Emma Stewart Pleads Guilty-Fined $250: HarnessLink 12/2/16

By: Harness Link.Com/NZDT

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

ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:

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

The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Ms Stewart related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Berisari’ following its 1st placing in Race 12, the ‘Empire Stallions VicBred Super Series (4YO Mares) (2nd Semi Final)’, at Melton on 26 June 2015.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold.

The charge under AHRR 190B related to stable inspections conducted by HRV Stewards when investigating the arsenic irregularity on 7 August 2015 and 11 September 2015 where Ms Stewart was found not to maintain a logbook as required by the Rules.

During the investigation Ms Stewart explained and provided supporting veterinary records to indicate she did not use any arsenic based products and that the only arsenic on her property was within the treated timber fence posts on her property which Berisari had a significant habit of chewing.  Subsequent analysis of samples of these fence posts revealed they contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber.

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

At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the HRV RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust.  The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber.  Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic.

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

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

The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the  results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne, the analysis of the fence posts from Ms Stewart’s property, Ms Stewart’s guilty plea and prior record in regard to this rule whilst presenting over 3,700 horses to race.

The RAD Board considered the principles of the High Court decision of Veen v The Queen when taking into account the 1 previous matter on Ms Stewart’s record in 2006.

The RAD Board also considered other precedent cases involving the substance, including the matter of Rasmussen in Queensland in 2015 whereby no penalty was imposed for such an arsenic case.

The RAD Board also considered the length of time involved as a result of the thoroughness of the investigation and administration trials conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The HRV RAD Board ordered that ‘Berisari’ be disqualified from Race 12 at Melton on 26 June 2015, under ARHR 195, and that the placings be amended accordingly.  Owing to the race being a qualifying race for another race, the RAD Board also ordered that ‘Berisari’ be disqualified from its 5th placing in Race 9 at Melton on 4 July 2015.   Additionally, the HRV RAD Board ordered all prizemoney for the relevant races be returned under AHRR 200.

Ms Stewart pleaded guilty to the additional charge under AHRR 190B in that she failed to keep and maintain a log book and was subsequently fined $250.

 

HRV RAD Board Hearing – Paul Rousch

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

ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:

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

The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Rousch related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Thelongroadnorth’ following its 1st placing in Race 3, the ‘Des O’Keeffe Farrier Pace’, at Terang on 5 January 2016.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold.

During the investigation Mr Rousch explained that he did not use any arsenic based products and that the only arsenic on his property was within the treated timber fence posts on his property which Thelongroadnorth had a habit of destroying by chewing.  Subsequent analysis of samples of these fence posts revealed they contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber.

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

At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the HRV RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust.  The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber.  Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic.

Mr Rousch pleaded guilty to the charge issued under AHRR 190(1).  The HRV RAD Board formally found Mr Rousch guilty though imposed no penalty against Mr Rousch in all the circumstances of the case.  In making this order, the HRV RAD Board had regard to the nature of the substance in that arsenic based products have been suggested by manufacturers as tonics that are purported to improve appetite or the appearance of the coat of a horse.  The RAD Board also considered that the arsenic threshold had been developed a number of decades ago in Hong Kong in response to the suggestion (at the time) that horses were being ‘stopped’ through the use or arsenic rather than any suggested enhancement of performance.

The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne, the analysis of the fence posts from Mr Rousch’s property, Mr Rousch’s guilty plea and his clear record in regard to this rule.  The RAD Board also considered other precedent cases involving the substance, including the matter of Rasmussen in Queensland in 2015 whereby no penalty was imposed for such an arsenic case.  The RAD Board also considered the length of time involved as a result of the thoroughness of the investigation and administration trials conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The HRV RAD Board ordered that ‘Thelongroadnorth’ be disqualified from Race 3 at Terang on 5 January 2016, under ARHR 195, and that the placings be amended accordingly.

 

HRV RAD Board Hearing – Shane Hillier

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

AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:

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

The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Hillier related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Sir Roy’ following its 1st placing in Race 2, the ‘Shepparton Renault Pace’, at Shepparton on 11 June 2015.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold.

During the investigation Mr Hillier explained that the only possible explanation for the analysis results were the fence posts on his property which had been chewed, with Mr Hillier indicating that he used an arsenic based product throughout his career in accordance with his usual practice and understanding of the withholding period for such product called Invigorate which he viewed as being helpful with respect to a horse’s appetite and coat. Subsequent analysis of samples of these fence posts from Mr Hillier’s NSW property revealed they contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber.

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

At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the HRV RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust.  The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber.  Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic.

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

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

The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the  results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne, the analysis of the fence posts from Mr Hillier’s property, Mr Hillier’s guilty plea and prior record in regard to this rule whilst presenting over 900 horses to race.

The RAD Board considered the principles of the High Court decision of Veen v The Queen when taking into account the 1 previous matter on Mr Hillier’s record in 2009.  The RAD Board also considered other precedent cases involving the substance, including the matter of Rasmussen in Queensland in 2015 whereby no penalty was imposed for such an arsenic case.

The RAD Board also considered the length of time involved as a result of the thoroughness of the investigation and administration trials conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The HRV RAD Board ordered that ‘Sir Roy’ be disqualified from Race 2 at Shepparton on 11 June 2015, under AHRR 195, and that the placings be amended accordingly.  Additionally, the HRV RAD Board ordered all prizemoney for the relevant race be returned under AHRR 200.

Harness Racing Victoria