ON Sunday Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards conducted an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of the greyhound Gold Plated, a winner of three races from 33 starts, at the Bouldercombe property of her trainer, Andrew Johnson.
On March 1, 2016, IRU Officers visited Johnson’s property after RQ received information that Gold Plated had died on Friday February 26, 2016, after having a barking muzzle applied by Johnson before he departed that morning.
IRU Officers initially interviews Johnson and then contacted the RSPCA to seek assistance to have the body of the greyhound exhumed to allow for an autopsy to be performed.
Subsequent tests found that cause of death was hard to ascertain, but that a snake bite or heat stress may have been plausible.
At the RQ inquiry Johnson advised he had applied barking muzzles to 15 greyhounds on his property prior to leaving at 7:30am in the morning, returning late that afternoon. Weather Bureau records indicated that the temperature in Rockhampton on February 26, 2016, had risen to 35 degrees celsius.
IRU Officers reports also identified other deficiencies around the property in regards to the condition of his greyhounds and the property itself, with Johnson being slapped with a compliance notice to attend to the identified issues.
Further evidence at the inquiry was also presented via telephone link, with Chris Tory, the owner of Gold Plated, advising RQ Stewards that Johnson’s son had contacted him late on February 26, 2016, to advise that the greyhound had died of a twisted bowel, however this cause of death was ruled out by the aforementioned autopsy on the greyhound.
After considering the situation, RQ Stewards charged Johnson with a breach of GAR 106(2) in that, on February 26, he subjected the greyhounds in his care to unnecessary pain and suffering when he applied barking muzzles them and left them unsupervised for a significant period of time which likely caused the death of GOLD PLATED.
Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge and was subsequently disqualified for a period of two years.
Darren Taylor fined and given suspended sentence
Darren Taylor faced a RQ Inquiry after a urine sample taken from his greyhound, What Magic, showed the presence of the prohibited substance Atenolol, a relatively specific β-adrenergic blocking agent and has effects on the cardiovascular system of the greyhound, prior to it competing at Albion Park on September 20, 2015.
Taylor was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(a) which reads:
“The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an event shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.”
Taylor pleaded not guilty, but was lated found guilty as charged. He was subsequently fined the sum of $5,000, while RQ Stewards also suspended his trainer’s licence for six months, which was wholly suspended for two years on the condition that Taylor does not come before stewards on any other prohibited substance matter during that time.
What Magic was also disqualified from the event in question, with placings amended accordingly.