By: Ron Gierkink

Woodbine has filed an appeal with Ontario’s Horse Racing Appeal Panel regarding a $7,500 fine assessed to veterinarian Dr. Brian Van Arem for performing Extracorporeal shock wave therapy on two horses entered on Aug. 1. The treatment was done on July 30, which was inside the 96-hour period allowed for that type of procedure. Both horses were scratched and their trainer, Norm McKnight, was fined $5,000.

According to the Notice of Appeal, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario concluded that Extracorporeal shock wave therapy “provides a potential advantage to the horses in a race” and “potentially masks issues associated with lameness and jeopardizes equine and human safety in the sport.”

The appellant, Woodbine Entertainment Group, is recommending that in addition to the fine and conditions on Van Arem’s licence, that he should serve a six-month suspension from the date of the decision of the Panel, or a 90-day suspension from the date live racing commences on April 20, 2019.

A date for when the appeal will be heard has yet to be announced.