixon on Tuesday 15 April 2014. On 5 March 2014, the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Eric Anderson and Mr Glenn Douglas with regard to various offences found to have been committed against the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR). Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas both applied to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for review of the HRV RAD Board decisions on the grounds the penalty imposed upon them was excessive. HRV Stewards also lodged cross-applications for review to the VCAT on the grounds the penalties imposed by the HRV RAD Board were inadequate. Prior to the VCAT review hearings Mr Glenn Douglas amended his application and indicated an intention to contest 3 of the 11 charges issued against him as well as apply for review of the penalty imposed. At the VCAT review hearings held on 9 and 10 April 2014, the VCAT heard evidence from Dr Sarah Jalim, Mr Glenn Douglas and Mr Eric Anderson. The VCAT also received into evidence a statement from Dr Kathryn McIntosh tendered to the VCAT by the legal representative of Mr Douglas and Mr Anderson. The VCAT also received into evidence the statements of HRV witnesses Mr Nicholas Murray (Deputy Chairman of Stewards), Mr Stephen Svanosio (Assistant Steward), Mr Andy Rogers (General Manager – Integrity), Mr Anthony Pearce (Investigative Steward), Dr Daniel Carmody (HRV veterinary consultant) and Mr Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Limited Scientific Manager). At the conclusion of the evidence, Mr Douglas discontinued his contesting of one of the charges and the VCAT considered the remaining two charges being contested under ARHR 187(6) and 105(5) which provide: ARHR 187(6) A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. ARHR 105(5) The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Steward. The presiding member of the VCAT, His Honour Judge Nixon, determined that Mr Douglas was guilty of both charges and proceeded to hear submissions from all parties as to the appropriate penalty to be imposed upon Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas. To view the Glenn Douglas/ Talk To The Hand story click here. HRV Media
Early Bird Registration extended to April 7th A Guided Tour of Equine Anatomy is a dissection workshop offered to horse enthusiasts and professionals alike to help them understand equine anatomy first hand. Led by Ontario Veterinary College researcher and anatomy instructor, Dr. Jeff Thomason, this unique educational workshop is offered at the Ontario Veterinary College. Early bird sign up has been extended to April 7th for workshops offered on April 26 and 27, 2014. Well known for his ability to bring anatomy to life, Thomason guides participants through plenty of hands-on exploration of the anatomy of a horse in a way most do not get to experience. An overview of the large muscle groups of the neck, trunk and legs is followed by an exploration of the abdomen and chest. The latter part of the laboratory is designed to allow individual students to explore their areas of interest in further detail. This one day workshop can be followed by a second day of advanced exploration which would allow the participants to get even more specific in learning how different systems function. Some of the second day topics have included looking at the mechanics of the leg or the complexities of the respiratory system. Students leave with a much broader understanding of how form and function intertwine. Dr. Thomason, is not only an internationally recognized researcher but he also teaches anatomy to veterinary students at the OVC and is excellent at explaining basic to advanced anatomy topics. Registration is online at: http://tinyurl.com/anatomyworkshop. For more information about this workshop: http://www.equineguelph.ca/pdf/workshop/Equine%20Anatomy%20Workshop%20Flyer%20-%202014.pdf or contact Equine Guelph. 519-824-4120 ext 54205 email: email@example.com
Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into a report received from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre that Levamisole was present in a post-race urine sample collected from harness racing pacer REDDY FIRE subsequent to it competing and winning Race 4, the Get the Trot Tips Play Of The Day Pace at Redcliffe on the 15 January 2014. Today evidence was provided by trainer Mr Shane Sanderson who advised stewards he had treated REDDY FIRE with Levamisole in weeks prior to racing. This preparation was used as a worming medication and an immune stimulant, however stewards outlined that this product is not registered for use in horses. Stablehand Glen Greaves tendered evidence in relation to the post-race swabbing procedure, and evidence was also provided by Queensland Government Racing Science Centre Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Bruce Young. After consideration, Mr Shane Sanderson 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 Shane Sanderson did present REDDY FIRE to race at Redcliffe on the 15 January 2014 when a post race urine sample was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance, namely Levamisole. Mr Shane Sanderson pleaded not guilty to the charge, however after consideration stewards considered there was sufficient evidence to find Mr Sanderson guilty of the aforementioned charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account: The circumstances of the case The nature of the substance involved The licence history of Mr Shane Sanderson which indicated a previous offence under this rule in 2010. 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. Mr Shane Sanderson was disqualified for 8 months. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that REDDY FIRE be disqualified from its 1st placing at Redcliffe on the 15 of January 2014 and the placings to be amended as follows : 1 LEFT IN COMMAND 2 ARK ELAINE 3 JUDAH BEN HUR 4 CARNIVAL PRIDE All other placegetters were amended accordingly. Panel: D Farquharson, D Aurisch, K Wolsey
