Stewards: Three banned for life, Shillington, Mitchell penalised

Stewards' wrap

THOMAS Mitchell and Blake Shillington had their Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) inquiries finalised this week after they were charged with a string of offences stemming from a kennel inspection at their property at Lara late last year.

Many of the charges were overlapping, however both men faced separate inquiries charged with the following.

Thomas Mitchell:

  • Charge 1 – GAR 101(2)(a) on December 14, 2016, a kennel inspection was held at the property where Beverley Bate, the wife of disgraced former trainer Graeme Bate was present. Mrs. Bate is an unlicensed person and she admitted to helping to walk and feed the racing greyhounds. Under the rules of racing an unlicensed person is not permitted to train a greyhound pursuant to the control of the trainer.
  • Charge 2 – GAR 86(ah) for associating with a disqualified person for the purposes of greyhound racing in that Shillington’s tax return indicated his employer to be BD Bate and GJ Bate and that his main business was listed as ‘dog training – for racing’. It was also indicated that Mitchell would attend the home address of Graeme Bate to have the greyhound trailers he used repaired as they belonged to Graeme Bate.
  • Charge 3 – GAR 84(2) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located a quantity of a substance labelled Merolin was located. Analysis of the substance showed it contained the prohibited substance Ethanolamine and Oleic Acid. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 4 – GAR 84(4)(b) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located the permanently banned prohibited substance Amoxycillan – an antibiotic – at the property. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 5 – GAR 84(2) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located a quantity of the substance Duplocillin at the property. Analysis of the substance showed the contents to include the prohibited substance Procaine Penicillin. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 6 – GAR 86(e) in that on February 15, 2017, Mitchell was directed by a member of the controlling body to produce various documents including mobile phone, banking and financial records, veterinarian payment records, vehicle expense receipts, food and supplement receipts and copies of rental/lease agreement. Mitchell failed to produce the veterinarian payment records.

    Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charges, on application to the RADB the stewards withdrew charge 6.

    The RADB imposed a suspension for charge 1 backdated to December 16, 2016, and expiring on November 13, 2017. Concurrent penalties on charges 2,3,4 and 5 were also imposed.

    Blake Shillington:

  • Charge 1 – GAR 101 (2)(a) on December 14, 2016, a kennel inspection was held at the property where Beverley Bate, the wife of disgraced former trainer Graeme Bate was present. Mrs. Bate is an unlicensed person and she admitted to helping to walk and feed the racing greyhounds. Under the rules of racing an unlicensed person is not permitted to train a greyhound pursuant to the control of the trainer.
  • Charge 2 – GAR 86(ah) in that Shillington admitted to attending Graeme Bate’s property to seek advice on the training of greyhounds.
  • Charge 3 – GAR 84(2) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located a quantity of a substance labelled Merolin was located. Analysis of the substance showed it contained the prohibited substance Ethanolamine and Oleic Acid. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 4 – GAR 84(2) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards found a quantity of the substance Restore in a vehicle Shillington owned on the property. The substance was analysed and found to contain the prohibited substance Phenol. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 5 – GAR 84(4)(b) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located the permanently banned prohibited substance Amoxycillan – an antibiotic – at the property. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 6 – GAR 84(2) in that on December 14, 2016, stewards located a quantity of the substance Duplocillin at the property. Analysis of the substance showed the contents to include the prohibited substance Procaine Penicillin. There was no evidence that this substance was prescribed, dispensed of or obtained in compliance with the relevant State of Commonwealth legislation.
  • Charge 7 – GAR 86(e) in that on February 15, 2017 he was directed by a member of the controlling body to produce various documents including mobile phone records, banking and financial records, veterinarian payment records, vehicle expense records, food and supplement receipts and copies of rental/lease agreement. Shillington failed to produce these documents by the required time.
  • Charge 8 – GAR 86(e) in that on April 5, 2017, the Chief Steward directed Shillington to attend an inquiry and to produce various documents including mobile phone records, banking and financial records, veterinarian payment records, vehicle expense records, food and supplement receipts and copies of rental/lease agreement. Shillington failed to attend the inquiry and produce the documents.

    Shillington pleaded guilty to the charges and on application to the RADB the stewards withdrew charge 8.

    Shillington was disqualified for 18 months on charge 7, backdated to December 16, 2016, when he was originally suspended. On charge 1, a nine-month disqualification was imposed, charge 2 a 12 month ban, and on charges 3, 4, 5 and 6 the RADB imposed concurrent penalties of three months disqualification. The charges are to be served concurrently with the penalty from charge 7.

    Three Victorians banned for life

    THREE Victorian greyhound trainers have been fined and issued life bans after being found guilty of animal welfare rule breaches.

    The first was Coolaroo trainer Benny Briffa who faced the RADB charged with breaching GAR 106(1)(d) and GAR 106(2).

    Briffa was the trainer of the bitch called Soul Dancer, owned by Elizabeth Breukink and Theo Dahl. After retiring, the bitch was mated and Briffa whelped seven pups on March 24, 2017.

    On April 30, the owners attended the property to see the pups at five weeks, noting they appeared to be normal. On May 14, Dr. Michael Bell attended the property to vaccinate them and noted that one pup appeared to be lame in the hindquarters. The pup was diagnosed with ‘Osteo Dystrophia Fibrosa’ and Briffa was advised to increase the calcium intake for the pups.

    On May 26, Theo Dahl contacted Briffa to ask about the pups who informed him they could not walk and were dragging themselves around as they could not use their back legs. Dahl and Breukink decided to take the pups from Briffa who agreed and said ‘the screaming of the pups in the middle of the night was too much for him’.

