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RNSW stewards' disqualify two trainers for nine months respectively

Julie Pratten

Racing NSW Stewards on Wednesday conducted an inquiry into the analysts finding of trendione and epitrenbolone in a urine sample taken from Rahaan prior to running at the Ballina race meeting on 17 January 2020. Evidence was taken from Ms Julie Pratten, trainer of Rahaan, Racing NSW Permitted Veterinarian Dr Kevin Squire, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley and Racing NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig.

General

Stewards gave careful consideration to which of the prohibited substance Rules of Racing should be applied and considered that, given the circumstances of the matter and having regard to the veterinary and scientific evidence, AR240 was the Rule of Racing that most appropriately reflected the relevant conduct.

The evidence established the following.

1. In June 2018 Racing NSW provided notification to the racing industry that injectable altrenogest products should not be administered to thoroughbreds following trendione, epitrenbolone and trenbolone being found at low levels due to impurities being present in altrenogest products. In conjunction with the introduction of NSW LR44A, Racing NSW advised that oral altrenogest products could be used but not within one clear day of racing. Several notifications subsequent to this advice in June 2018 were released by Racing NSW reminding participants of this notification.
2. On 1 January 2020 Dr Squire prescribed and dispensed to Ms Pratten for stable use Ovu-Mate Injection for Horses. Analysis of the Ovu-Mate Injection for Horses found trendione to be present at between approximately 2 to 5 times greater than in the oral altrenogest products when analysed by the ARFL.
3. When prescribed Dr Squire advised Ms Pratten to use the substance 5 days prior to racing.
4. Ms Pratten provided evidence she was aware of the notification from Racing NSW. She advised after making enquiries with Dr Squire in respect to this notification, Dr Squire still prescribed the injectable product when he did not have a supply of oral altrenogest and that he said the injectable product was more effective and he had not had any issue with its use.
5. Dr Squire advised he was not aware of the notification made by Racing NSW but confirmed he told Ms Pratten not to use the injectable product within 5 days of racing.
6. A review of Ms Patten’s treatment records revealed she treated Rahaan with on 1, 9 and 15 January 2020 with the last treatment being 2 days prior to Rahaan racing on 17 January 2020.
7. The Stewards did not consider it appropriate to exercise the discretion under NSW LR44A in respect of this charge as the analysis by the ARFL confirmed the presence of trendione and epitrenbolone in the urine sample provided by Rahaan to be above 1ug/l set by NSW LR44A and, as set out above, the substance was not administered in accordance with the advice published by Racing NSW (such advice being that injectable altrenogest products should not be administered to thoroughbreds).

Charge

Ms Pratten was charged with the following offence.

AR240(2) – Presented Rahaan to race at the Ballina racecourse on 17 January 2020 and a pre-race urine sample was found to contain the prohibited substance trendione and epitrenbolone.

Plea: Guilty

Penalty

Stewards considered the following matters in respect to penalty.

1. Notifications issued by Racing NSW in respect to the use of altrenogest products
and the fact Ms Pratten was aware of such notification.
2. Her use of the Ovu-mate 2 days from racing.
3. The nature of the substance, being listed on prohibited substance List A.
4. Guilty plea.
5. Personal and professional circumstances.
6. Good record over 8 years of training.
7. Principles applied by Stewards when issuing penalties.

Stewards determined the starting point for such offence was a period of 12 months disqualification, with the penalty being reduced to 9 months having regard to a 25% reduction for her guilty plea. Under the provisions of AR283(7) Ms Pratten was allowed 7 days to continue to care for her horses however she is not permitted to start a horse in a race during this period.

Rahaan

Under the provisions of AR240(1) Stewards disqualified Rahaan from its 6 th placing in Race 1 – Showcase Country Maiden Plate conducted at Ballina racecourse on 17 January and amended the placings to read.
1st Montana Mist
2nd Spring Nymph
3rd Amirykal
4th Shy Boy
5th She’s Leaven
6th Grand Anthem
7th Poetic Affair
8th Tezza

Relevant Rules

AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting
(1) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse and a prohibited
substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample
taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the horse must be
disqualified from any race in which it started on that day.
(2) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse for the purpose of
participating in a race and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or
Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following
its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of the
horse at any relevant time breaches these Australian Rules.

Sharon Pepper and Mark Pepper

Racing NSW Stewards conducted an inquiry into the analysts finding of trendione in a urine sample taken from Bella Boss prior to running at the Lismore race meeting on 7 March 2020. Evidence was taken from Mrs Sharon Pepper, trainer of Bella Boss, Foreman Mr Mark Pepper, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley and Racing NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig.

General

Stewards gave careful consideration to which of the prohibited substance Rules of Racing should be applied and considered that, given the circumstances of the matter and having regard to the veterinary and scientific evidence, AR240 was the Rule of Racing that most appropriately reflected the relevant conduct.