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced that there has been a report of EHV-1 in a Thoroughbred that is residing in Barn 10 at Woodbine Racetrack, but that Standardbred racing is not affected by the situation. Today (March 18) ) the ORC issued the announcement on behalf of Dr. Adam Chambers, who is manager of Veterinary Services at the ORC. The contents of the release appear below. EQUINE HERPES CASE Restrictions in place. Training at Woodbine to continue; Standardbred racing not affected. There has been a report of EHV-1 in a five-year-old thoroughbred filly residing in Barn 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. The horse showed neurological signs on Thursday, March 13 but did not have a fever. The horse was removed from Woodbine to isolation on Saturday, March 15. The horse’s condition is stable. Results from tests available today showed non-neurotropic EHV-1 in blood but not nasal secretions. This is an unusual testing result and the horse has been retested. The risk of transmission to other horses may be low, as the infection is spread by nasal secretions. There have been no reports of any other sick horses in barn 10. Sporadic incidents of infection occur not infrequently and can be isolated incidents. The non-neurotropic form of EHV-1 identified from this horse differs from the neurotropic form identified from thoroughbreds at Woodbine in June of last year. Although the both types of EHV-1 can cause neurological disease the non-neurotropic strain is thought to be less likely to do so. EHV-1 has an incubation period of approximately 3 to 8 days, and may in some cases be as long as 14 days. Given these facts, the following measures will be in place, effective immediately: All horses must have their temperatures taken twice daily. Trainers with horses that have clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection (including fever (101.5 F/38.5 C or above), respiratory signs (cough, nasal discharge and/or neurological signs) must report these findings to their veterinarian immediately; Horses from Barn 10 will be allowed to train at the end of training hours; Only ponies housed in Barn 10 will be allowed to pony horses in Barn 10; Horsepeople are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. Standardbred horses are not stabled at Woodbine Racetrack. As well, the standardbred racing meet at Woodbine will not be impacted by these measures. To ensure best practices are in place to contain the disease, the ORC received input from experts from the University of Guelph and University of California at Davis, the office of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). The ORC will also continue to work closely with Woodbine management, veterinarians and horse people. The ORC will monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported.
This is an excellent investigative report from Global TV's 16x9 team on tainted horsemeat from Canada. The majority of horses slaughtered in Canada are imported from the U.S., so this is an important American report as well. The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition hopes our American partners in our fight to end horse slaughter can use this in their efforts to bring the SAFE Act into law. Our Canadian partners are asked to also share this report far and wide. The CHDC will be sending out an Action Alert early this week, to request supporters to ask the CFIA to answer to the proof of the fraudulent and weak traceability system in place that is supposed to protect consumers from eating tainted horsemeat. Banned veterinary drugs found in horse meat Shelley Grainger
The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas, licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson and veterinarian Dr Sarah Jalim. The charges were issued in connection to the conduct of the relevant parties concerning the Glenn Douglas trained horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ which was scheduled to compete at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013. After arriving at the racecourse, the horse became unwell and its health quickly deteriorated resulting in the horse being assisted onto a float by Mr Anderson, Mr Douglas and Dr Jalim before the horse was euthanized by Dr Jalim. The fact that the horse was euthanized was not brought to the attention of the attending HRV Stewards on the night by Mr Douglas, Mr Anderson or Dr Jalim. Mr Eric Anderson Mr Eric Anderson pleaded guilty to 6 charges issued by HRV Stewards. Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6) A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Anderson frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ and by arranging and conducting the burial of the horse in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse. Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been alive when it was removed from the Bendigo racecourse and also alive when it arrived at the stables of Mr Glenn Douglas after being transported by Mr Anderson in a float. Charge 3 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, falsely advised that Mr Glenn Douglas whilst checking on the welfare of ‘Talk To The Hand’ in the night of 21 August 2013 had found the horse to be alive and that Mr Anderson had only discovered the horse to be deceased at the stables of Mr Douglas on the morning of 22 August 2013. Charge 4 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by denying that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been euthanized in the vicinity of the Bendigo racecourse on 21 August 2013. Charge 5 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 5 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by advising that the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been burned at Boundary Bend, Victoria, when the horse had in fact been buried at this location. Charge 6 – ARHR 105(5) The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Anderson disposed of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ without the permission of the HRV Stewards. After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Anderson in relation to charges 1-6 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately. Mr Glenn Douglas Mr Glenn Douglas pleaded guilty to 10 charges issued by HRV Stewards Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6) A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Douglas frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’, by arranging the removal of the horse from the course and by permitting the horse to be buried in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse. Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 21 August 2013 regarding the welfare and late scratching of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been treated and taken home to be monitored when Mr Douglas was aware the horse had been euthanized. Charge 3 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised a HRV Steward that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had returned alive to his property after being removed from the Bendigo racecourse when in fact the horse had been euthanized. Charge 4 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised that he had checked on the condition of ‘Talk To The Hand’ a number of times during the night of 21 August 2013 and found the horse’s condition to have improved when in fact Mr Douglas was aware the horse had been euthanized. Charge 5 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 5 were that Mr Douglas contacted the Stewards on 22 August 2013 and falsely advised that he discovered on the morning of 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had died during the night of 21 August 2013. Charge 6 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had returned alive to his property from the Bendigo harness racing meeting on 21 August 2013. Charge 7 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 7 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had ‘ate up’ and ‘drank up’ on the evening of 21 August 2013 when in fact the horse was deceased. Charge 8 – ARHR 209 A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not knowingly or recklessly furnish false information to the Controlling Body, the stewards or anyone else. The particulars of Charge 8 were that Mr Douglas falsely advised a HRV Steward by telephone on 22 August 2013 that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had died sometime during the night of 21 August 2013. Charge 9 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 9 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse was seen eating and drinking after it had become unwell at the Bendigo racecourse and was alive at his property on the night of 21 August 2013 when Mr Douglas was aware that the horse had been euthanized. Charge 10 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 9 were that Mr Douglas, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that he had checked on the horse’s welfare overnight at his stables before becoming aware on the morning of 22 August 2013 that the horse was deceased. Mr Douglas was found guilty of a further charge issued by HRV Stewards. Charge 11 – ARHR 105(5) The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards The particulars of Charge11 were that Mr Douglas permitted the disposal of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ to occur without the permission of the HRV Stewards. Mr Douglas was found not guilty of a further charge issued by HRV Stewards under ARHR 190B with regard to keeping and maintaining an appropriate log book. After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Douglas in relation to Charges 1-11 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately. Dr Sarah Jalim Dr Jalim pleaded guilty to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under ARHR 239A. Charge 1 – ARHR 239A A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence. The particulars of this charge were that Dr Jalim, as the on-course veterinarian at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013, had remained silent when Mr Douglas falsely implied to the HRV Stewards that the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ was still alive and that Dr Jalim’s negligence in failing to immediately notify the HRV Stewards of her actions in euthanizing the horse could have led to a breach of the ARHR. After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a severe reprimand upon Dr Jalim on the condition that Dr Jalim does not provide on-course veterinary services in the harness racing industry for a period of 12 months. The HRV RAD Board noted that Dr Jalim had not provided on-course veterinary services since 21 August 2013 and that Dr Jalim may