    The pups were collected by Dahl and his brother Leo on May 28. They were examined by Dr Watkins who observed only one pup had mobility and the rest were lame. Five of the lame pups had non-healing fractures to leg bones and some had multiple fractures. They were reluctant to walk or move, with one pup unable to stand with fractures in both femurs and areas of ulceration on the medial side of the hind limbs.

    Five of the pups were euthanised. One of the remaining pups, a female, required surgery and on going treatment. Only one pup, a male, was unaffected.

    Briffa was charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) stewards under GAR 106(1)(d) for failing to provide veterinary attention when necessary. He was also charged with GAR 106(2) for failing to exercise reasonable care to prevent the pups being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering.

    Under GA 106(1)(d) Briffa was fined $2000 and under GAR 106(2) he was disqualified for life.

    Phillips and Fulton banned

    DEVON Meadows based Nikki Phillips and Mark Fulton have both been fined heavily and issued with life bans after being found guilty of 15 animal welfare charges under GAR 106.

    On May 14, 2016, Fulton, who operated out of kennels with Phillips, had five greyhounds housed at their property. On that day, GRV officials conducted a kennel inspection and found the greyhounds in an emaciated state. GRV arranged the assistance of RSPCA inspectors, with veterinarian Dr. Belousoff conducting an assessment on the greyhounds.

    The first greyhound was a bitch named Acacia Shiraz which was emaciated, had dental issues and had fly bitten ears. Fulton and Phillips were charged with three rule breaches relating to this greyhound – GAR 106(1)(a) for failing to provide sufficient food, GAR 106(1)(d) for failing to provide veterinary attention when necessary and GAR 106(2) for failing to provide reasonable care to prevent the greyhound from being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering.
    Fulton and Phillips failed to attend the hearing. They were found guilty on the three charges and fined $2,000 and $3,000 respectively for the first two charges and disqualified for life on the third.

    The second greyhound assessed by Dr. Belousoff was a black dog named Arnold Bibby. He was worse off than the first greyhound, severely emaciated with a rough and patchy coast, fly struck ears and a build up of faeces in the back molar region. The faeces in his mouth suggested he had consumed it out of hunger. Arnold Bibby was anaemic and suffering from Giardia, an infection of the bowel. He had fly bitten ears and pressure sores. Again the duo were charged with breaching GAR 106(1)(a), GAR 106(1)(d) and GAR 106(2) and were fined identically to the first charge and given another life ban.

    The third greyhound assessed was an unnamed black bitch. She was found to be emaciated. She had a patchy coat with missing fur, long nails, dental issues and fly struck ears. She was also anaemic and suffering from Clostridium which causes diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort. Additionally, the top of her tail was split and bleeding, her housing was filthy and it was determined if she had not of been removed from the property her suffering would have led to her death.

    More charges were laid under GAR 106(1)(a) for which a $2,000 fine was imposed, a $3,000 fine for the breach of GAR 106(1)(d) and a life ban for GAR 106(2).

    The fourth and fifth greyhounds were black bitches which were emaciated, had a build up of tartar on their teeth, had fly struck ears, rough coats and bleeding tails. Both were suffering starvation, one had an open wound on her rear hock. Two more charges each under GAR 106(1)(a), GAR 106(1)(d) and GAR 106 (2) were laid.

    All up, Fulton and Phillips were fined $25,000 and banned for life.

    Mitchell suspended

    NORTH Shore trainer Leigh Mitchell has been suspended by the RADB after one of his greyhounds tested positive for a banned substance.

    Mitchell was charged with a breach of the prohibited substances rule GAR 83(2)(3) after his greyhound Bounce Pass returned a pre-race urine sample at Warragul which showed the presence of theobromine, a metabolite of caffeine.

    Mitchell submitted the positive could have been a result of kennel security at country tracks such as Warragul, he also mentioned a person who has a grudge against him and suggested the greyhound could have licked grass that Coke had spilled on.

    He could not provide proof to support any of these theories, however made note that in eight years of training this was his first positive swab.

    The RADB decided to impose a two-month suspension, effective immediately, while Bounce Pass was also disqualified from the race in question.

    Paikos fined and disqualified

    JOHN Paikos was the subject of a Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) Greyhound Stewards inquiry into an alleged altercation which occurred in the trainer’s carpark at Mandurah on October 19, 2017.

    Paikos was charged with two rule breaches under GAR 86(o).

    The first was that, during a recorded interview in the stewards’ office at Mandurah on October 19, Paikos swore which in the opinion of stewards constitutes misconduct.

    The second charge was that on October 19, Paikos punched trainer Tim Mullany in the face, which also constitutes misconduct.

    Paikos pleaded guilty to both charges. For the first, he was fined $500, while he was banned for six months for the second charge.

    Two NSW trainers fined

    Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have fined trainer Anne Hector after one of her greyhounds tested positive to a banned substance.

    Hector entered an early guilty plea to a breach of GAR 83(2) after her greyhound Elusive Ava returned a positive urine sample to arsenic when competing at Richmond on August 30, 2017.

    Hector was fined $625 and the greyhound was disqualified from the race in question.

    GRNSW also handed down a $750 fine to Leonie Brown who also entered an early guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substances rule.

    Brown’s greyhound In Like Flint returned a positive urine sample to arsenic when competing at Nowra on August 26, 2017.

    Pryce disqualified

    Mitchell Pryce has been disqualified by GRNSW stewards after one of his greyhounds tested positive to cobalt.

    Despicable Scott returned the sample which was taken prior to competing at Wentworth park on July 29, 2017, with the swab showing the presence of cobalt above the allowed threshold.

    Pryce entered a guilty plea and was suspended for 10 weeks, while the greyhound was also disqualified from the race in question under GAR 83(4).

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