Stewards’ wrap: eight greyhound trainers banned or suspended

HELEN Pullman, Tom Pullman and Kayla Spliet have had their licenses suspended pending the completion of a stewards’ inquiry into evidence collected during a Keinbah trial track investigation.

When Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) sought submissions from the trio as to why their licenses should not be suspended, Tom Pullman failed to respond, while Helen Pullman and Kayla Spliet notified GRNSW that they wished to relinquish their licences.

The inquiry was commenced in November to investigate the evidence obtained during the Keinbah trial track investigation by Clive Stern SC.

The inquiry is being chaired by Ray Murrihy and will seek to determine whether any person identified in the evidence obtained during the Keinbah trial track investigation has breached the GRNSW rules of racing.

Two trainers guilty of arsenic charges

Two NSW trainers have faced GRNSW stewards in recent weeks after being found guilty of a breach of the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83(2). In both instances, the greyhounds returned positive samples to arsenic.

The first trainer, Kevin Barton, was suspended for 10 weeks after his dog, Magpie Tess, returned a sample showing the presence of arsenic at Potts Park on September 3, 2016.

The other trainer, Steve Vas, was handed down a $750 fine after pleading guilty when his greyhound Jeteye Express returned a positive sample after competing at September 11, 2016.

Azzopardi cops a lengthy disqualification for amphetamine swab

Prominent NSW trainer Mark Azzopardi has been banned for nine years and three months after his greyhound Carjack Arrest returned a positive swab to amphetamine when competing at Richmond on August 5, 2016.

Azzopardi failed to respond to a charge under the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83(2). Stewards took into consideration two previous offences relating to positive swabs, the first to benzoylecognine in 2013 and the second to amphetamine in 2016.

Trainer fronts inquiry over kennel conditions

A Victorian trainer, Bradley Mitchem, recently faced a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) inquiry after being slapped with three rule breaches.

The first breach was in relation to LRR 42.1 after a Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) kennel inspection on March 23, 2016, found that a number of greyhounds were being kept in conditions detrimental to their health.

The second charge, GAR 106 (1)(a) related to a number of his greyhounds not being provided with proper and sufficient drink, whilst the third charge, GAR 106 (2)(c) related to a number of his greyhounds being kept in kennels which were not of an approved size or sanitary condition.

Mitchem pleaded not guilty to the charges. Evidence during the hearing indicated that some of his kennels had dirt floors, drinking water described as ‘rancid’ and a lack of kennel bedding and kennel construction which was deemed detrimental to the health of the greyhounds.

GRV had previously given Mitchem a detailed work plan which would bring his premises up to standard, with evidence provided at the inquiry that this had been achieved.

However, the RADB found Mitchem guilty on each charge. He was handed down a nine month disqualification on charge one, to commence on December 30, 2016, with no additional penalties imposed for the remaining two charges.

Decision reserved on assault and gun charges

The RADB has reserved its decision after Rosedale trainer Paul Andrews was the subject of a recent inquiry into his alleged conduct during a kennel inspection on August 11, 2015.

Andrews was slapped with five charges, summarised as follows:

1 – GAR 86(g) for wilfully assaulting GRV official A. Evans at his property on August 11, 2015.
2 – GAR 86 (g) for wilfully obstructing GRV officials A. Evans, F. Currie, G. Huntington and A. James from conducting a kennel inspection on August 11, 2015.
3 – GAR 86(g) for wilfully threatening GRV officials A. Evans, F. Currie, G. Huntington and A. James at his property on August 11, 2015.
4 – GAR 86(f) for engaging in unseemly, improper and offensive language towards GRV officials A. Evans, F. Currie, G. Huntington and A. James at his property on August 11, 2015.
5 – GAR 86(o) for discharging a firearm in the vicinity of GRV officials A. Evans, F. Currie, G. Huntington and A. James whilst they were exercising their duties at his property on August 11, 2015.

Andrews plead not guilty to the charges, with the board reserving its decision upon hearing submissions.

Chilcott guilty of prohibited substance breach

Julie Chilcott recently faced a RADB inquiry charged with a breach of the prohibited substance rule. The charge came after her greyhound Steady Walker returned a positive urine sample to ketoprofen when competing at Ballarat on Monday July 4, 2016.

During the course of the investigation, it was established the likely source of the positive swab was from contamination due to Chilcott feeding her greyhounds knackery sourced meat.

Chilcott plead guilty to the charge and was slapped with a $1,500 fine, $750 of which was suspended pending no further breaches of the prohibited substances rule within the next 12 months.

Consequently, Steady Walker was also disqualified from the event in question.

Trainer fined and disqualified for threatening behaviour

The RADB have fined a trainer $2,000 and banned him for two years after he was found guilty of a breach of GAR 86(f).

Samuel Riseley, from Cranbourne North, entered a guilty plea when he fronted an inquiry accused of using contemptuous, improper and offensive language in messages sent via Facebook to GRV steward Carl Scott on May 19 and 20 and June 6 and 7.

While the messages were not disclosed in the report from the inquiry, it was noted that the theme was ‘you can run but you cannot hide’, with the RADB of the belief the messages implicated a threat of actual physical violence or at least physical confrontation.

Riseley made submissions that no physical harm was intended by the messages, instead with the intent to remind Mr Scott to exercise authority knowing that at some time roles might be reversed.

Upon considering a penalty, the RADB was mindful that Riseley had previously been suspended for two months as a result of a physical altercation with another trainer.

Halliday notified of positive swab

South Australian trainer Robert Halliday has been notified that his greyhound Redda has returned a positive urine sample to cobalt at a level greater than the allowed threshold when competing at Mount Gambier on October 14, 2016.

He will now have to face a Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) stewards’ inquiry at a date to be announced.

Zammit fined for race day treatment

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) completed an inquiry last week into the circumstances surrounding the greyhound Reinhold, which regurgitated a tablet after competing at Albion Park on September 19, 2016.

The greyhound’s trainer, Michael Zammit, admitted to giving the greyhound a Rapidvite Rapid-K Tablet, a slow release potassium chloride tablet, on the day it was scheduled to race.

He was subsequently found guilty of breaching GAR 83(A), which prohibits race day treatment.

Upon considering a penalty, stewards were mindful that a urine sample taken from the greyhound and the tablet itself both returned a negative finding to any prohibited substance. Zammit was handed down a $500 fine.

Hess banned for two years

The QRIC continued an adjourned inquiry last week, which was in relation to registered trainer Anthony Hess and his alleged greyhound training activities at the property of disqualified trainer Tom Noble whilst Noble was in attendance.

Hess was charged with a breach of GAR 86(ah), which prohibits a registered person associating with a disqualified person for the purposes of greyhound racing.

Hess pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty as charged, and slapped with a two-year disqualification.

Past Discussion

  1. 9 years is inappropriate should be life.

    What about the prize money that has been fraudulently stolen ‘SINCE THEY WERE FIRST LICENSED’???

    This is one area where Mike Bairds legislation would be welcomed.