The evidence established the following.

1. In June 2018 Racing NSW provided notification to the racing industry that injectable altrenogest products should not be administered to thoroughbreds following trendione, epitrenbolone and trenbolone being found at low levels due to impurities being present in altrenogest products. In conjunction with the introduction of NSW LR44A, Racing NSW advised that oral altrenogest products could be used but not within one clear day of racing. Several notifications subsequent to this advice in June 2018 were released by Racing NSW reminding participants of this notification.
2. During a stable inspection conducted by Stewards on 6 April 2020, Stewards took possession of two bottles of Readyserve Altrenogest Injection for Horses supplied by two separate veterinarians in January 2018 and before Bella Boss entered Mrs Pepper’s stable. Analysis of those products found trendione to be present a between approximately 2 to 5 times greater than in the oral altrenogest products when analysed by the ARFL.
3. During the stable inspection it was identified that Mrs Pepper had not kept treatment records since April 2018.
4. The advice of Mrs Pepper was that her husband and foreman Mr Mark Pepper had administered Readyserve Altrenogest Injection for Horses on 4 March 2020, however this was unable to be verified by any written records.
5. Both Mr and Mrs Pepper advised they were not aware of the notification provided by Racing NSW in respect to the use of injectable altrenogest products.
6. The Stewards did not consider it appropriate to exercise the discretion under NSW LR44A in respect of this charge as the analysis by the ARFL confirmed the presence of trendione in the urine sample provided by Bella Boss to be above 1ug/l set by NSW LR44A and, as set out above, the substance was not administered in accordance with the advice published by Racing NSW (such advice being that injectable altrenogest products should not be administered to thoroughbreds).

Charge

Mrs Sharon Pepper

Mrs Pepper was charged with the following offence.

AR240(2) – Presented Bella Boss to race at the Lismore racecourse on 7 March 2020 and a post-race urine sample was found to contain the prohibited substance trendione.

Plea: Guilty

AR104 – Failing to keep treatment records for the period 29 April 2018 to 6 April 2020, including the administration of Readyserve Altrenogest Injection for Horses to Bella Boss on 4 March 2020.

Plea: Guilty

Mr Mark Pepper

Mr Pepper was charged with the following offence.

AR227(a) – Conduct that led to Mrs Pepper breaching AR240(2), in that he administered Readyserve Altrenogest Injection for Horses to Bella Boss on 4 August 2020 which resulted in Trendione being detected in a sample taken from Bella Boss after Racing at Lismore 7 March 2020.

Plea: Guilty

Penalty

Stewards considered the following matters in respect to penalty for both Mr and Mrs Pepper.

1. Notifications issued by Racing NSW in respect to the use of altrenogest products.
2. The administration of Readyserve Altrenogest Injection for Horses 3 days before
racing.
3. The nature of the substance, being listed on prohibited substance List A.
4. Guilty plea.
5. Lack of treatment records being kept.
6. Personal and professional circumstances.
7. Good records of approximately 20 years as licensed persons.
8. Principles applied by Stewards when issuing penalties.

Mrs Pepper - Stewards determined the starting point for the offence under AR240(2) was a period of 12 months disqualification, with the penalty being reduced to 9 months having regard to a 25% reduction for her guilty plea, commencing 12 August 2020 and to expire on 12 May 2021. Under the provisions of AR283(7) Mrs Pepper was allowed 7 days to continue to care for her horses however she is not permitted to start a horse in a race during this period.

Mrs Pepper was fined the sum of $800 for her failure to keep proper treatment records under AR104.

Mr Pepper - Stewards determined the starting point for the offence under AR227(a) was a period of 6 months disqualification, with the penalty being reduced to 4.5 months having regard to a 25% reduction for his guilty plea, commencing 12 August 2020 and to expire on 26 December 2020.

Bella Boss

Under the provisions of AR240(1) Stewards disqualified Bella Boss from it’s 1st placing in Race 4 – Benchmark 66 Handicap conducted at Lismore racecourse on 7 March 2020 and amended the placings to read;

1st Jakuta
2nd Column (GB)
3rd Banjo’s Voice
4th Julianne’s Wish
5th Creative Moss
6th Water Boy (NZ)
7th Spirit of Husson

Relevant Rules
AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting
(1) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse and a prohibited
substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample
taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the horse must be
disqualified from any race in which it started on that day.
(2) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse for the purpose of
participating in a race and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or
Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following
its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of the
horse at any relevant time breaches these Australian Rules.
AR 227 Breaches of the Rules
Without limiting any other powers, a PRA or the Stewards may penalise any person
who:
(a) commits any breach of the Rules, or engages in conduct or negligence which
has led or could have led to a breach of the Rules; 

Stewards
M F Van Gestel (Chairman)
M Holloway
R Loughlin



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