A training duo received significant reductions to hefty raceday treatment penalties after an appeal to the South Australian Racing Appeals Tribunal (RAT).
Niki O’Shea and Ashton Downing received five and two-year penalties respectively after they were caught attempting to stomach tube a horse on the way to a Strathalbyn meeting on May 2.
Stewards followed the pair to a property owned by Downing’s grandparents at Hahndorf where they busted O’Shea preparing items to give two horses an alkalising agent via a stomach tube.
The RAT chair Mr Anderson QC ruled he had the power to suspend part of O’Shea’s five-year ban.
Anderson suspended the last two years of O’Shea’s penalty, placing on him on a good behaviour bond for five years but allowing him to return to training in October 2021.
Anderson ruled O’Shea would serve his full five-year disqualification “if he reoffends during any part of his disqualification”.
Anderson noted the pair’s penalties were “harsh”, especially Downing’s two-year disqualification, despite the fact she was holding a horse that was to be stomach tubed when stewards intervened.
Anderson halved Downing’s penalty, leaving her to serve a 12-month disqualification, which leaves her able to return to training in October next year.