also be required to answer to the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria. The HRV RAD Board also noted Dr Jalim’s forthright evidence and co-operation once approached by the HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013. In considering the various charges, the HRV RAD Board considered written statements from HRV Deputy Chairman of Stewards Nicholas Murray, HRV Assistant Steward Stephen Svanosio, General Manager-Integrity Andy Rogers, HRV Investigative Steward Anthony Pearce, HRV Consultant Veterinarian Dr Daniel Carmody and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra. The RAD Board noted the tissue samples retrieved by the HRV vet when the horse was exhumed from its resting place in Boundary Bend on 26 August 2013 were not found, upon analysis by RASL, to contain any prohibited substances. The HRV RAD Board also considered a written statement of Dr Sarah Jalim and the evidence provided by Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas along with submissions made by all parties with regard to penalty. HRV Stewards will consider seeking written reasons from the HRV RAD Board with respect to the various decisions outlined above. HRV RAD Board Panel - Brian Collis QC, John Kellett, Rod Osborne Harness Racing Victoria
By Bill Liblick, re-printed with permission by www.sullivancountypost.com As EPR Properties and Empire Resorts prepares to present their resort destination plans next Thursday evening at a private presentation at Bethel Woods, and not at Empire’s operational facility, the harness racing horsemen at Monticello Raceway have declared war. The horsemen feel they have been betrayed and used as a pawn by Empire Resorts, the owner of Monticello Raceway, and are fearful that the Standardbred racetrack and the industry that has employed thousands of residents over the years in Sullivan County will be gone if the company receives a license to operate a full-fledged gaming hall. When racino’s were permitted in New York State it saved the horse racing industry from dying. The introduction of video slot terminals has seen racetracks such as Monticello, Tioga Downs, Saratoga, and Yonkers flourish thanks to a percentage of the take going into racing purses. Although attendance and actual pool totals from Monticello Raceway attendees is minimal, the racetrack has become a cash cow for Empire Resorts thanks to simulcasting and off-track betting wagering. Monticello Raceway has in essence become a huge television studio. Under proposals from EPR and Empire Resorts they say they are going to construct a new harness track at the Concord no matter what happens – with or without table games – but will they? Horsemen claim Empire Resorts is capping purses at 2013 levels and if they are granted a table gaming license there will be no increases. They also say there are no guarantees the harness track will even remain open. The Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association has declared a war against Empire Resorts. They argue track owners slammed the door on them once the resort destination amendment was approved in November and that they refuse to negotiate. Things are so bad, the horsemen have exercised their right to stop Monticello’s simulcast signal from being broadcast, preventing Empire Resorts and New York State from receiving millions in revenue. Empire has since slashed purses and cut back the number of races in a card. They have even shut down the horsemen’s lunch room. According to Alan Schwartz, President of Monticello’s Harness Association The dispute between management and the horsemen at Monticello Raceway is very easy to understand. “The parent company of the racetrack seeks to obtain a lucrative license to construct a Las Vegas style casino, complete with slot machines and table games. They would be one of just two, and possibly the only casino permitted in the Catskills. Despite the tremendous windfall such a license would bring to the parent company, it flatly refuses to allow the horsemen or breeders to share in any portion of the huge anticipated profits.” Schwartz claims that “in order to get the casino amendment passed, management both figuratively and literally called the horsemen their “partners.” The logo of their lobbying group prominently contains a horse. Their radio commercials ballyhooed their support for racing. Of course, once the amendment passed, management’s idea of “partnership” quickly degenerated.” Under the present video lottery gaming law, horsemen and breeders get a fixed percentage of the track’s net win. When a racino underperforms, the purse money generated is less, even though it isn’t the horsemen’s fault. When the racino does well, purses go up modestly – In essence a true economic partnership. Schwartz maintains Empire Resorts wants a firm cap on purses and breeding contributions at 2013 levels. He says if that happens, harness racing will become a near-zero or zero growth industry. “Nobody is going to buy or breed horses in this state when places like Ohio, Massachusetts, Delaware and Pennsylvania offer significantly more industry support.” Schwartz acknowledges that harness racing won’t die in the next several years, but “consider, however, that the price of feed, diesel fuel, veterinary services; literally anything you can think of, will be significantly higher in just a few years. Once you can’t pay to maintain racehorses, the sport will evaporate from sheer economics – And that’s exactly what our racetrack management “partners” would love to see happen.” Although Empire Resorts blames Albany for the