Suspended sentence for cutting off dog’s tail with no pain relief

A VICTORIAN greyhound trainer will spend no time on the sidelines after being found guilty of amputating his dog’s back in 2015.

Jason Formosa fronted the RADB last week charged with three rule breaches – GAR 106(1)(d), GAR 106(2) and GAR 86(o).

The first charge was in relation to Formosa failing to provide veterinary attention to the greyhound Super Ballotelli between July 29, 2015, at which point the greyhound was diagnosed with a fractured and partially severed tail, and September 16, 2015, when it was presented to race at Bendigo.

The second charge related to Formosa failing to exercise reasonable care to ensure the greyhound was not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering.

The third charge related to failing to obtain veterinary treatment between July 29, and September 16, 2015, for removing part of the greyhound’s tail without having the required qualifications to do so on or around July 30, 2015.

He was also in hot water for failing to obtain proper treatment after removing part of the tail to prevent an infection to the wound and for failing to properly bandage the tail of the greyhound leading up to the September 2015 race when it was presented to compete at Bendigo.

At the hearing, the RADB heard that the greyhound was entered to race at Bendigo on July 29, 2015, where it was examined by the on course veterinarian, Dr Wong, prior to the event when blood was noticed dripping through a bandage on its tail. Dr Wong removed the bandage and noticed the tail was fractured, with the handler of the greyhound, Jordan Formosa, claiming to be unaware of the injury.

Dr Wong applied applied a compression bandage to stabilise the fracture and claimed to have told Jordan Formosa to take the dog to a veterinarian to have the tail looked at. The dog was withdrawn from the event, with a 14-day incapacitation certificate imposed.

Jordan Formosa gave evidence at a preliminary inquiry that he was told to treat the tail, but didn’t recall being told to take the dog to a vet. Jordan Formosa informed Jason Formosa of the fractured tail on July 29, 2015. Jason Formosa did not seek veterinary assistance, instead deciding to amputate a part of the dog’s tail using a surgical blade. Formosa told the inquiry the greyhound received no pain relief and stated he left the wound open and applied ‘True Blue’ antiseptic.

The greyhound was raced on August 12, 19, 26 and September 3, 2015. It’s tail was not taped on the first three occasions, but was on the last date by the on-course veterinarian due to bleeding.

The dog was then galloped by Jordan Formosa on September 11 and on September 12 the tail was bandaged firmer than usual, using a bandage which was not fresh.

The greyhound was presented to race on September 16 with the on-course vet Dr Chadwick examining the tail prior to the event. Once removing the vet wrap from the distal section of the tail, Chadwick said the tail was painful and that the detached 5cm of tail was undergoing gangrenous necrosis due to a combination of infections and a lack of blood supply due to tape.

Chadwick gave evidence that the infections could have been life-threatening without treatment. The dog was stood down from racing, with Jason Formosa taking the dog to Dr Sue Collins that night who amputated the necrotic section of the tail.

The second and third charges were withdrawn at the hearing, with Formosa pleading guilty to the first charge.

The RADB imposed a six-month disqualification, wholly suspended for 24 months pending no further animal welfare breaches. He was also handed down a $5000 fine.

Burns banned

Norman Burns attended a RADB inquiry last week charged with two rule breaches – GAR 83(1A) and GAR 83(2)(3) which relate to prohibited substances.

The specifics were that Burns’ greyhound Fancy Bounce returned a urinary sample which showed the presence of cobalt, at a concentration greater than the allowed threshold, when competing at Bendigo on July 27, 2016.

Burns pleaded guilty to the charges and, after considering the evidence, the RADB imposed a 12 month disqualification, with eight months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next 12 months.

Fancy Bounce was also disqualified from the event in question.

O’Keeffe fined

Prominent trainer Gerry O’Keeffe recently faced the RADB charged with six rule breaches relating to GAR 83(1A) and GAR 83(2)(3).

The charges related to the greyhounds Tough As Nails and Rosco Fields which returned positive urine samples to pholcodine when competing at Warragul and Sandown on August 2 and August 25 (Tough As Nails) and Warragul on September 1, 2016 (Rosco Fields).

O’Keefe pleaded guilty to the charges and gave evidence that the greyhounds had been treated with Duro Tuss cough mixture, which contains pholcodine, prior to returning their positive samples.

Upon considering the evidence, O’Keeffe was fined $1500, with $500 suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next 12 months.

The greyhounds were also disqualified from the respective events in question.

Parr fined for swab irregularity

Peter Parr recently had to meet with the RADB after his greyhound Bonza Magic returned a positive urine sample to pholcodine when competing at Traralgon on August 1, 2016. He was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3) to which he plead guilty.

The substance in question is a cough suppressant, used to treat kennel cough, with Parr giving evidence that he had only been training the dog for two weeks at the time of the swab, with the previous trainer having mentioned that the dog had a virus.

