Stewards wrap – what you may have missed in recent weeks

VICTORIAN trainer William Ferguson has had his license suspended for a period of nine months, six of which have been wholly suspended for a period of 12 months.

The penalty comes after his greyhound, Gaelic Flyer, returned a positive to the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3α, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/ml after a post race urine sample was collected at Warragul on February 12, 2015.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to the charge and Gaelic Flyer was subsequently disqualified from the event in question.

Three cases go before VCAT

Three trainers have taken their cases to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for review, the first of which was Normen Rilen.

Rilen was disputing a $750 fine handed down by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RABD) after he was found guilty of GAR 23(7), in relation to the late scratching of his greyhound, Nelirian, last year.

The VCAT affirmed the decision to find him guilty, although they ruled that the fine imposed was far too severe, reducing it to $250.

Donna Sturgess also took her case before the VCAT last week. Sturgess had originally plead guilty to a charge of GAR 86 (o) and was disqualified by the RADB for 12 months, nine of which were wholly suspended, after she punched another trainer, Ben Briffa, at the ready to race sales on November 22, 2014.

She was then granted a stay of proceedings until her VCAT hearing.

The VCAT confirmed last Monday the penalty imposed by the RADB, but varied it to extend her stay of proceedings for 14 days to allow her enough time to move all greyhounds from the property, apart from six young greyhounds aged approximately 15 months which are exempt from the disqualification.

Her immediate three month disqualification was also reduced by seven days, the time between when the penalty was first imposed and when she was granted her original stay of proceedings.

Finally, Tony Vass also appeared before the VCAT following on from the RADB’s decision to disqualify him for breaches of rules GAR83 (1) and GAR83 (2)(3)(6) which relate to prohibited substances.

Vass was originally disqualified on two charges.

For the first he was disqualified for five years, two of which were suspended, and fined $2,000.

The RADB also disqualified him for 12 months and fined him $1,000 for the second charge.

However, these penalties were reduced upon allocation to the VCAT.

His disqualification for the first charge was dropped to three years with a $1,000 fine, with the second charge also lessened to just a 12 month disqualification.

His disqualification periods, of which he has already served two and a half months, are to be served concurrently.

New South Wales

TRAINER Paul Van Gestel appealed against a four month disqualification handed down to him by GRNSW Stewards after he failed to present his greyhound, Britt’s Pick, free of a prohibited substance when it raced at Richmond on September 24, 2015, with a post-race urine sample found to contain the substance 6alpha-hydroxystanozolol.

The Racing Appeals Tribunal decided to reduce the severity on appeal, bringing his disqualification to three months with a $500 fine.

Galvin disqualified for three years

Daniel Galvin has been disqualified for three years after his greyhound, Theif At Night, returned a positive swab to the substances amphetamine, 4-hydroxyamphetamine a metabolite of amphetamine, ritalinaic acid, and dexamethasone after it won at Gunnedah on November 8, 2014.

Galvin pleaded not guilty to a charge of GAR 83(2)(a), but was ultimately found guilty as charged by GRNSW Stewards. When determining the penalty they were mindful of his unblemished record from 13 years of registration, his voluntary work for the Muswellbrook Greyhound Racing Club (which also sent in a reference), his not guilty plea, the high levels of the substances which included two schedule 8 drugs, the wagering support for the dog and his inability to provide stewards with an explanation for the presence of the drug.

Stewards conclude investigation into Tamworth altercation

GRNSW Stewards concluded an inquiry earlier this month into an alleged altercation that happened between Mark Craig and Nathan McDonald at the Tamworth Greyhound Racing Club on November 15, 2014.

After evidence was taken from both parties, it was established that the two men had exchanged words after handling greyhounds in the same race which escalated into a physical altercation prior to reaching the catching pen at the conclusion of the event.

Both men were charged with a breach of GAR 86(o) which relates to misconduct.

Craig was disqualified for a period of four months, while McDonald, who was unlicensed, was warned off for a period of four months and was fined $150 for handing the greyhound ‘Paradise Valley’ while unlicensed.

Both men pleaded guilty to their charge(s).

On the same day, Craig had further charges dropped after he had been charged with a breach of GAR 86(f)(iv) and GAR 86(g) after he allegedly threatened Armidale GRC lure driver Robert Munn and the Tamworth GRC.