horsemen’s plight, Schwartz asserts the law speaks only about minimum contributions. “No government can interfere with the private right of contract. Racetrack management hides behind Albany when, in reality, their own lobbyists pushed for and signed off on the legislation.” Schwartz says “The horsemen and breeders at Monticello and elsewhere refuse to be “silent” former partners. If management wishes to embrace us as economic partners, as mandated under the video lottery gaming law, gaming can move forward in a meaningful way in the Catskills, and the renaissance created by Albany through the VLT program can continue to flourish, for not only the six harness tracks owners but also for the state, education and the agriculture and racing industries. If that doesn’t occur, we really have nothing else to lose.” Schwartz professes he is trying to negotiate in good faith, but Empire Resorts is not, so with “few weapons in this fight” they had to pull the simulcasting signal. “We are also acutely aware of the loss of revenue to the track, the horsemen and the industry. Yet, we have pondered just how much money these track operators strive for while they jeopardize an entire industry for their own profit; a racing industry that worked hard to spawn the birth of VLTs at tracks in this and other states. We cannot just sit by and watch an industry get swallowed up by a handful of track operators professing to be concerned about our sport, whose ultimate goal is to kill it.” The right to withhold the export of signal from Monticello is a right granted to horsemen by Federal law. Schwartz explained, “That 1978 law very wisely recognizes that the horsemen at a host track are the real guardians of this sport. It armed the horsemen with the important tool to use only when they perceived a crisis threatening the very existence of the game. It has been used very sparingly and with the utmost of caution.” A mediator has been appointed by the New York State Gaming Commission in an attempt to resolve the situation. Charles Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts/Monticello Raceway issued the following statement in response the suspension of simulcasting. “Monticello Casino & Raceway (“MC&R”) continues to support the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act (“Gaming Act”). When they authored the Gaming Act, the Senate, Assembly and the Executive protected the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association (“MHHA”), and the entire racing industry. As New York State moves toward approving four casinos in upstate New York, future revenue for the horsemen is governed by the Gaming Act, and current revenue is governed by the New York State Lottery for Education Law. Degliomini added, “It is sad and unfortunate that we are being attacked for legislation that actually protects harness horsemen’s interests. While MC&R continues in good faith, through negotiation and mediation, to attempt to secure an agreement with MHHA, the MHHA is now attempting to amend a law that they don’t like by unfairly punishing our business, our employees, our loyal customers and even their own members. We are simply track owners, not elected officials. The MHHA should stop this destructive behavior and turn the simulcasting signal back on.” With all the new resort destination proposals coming out of the woodwork this dispute is something Sullivan County does not need. Schwartz does raise many valid concerns that must be addressed if a racino operator is granted a full gaming license, Monticello Raceway, the horsemen, and the industry must be protected.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) has received reports of several cases of equine Strangles (S. equi sp. equi infection) in the Waterloo-Wellington County area. Strangles is not a reportable disease in the province of Ontario, however, it is highly contagious to horses and other equids, and outbreaks are a concern to the equine industry. The reported cases have predominantly shown signs of high fever (40-41⁰C) and mucopurulent nasal discharge with only occasional horses developing enlarged lymph nodes with abscessation. Disease Facts: Strangles is a highly contagious infection of horses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. Clinical signs include fever, nasal discharge and, most typically, lymph node abscessation. Transmission occurs by direct nose-to-nose contact with infected horses or via contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or people (e.g. twitches, tack, buckets, feed troughs, stall walls, fences). The bacterium can survive indoors for weeks to months depending on temperature. The disease is diagnosed by detection of S. equi using bacterial culture and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of nasal or lymph node discharge, nasopharyngeal (throat) swabs or nasal or guttural pouch washes. Treatment involves managing the fever and encouraging abscesses to burst. Antibiotics should only be used under veterinary supervision as they may prolong the maturation of abscesses and the disease process. Infection control Minimize all human and animal traffic in and out of the premises. No horses should leave the premises unless they are being taken to an isolation facility, as this increases the risk of spread to other horses. All owners, riders and other personnel in the barn should be made aware of the situation to ensure strict control measures are followed, and so they don’t inadvertently carry the bacterium to other equine facilities Isolate suspect horses as much as possible in a separate, low-traffic