After considering the circumstances, including that Parr had been in the industry for more than 40 years with no prior positives, he was slapped with a $500 fine.

Conway gets suspended sentence and fined

Bunyip trainer Robert Conway recently fronted the RADB charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3) after his greyhound Galloping Fantom returned a positive urine sample to flunixin when competing at Traralgon on September 3, 2016.

Conway pleaded guilty to the charge, with the substance being a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug which has pain relief, anti inflammatory and fever reducing properties.

Conway gave evidence that the swab could have been caused by feeding knackery meat to his greyhounds, with stewards imposing a three-month disqualification, wholly suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next 12 months.

He was also fined $2000, with Galloping Fantom disqualified from the event in question.

Liuzzi disqualified

Sam Liuzzi was disqualified by the RADB on January 17 after being found guilty of a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

The specifics of the case were that Liuzzi’s greyhound Fabstar returned a pre-race urine sample which showed the presence of 6a-hyrdoxystanozolol when competing at Ballarat on May 25, 2016.

Liuzzi plead guilty to the charge and was at a loss to explain how the swab could have occurred, with stewards taking into consideration his exemplary record within the industry for more than three decades.

Liuzzi was disqualified for six months, with three months suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR 83.

Fabstar was also disqualified from the event in question.

Brown fined for positive swab

Axedale conditioner Brian Brown faced a RADB inquiry earlier this month charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3). The swab related to a pre-race swab taken from the greyhound Shout Out Loud prior to competing at The Meadows on August 24, 2016.

The prohibited substance in question was procaine, with Brown pleading guilty and giving evidence that the swab was likely to have occurred due to his use of knackery meat to feed his greyhounds.

Brown was fined $2000, whilst Shout Out Loud was also disqualified from the race.

Telling disqualified for two charges

John Telling was the subject of a recent RADB inquiry, charged with two breaches of GAR 83(2)(3). The charges related to Telling’s greyhound Tinderella which returned positive urine samples to a prohibited substance at Traralgon on April 30 and Sale on June 12, 2016.

In both instances, the prohibited substance was 6a-hydroxystanozolol, an anabolic androgenic steroid, with Telling pleading guilty to both charges.

Telling was unable to provide an explanation for the samples and, upon consideration, stewards decided to hand down a six-month disqualification, with three months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months. Tinderella was also disqualified from both events.

Trotman faced RADB for prohibited substance offence

Fulham trainer Steven Trotman faced the RADB earlier this month charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3). The charge related to his greyhound Riverside Mons which returned a positive urine sample to amphetamine when competing at Sale on May 22, 2016.

Trotman pleaded not guilty to the charge and gave evidence that the greyhound should not have been swabbed as he allowed it to be patted by 30 people following the race, claiming he only told the dog would be swabbed once returning to the wash bay area.

This contradicted the evidence given by kennelling steward Eric Clarke who stated he told Trotman’s partner, who handled the dog, it would be swabbed prior to the dog returning to the winning post, at which point it was photographed with a total of six people.

Upon considering the evidence, Trotman has been disqualified for 18 months, with six months of that period suspended for 24 months pending no further breaches of GAR 83.

Riverside Mons was also disqualified from the event in question.

Howard suspended and fined

Kerry Howard fronted a Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) stewards’ inquiry last week into the circumstances surrounding why one of his greyhounds was left unattended in a car following the race meeting at Mount Gambier on January 6, 2017.

Howard was charged with a breach of the misconduct rule, GAR 86(o), to which he plead guilty. His license was suspended for one month and he was issued a $500 fine, with the suspension effective from Friday January 20.

Three people charged with inappropriate language

Katherine Hurley, Jayde Hurley and Jasmyn Hurley have each been found guilty by GRSA stewards in relation to their alleged behaviour at the Angle Park meeting on January 5, 2017.

Katherine was charged with a breach of GAR 86(g) after she was deemed to have made abusive and insulting comments towards a GRSA official.

Jayde and Jasmyn were each charged with a breach of GAR 86(f) for making improper comments and language directed towards a GRSA official.

All three pleaded guilty as charged.

Katherine Hurley was handed down a fine of $450, Jayde Hurley was given a $300 fine and Jasmyn Hurley was slapped with a $200 fine.

Rasmussen found guilty of misconduct

Respected SA trainer Tony Rasmussen recently faced a GRSA stewards’ inquiry after being charged with a breach of GAR 86(o).

The charge related to his conduct when boxing the greyhound Crisis Bale at Angle Park on December 29, 2016, with Rasmussen alleged to have handled the dog in the vicinity of its genital region prior to loading it into the boxes.

Rasmussen pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty as charged and was slapped with a $1000 fine, $250 of which was suspended for 24 months pending no further breaches of similar rules.

Hughes suspended for cobalt swab

Charles Hughes recently faced a Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards’ inquiry charged with two breaches under GAR 83(2).

