THINGS have been flat-out in stewards’ departments around the nation over the past fortnight in the wake of the live-baiting scandal, which has seen close to 40 participants stood down from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
On top of those suspensions, there has been plenty of additional action occurring over the past few weeks and it’s now time for us to catch up on it all.
We start with new news from WA, where RWWA Stewards conducted an inquiry on March 4 into the convictions of licensed owner and catcher Gemma Tovey in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on January 12 2015.
The convictions related to having a number of pets under her care and control including a Siberian Husky, a Staffy Cross and a retired Greyhound, which was acquired from Gumtree. She was convicted of four offences – three being for the abandonment of an animal and the fourth for failing to provide sufficient food and water.
Resulting from those convictions, Tovey was prohibited from being in charge of or having contact with any animal for five years, as well as having an Intensive Supervision Order imposed of 200 hours of Community work for each charge (a total of 800 hours). In addition, Tovey was ordered to pay costs totaling $910.10.
Despite none of the animals being kept for racing purposes, RWWA Stewards conducted an inquiry to consider whether Tovey’s continued participation within the greyhound racing industry would be detrimental to its proper control and regulation.
Relating to this, RWWA Rule of Racing 95 (8) states;
(8) The Controlling Body may impose on a person any one (1) or more of the penalties referred to in sub-rule (1) if-
(a) The person has been convicted of an offence by any court and the Controlling Body is satisfied that
(i) the nature of the offence is such that the person’s continued participation or association with greyhound racing would be detrimental to the proper control and regulation of greyhound racing; or
Submissions were heard from Tovey while evidence from the RSPCA and materials relating to the proceedings before the Mandurah Magistrates Court were also taken into account. Stewards determined that Tovey’s continued participation would be detrimental to the proper control and regulation of Greyhound Racing in Western Australia pursuant to the above Rule.
Stewards decided to disqualify Gemma Tovey for 15 years and issue her a $5000 fine. In deciding an appropriate penalty, Stewards were mindful of the following:
– The nature of the conviction at the Mandurah Magistrates Court
– The seriousness of the case
– The need for deterrence, both general and specific
– The penalty imposed by the Mandurah Magistrates Court
IN NSW this week, two trainers have been advised that their greyhounds have returned positive swabs after GRNSW received notification from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory.
The first of those was Free Ticket, trained by Rebecca McAvaney, which has returned a positive post-race sample to hydrochlorothiazide after winning the Adrian Eyre Appreciation Maiden at Broken Hill on 5 December 2014. The presence of the substance was confirmed by the Racing Science Centre in Queensland and the matter will now proceed following the protocols established under GRNSW’s penalty guideline system.
The second greyhound, Eric Robinson’s Wichita Icon, returned a sample showing the presence of O-desmethylvenlafaxine after it won the Bridge Tavern Stakes at the Nowra meeting on 5 January 2015. The reserve portion of the sample has been sent to another accredited laboratory for a confirmatory analysis. Upon confirmation or otherwise, the case will proceed following the protocols established under GRNSW’s penalty guideline system.
IN Victoria last week, trainer Rodney Ashworth faced the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) after his greyhound April Rose produced a positive post race urine sample to the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3α, 17β- diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/ml after competing at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 21 October 2014.
The RADB determined that Mr. Ashworth was guilty as charged after hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (2)(3) and (6). He was disqualified for 9 months (with 3 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the next 12 month period), effective from Tuesday, 24 February 2015. April Rose was also disqualified from the event with the placings amended accordingly
REMAINING in Victoria and trainer William Dawes has been disqualified him for 6 months, effective from Tuesday, 24 February 2015, after being found guilty by the RADB of failing to present his greyhound, Smashing Success, free of any prohibited substances for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 29 October 2014. A pre-race urine sample taken from Smashing Success indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Caffeine and its metabolites, Theophylline Paraxanthine and Theobromine. Smashing Success was disqualified from the above event.
IN Queensland, Trevor Thompson was fined $2,500 on February 19 after pleading guilty to presenting his greyhound Billy Rose Hi to compete in Race 10 at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club 18 December 2014 not free of a prohibited substance after a pre-race urine sample was found to contain Methylpredisolone. Billy Rose Hi was disqualified from the event and the placings were altered accordingly.