area or treat the stall as a quarantined area. Handle infected and suspect horses using gloves, designated coveralls and designated footwear/footbaths. Promote hand hygiene (using products such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers) even when gloves are worn. Take temperatures twice daily on all horses in the facility, including those not showing signs of disease. If a fever is detected (>38.5°C, >101.3°F), the horse should be considered infected and isolated/quarantined until diagnosed. Monitoring should continue for at least two weeks after the last case shows clinical signs. Clean all equipment and surfaces of visible organic material (e.g. dirt, hair, manure) before applying disinfectants. Most common disinfectants are effective. Test horses that have recovered from disease at least twice at one week intervals using throat swab or nasal wash samples to confirm they are negative. Identify those horses that are carriers and intermittently shedding S. equi by testing nasal or guttural pouch washes. Carriers can shed the bacterium for months or years. Prevention Isolate new horses coming on to the farm, or those returning from extended absences, for 2-3 weeks and test them to ensure that they are not shedding the bacterium. If isolation cannot be performed, barn managers should ask for proof of Strangles–free status (based on recent testing) prior to accepting new horses. Discuss with your veterinarian about vaccinating for Strangles. Vaccines can help minimize the severity of disease but may not be appropriate during outbreaks. It is recommended that horses that have been frequently vaccinated for Strangles or have had the disease itself should have a S. equi antibody titre performed prior to vaccination to avoid potential immune reactions. The best method of disease control is disease prevention. See the resources below for other basic biosecurity and infection control practices. RESOURCES OMAF: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/03-037.htm http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prot_strangle... http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prev-disease-... WORMS & GERMS BLOG: http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/uploads/file/JSW-MA2%20Strangles.pdf EQUINE GUELPH: http://www.equineguelph.ca/Tools/biosecurity_calculator_2011-09-12/Biose... Submitted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Harrisburg, PA --- The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, in consultation with Dr. Mary Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School of Medicine, New Bolton Center, has announced that effective March 1 the pre-race medication Amicar will no longer be permitted to be used in conjunction with Furosemide. The commission has made this determination after reviewing the scientific data and information regarding the efficacy of Amicar as a pre-race medication. Accordingly, any findings of Amicar after March 1 from samples collected during routine testing will result in a positive test which may result in a fine and/or suspension and loss of any earned purse. From the Pennsylvania Harness racing Commission
Dr. Frank Reilly, dmv, has worked on Standardbreds in harness racing for over 25 years. He has worked at Pompano Park, Brandywine Raceway, and various training centers. He graduated with three degrees from the University of Illinois. For the past twenty years he has been the Senior Doctor for Equine Medicine and Surgery in West Chester, Pennsylvania. During his tenure Dr. Reilly has worked with and helped numerous world champion performers, including the world champion trotter, Enough Talk, who in 2008 became the first trotter in harness racing history to break the 1:50 barrier at a mile. Over the year Dr. Reilly has seen problems with muscle soreness and tying up that are common problems in Standardbreds and that it can be helped with a high dose of Vitamin E. In addition, he knew that high dose Vitamin E is shown to increase the immunity to dramatically cut down on respiratory infections which are the #1 cause of decreased performance and a big economic drain to owners. Thus came the development of Health-E, as the strongest Vitamin E supplement in the USA. “Horses do not make Vitamin E in their bodies, so they need daily supplementation,” said Dr. Reilly. “At 16,000+ IU/oz., only 1 tablespoon of Health-E provides 5800 IU/day for maximum health. You can go to our website at equinemedsurg.com and directly compare Health-E to other Vitamin E products. We are four times stronger and the best economic choice. “We are the only one tested to show it raises Vitamin E blood levels in horses,” Dr. Reilly explained. “We have the world record for the highest Vitamin E blood level ever recorded at New Bolton Center’s Veterinary Lab. “Health-E has no fillers, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, Dr. Reilly said. It is the only Vitamin E certified safe for IR, Cushings and PSSM/EPSM horses due to low sugar, starch and fructans. Horses even love the taste. It is great for horses on dirt lots, that are not turned out or have little grass pasture. It helps neurological horses (epm, edm, motor neuron), muscle sore, tie ups, PSSM/EPSM, liver problems, eye disorders, skin damage and it contains no selenium.” On top of it all, Dr. Reilly oversees the production of every container of Health-E. The cost is $65.95 per 1.32 pound container. This product is also available in Canada directly from Gourmet Animal, Inc., Website: gourmet-animal.com, By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com