Evidence was taken from Craig and Munn as well as several other people, with Craig denying claims that he abused or threatened Munn or the Tamworth GRC, thus pleading not guilty to the charges.

Stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that the evidence sustained the charges laid and subsequently dismissed both.

Troy Donaldson disqualified

Prominent NSW trainer Troy Donaldson has been disqualified for 12 months after his greyhound, Ninja Turtle, returned a swab sample showing the presence of prohibited substances boldenone (an anabolic steroid) and androsta-1,4-diene-3, 17-dione, a metabolite of boldenone, after it won at The Gardens on January 24, 2015.

After evidence was taken from Donaldson, the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory’s Dr. Adam Cawley, Racing Analytical Services Victoria and Dr Peter Yore, Donaldson pleaded guilty to breaching GAR 83(2)(a) in that he was responsible for presenting Ninja Turtle in a state not free of a prohibited substance.

When determining the penalty imposed, stewards considered Donaldson’s unblemished record, the number of clear swabs his greyhounds have produced, the high level of the substance in the sample which was more than 10 times greater than any other detection of the same substance, Donaldson’s inability to privde an explanation for the substance and the need for a penalty which would act as a deterrent.

Ninja Turtle was also disqualified from the race, with the placing amended accordingly.

South Australia

MARCELLO Calicchio has had all his licenses suspended pending the decision or outcome of an inquiry, following on from his nonattendance at an inquiry which was set down for Thursday May 12, 2015.

The inquiry was in relation to a report lodged by Belinda Pearce (Animal Welare Officer) and Lisa Michalanney (Investigating Officer) in regards to his alleged conduct during a kennel inspection at his property on April 16.

Due to his nonattendance, stewards adjourned the inquiry until such time that he makes contact with the SA Integrity and Standards Manager to make arrangements for when he is able to attend a steward’s inquiry.

Payne disqualified and fined

Trainer Nadine Payne has been disqualified for a period of three months and was fined $1500 after she plead and was found guilty of presenting her greyhound, Dyna Vanity, to race in a state not free of a prohibited substance.

A urine sample was taken from Dyna Vanity at the Strathalbyn meeting on February 6, 2015, with the sample and the reserve portion of the sample both showing the presence of Dexamethasone, a drug commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions.

Western Australia

ANTHONY Glenny has pleaded guilty to three charges and has subsequently been suspended pending the outcome of an upcoming inquiry after RWWA Stewards inquired into a report from Chief Steward Carlos Martins and RWWA Principal Investigator Phil O’Reilly.

It is alleged that he failed to give evidence in relation to an investigation when asked to do so arising from an inspection of his training property on May 3, 2015.

Stewards spoke to Glenny, O’Reilly and Martins to gather evidence on Monday.

Glenny has pleaded guilty to the following charges:

1. GAR 86(e): “on Sunday 3 May 2015 at his training property in Bakers Hill, during an investigation refused when directed by the Stewards to disclose the identity of a person or persons who made requests of him to undertake live baiting at his training premises.”

2. LR 86A(1),(2): “on Sunday 3 May 2015 he did use a lure at his training premises when training greyhounds, that was not entirely free of any animal tissue, contrary to the provision of the rule.”

3. GAR 86(o): “relating to comments made to Chief Steward Mr Carlos Martins during a telephone conversation on 6 May 2015 where he used words which in the opinion of the Stewards were improper.”

The inquiry has been adjourned to allow Stewards enough time to properly consider all of the evidence and determine the matter of penalty.

Queensland

At the beginning of May, Racing Queensland Stewards lifted a suspension placed on licensed attendant Matthew Lewis.

Lewis was suspended in March after he was viewed on CCTV footage a the private trial track in Churchable where live baiting had been occurring.

Lewis was questioned in detail to ascertain his involvement, if any, before stewards found they had insufficient evidence to sustain charges in relation to live baiting.

He was, however, found guilty of a breach of LR 52(3) in that he did assist trainer Jennifer Viles trial her greyhounds at a training track which was not operated by a Club or a licensed training track proprietor.

It was determined by stewards that the suspension which he had already served was an adequate penalty.

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