The first charge related to the greyhound Just Twenty which returned a positive urine sample when competing at Coonamble on May 7, 2016. The second related to the greyhound Only A Dollar on the same date and location as the previous swab.

In both instances, the prohibited substance was cobalt. Hughes entered an early guilty plea to both charges, with stewards imposing a 10-week suspension for each charge, to be served concurrently.

Rowles fined

Prominent NSW trainer Preston Rowles has been fined $1,000 after entering an early guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

The situation surrounding the charge was that Rowles’ greyhound Blue Revolver had returned a positive urine sample to methylprednisolone when competing at Wentworth Park on October 1, 2016.

Upon considering his early guilty plea and his clean history within the sport, stewards determined to monetary penalty was satisfactory. Acting under GAR 83(2), stewards also disqualified the greyhound from the event in question.

Boole disqualified for positive

Registered trainer Scott Boole was the subject of a recent GRNSW stewards’ inquiry after his greyhound Big Bago returned a positive urine sample to cobalt when competing at Tweed Heads on April 23, 2016.

Boole failed to respond to a charge under GAR 83(2) which relates to the prohibited substances rule. Upon considering the evidence, stewards found Boole guilty as charged and handed down a 24-week disqualification, the starting point for the determination of penalty for a category four prohibited substance.

The greyhound was also disqualified from the event in question, with placings amended accordingly.

Amphetamine positive results in lengthy ban

Scott England will spend more two years on the training sidelines after his greyhound Absolute Hoot returned a positive urine sample to amphetamine when competing at Maitland on July 7, 2016.

After England failed to respond to a breach of GAR 83(2), stewards found him guilty of presenting the dog to compete when it was not free of a prohibited substance.

The penalty handed down was a disqualification period of two years and 12 weeks, with England notified of his rights of appeal.

Buckley fined for arsenic swab

GRNSW stewards have handed down a $500 fine to trainer Mervyn Buckley after his greyhound Mindy’s A Marble returned a positive swab to arsenic when competing at Nowra on September 19, 2016.

Buckley plead guilty to a breach of the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83 (2), with the greyhound also disqualified from the event in question under GAR 83 (4).

Past Discussion

  1. B keel got 3 mths for striking a dog behind the boxes. Many get 2,3,6 mths for accidental positives and this guy made a conscious decision to cut off the dogs tail without any anesthetic and gets a fine. Go figure. Animal Welfare your joking!!!!

  2. C’mon all you sanctimonious greyhound people, your silence is deafening on this site! – As an ex-trainer for some 40 years, I KNOW that the people caught, and given penalties, is a small percentage of the actual wrongdoers.- In my experience, to find the worst offenders, start looking at the top trainers list. They were always the ones with the contacts to obtain these illicit substances, as well as the means to pay for it. They always had many lengths start on the small, honest, hobby trainers etc.- In my opinion, the so-called top trainers do not necessarily have the best dogs, or the better skills, but are still able to win the most big races!   By the way, how do trainers manage to race female greyhounds these days? – Going back a while, it was almost accepted that bitches raced on a ml a month, Boldec etc. Never tested then. I reckon that the general public would be horrified to read these  stewards reports, albeit they are only the tip of the iceberg, in my opinion.

  3. quiberon  cannot and will not disagree. also a long standing trainer in the industry,it has always been a bothersome thought in my mind at least,why some dogs hold form for a very,very long time. now QUIBERON,you know as well as I do,there were NO swabs in the old days…and I mean u and I must go back to the 70’s and 80’s,as it was also the case in nearly every sport as well. sort of compare to how technology has progressed over the years,so we cannot compare those decades to todays oppurtunities.

    but, in agreeance with what you are saying,there is no rhyme nor reason for heavy social drugs like amphets and cocaine etc; to be any where near dogs(or horses) so  to use stories like people patted the dog after its run is crap,and a couple escaped by using that story,and all it is just that…. a story.

    no soft penalties,show them the door.

    one would not need to explain why LANCE ARMSTRONG, or the RUSSIAN Olympic cases as bloody good examples of what and why drugs are used. its gain pure and simple. and GAIN has many veins running from its sheer existence as a word,but you don’t have to be a smarty to understand what one means.

    but that aside,i congrat the stewards of today,at least in GRV for example.they are catching everything that farts nowadays and this is good. use poor meat from a knackery, face the consequences and cop the standard fines and disqualification period. not an intentional act,but don’t use the stuff.

    but,when social drugs are used,throw the book at them and oust them forever never to return.

    so yes, I agree. we are trying,but it takes time as well to perfect techniques. they still cannot detect EPO if micro dripped over time…instead of the give a 1ml today stuff….the smarties have discovered this is the process….slow feed and cannot be detected. but I for oine have shown reasons how it goes undetected,the ball is  now in the stewards court.