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Non Raceday Inquiry - I Brownlee 27 Feb 09



1001.1.q
1115.4

DATE OF HEARING:                                  27th February 2009

 

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE:                           B.J. Rowe – Chairman

                                                                        J.N. Holloway

 

DATE OF DECISION:                                 27TH February 2009

 

 

DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

 

 

 

The charge (Information 67466) preferred by Chief Racecourse Inspector Carmichael reads as follows:

 

On the 16th day of December 2008 Ival James Moore Brownlee was the trainer and the person for the time being in charge of the horse SPIRIT OF ADONIS which was presented to race in the Alamo TAB & Bar Claimers Mobile Pace (Race 8) at a race meeting conducted by the Kumeu Trotting Club at Alexandra Park, when the said horse was found to have had administered to it a prohibited substance, namely Dexamethasone.

 



BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

AT AUCKLAND

 

                                                                        IN THE MATTER of the New                                                                                 Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

 

                                    BETWEEN               Thomas Rodney CARMICHAEL

 

                                                                        Informant

 

                                    AND                           Ival James Moore BROWNLEE

 

                                                                        Defendant

 

 

APPEARING:                                               Chief Racecourse Inspector Mr T.R. Carmichael                                                          for Harness Racing New Zealand

                                                                        Mr I.J.M. Brownlee

                                                                        Ms A. Cumberland – Registrar

 

DATE OF HEARING:                                  27th February 2009

 

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE:                           B.J. Rowe – Chairman

                                                                        J.N. Holloway

 

DATE OF DECISION:                                 27TH February 2009

 

 

DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

 

 

 

The charge (Information 67466) preferred by Chief Racecourse Inspector Carmichael reads as follows:

 

On the 16th day of December 2008 Ival James Moore Brownlee was the trainer and the person for the time being in charge of the horse SPIRIT OF ADONIS which was presented to race in the Alamo TAB & Bar Claimers Mobile Pace (Race 8) at a race meeting conducted by the Kumeu Trotting Club at Alexandra Park, when the said horse was found to have had administered to it a prohibited substance, namely Dexamethasone.

 

Rule 1004 is the Prohibited Substance Rule, and reads as follows:

 

“(1) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

 

(2)  Where a horse is taken, or is to be taken, to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race otherwise than in accordance with sub-rule (1) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules.”

 

Mr Brownlee admitted the breach of the Rule.

 

Mr Carmichael produced a letter from the General Manager of HRNZ giving approval to charge Mr Brownlee with this breach of the Rules.  Also produced was a record of the official placings in the Alamo TAB & Bar Claimers Mobile Pace; a swab card showing details of the swab being taken, and a Certificate of Analysis from Dr Beresford of the New Zealand Racing Laboratory notifying the positive test to Dexamethasone.

 

Summary of Facts:

 

Mr Carmichael presented a ‘Summary of Facts’ which is attached to this decision.  Mr Brownlee was the trainer, and the person for the time being in charge of the horse SPIRIT OF ADONIS which was correctly entered for and started in Race 8, the Alamo TAB & Bar Claimers Mobile Pace at a race meeting conducted by the Kumeu Trotting Club at Alexandra Park on 16th December 2008.  SPIRIT OF ADONIS won the race and earned gross stake money of $2,690.00.

 

SPIRIT OF ADONIS was post race swabbed and the sample sent to the Racing Laboratory.  On 9th January 2009 the Racing Analyst advised that the sample had tested positive to Dexamethasone.

 

Dexamethasone acts as an anti-inflammatory and an immunosuppressant.  It is used to treat many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions in horses.  It does have legitimate therapeutic uses in equine medicine. 

 

It is therefore a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules.  It has a recommended withholding time of 48 hours and when administered at the recommended dose of 5mls.

 

On the 14th of January 2009 Mr Brownlee was interviewed.  He frankly admitted injecting the horse with a substance that contained Dexamethasone on the afternoon of Sunday 14th December 2008.  He was unsure of the exact time of administration but upon working out the approximate times of administration and the fact that it was a day meeting, he concedes that the administration may well have been inside the recommendation of 48 hours.

 

Mr Brownlee’s veterinarian, Dr Paul West, supplied the Dexamethasone.  He confirmed that he had prescribed 5mls of Dexamethasone in a properly labelled disposable syringe and because the administration was to be carried out on the Sunday, he left the syringe with Mr Brownlee.

 

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS

 

Mr Carmichael said that Mr Brownlee had been charged under Rule 1004 and not Rule 1001 (1)(q) because Mr Carmichael accepted that Mr Brownlee through his work commitments had got the timing of the administration wrong and that in itself amounted to serious negligence.  Mr Carmichael submitted the Judicial Committee should give Mr Brownlee credit for:

 

  • His early and frank admission as to the administration of the substance and the probable timing.
  • He has agreed to this matter being heard at the very first opportunity, and before a race night Judicial Committee, thus significantly reducing costs to the industry and himself.
  • The substance was properly prescribed by a Veterinarian as a single dose in an appropriately labelled syringe and as a legitimate therapeutic treatment of the horse.

 

Mr Carmichael submitted that a fine of $3,000.00 is appropriate in all the circumstances of this case.  He referred the Committee to the cases of HRNZ and J. Law (2007) and HRNZ and J.H. Price (2007).  He said these cases involved the administration by injection of a prohibited substance within the recommended withholding period.  He produced copies of these decisions and they are attached to this decision.  He said there are elements of those cases similar to the degree of negligence in this case.

 

Mr Carmichael said Mr Brownlee had breached the Bicarbonate Rule in 2005 and was fined the sum of $500.00.  Mr Carmichael suggested that the Committee should not place too much emphasis on this matter.

 

Mr Brownlee said he had made a big mistake and was embarrassed.  He said he didn’t intend to break the rules and pointed out that he owned the horse and would lose the winning stake.  He said the horse had bad feet and one bad leg and he had used Dexamethasone on the horse on previous occasions.  He said he had overlooked that the horse was racing at a day meeting and not a night meeting.  He simply asked for penalty that was fair.

 

DECISION ON PENALTY

 

In determining penalty the Committee has taken into account the following matters:

 

  1. The early guilty plea.
  2. The submissions of Mr Carmichael.
  3. The explanations and submissions of Mr Brownlee.  We accept he did not intend to break the rules.
  4. The previous ‘drug breach’ – although we do not place great emphasis on it.
  5. Serious negligence was involved.
  6. The previous relevant decisions.

 

Balancing all of those matters we impose a fine of $3,000.00.

 

Disqualification:

 

Rule 1004D of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing provides as follows:

 

“Any horse which has been taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it any prohibited substance shall be disqualified from that race.”

 

Accordingly it is mandatory to disqualify SPIRIT OF ADONIS from 1st place in the Alamo TAB & Bar Claimers Mobile Pace at the Kumeu Trotting Club’s meeting at Alexandra Park Raceway on 16th December 2008.  In accordance with Rule 1115(4) the stake money is to be paid according to the amended places which are as follows:

 

1st – THE OTHER DAY

2nd – LE SPOT

3rd – MAKE IT REAL

4th – BOMB AWAY

5th – GREG BRYDON

6th – LA BRENZ

 

Costs:

 

Mr Carmichael advised that he was not seeking costs.  The JCA does not require costs as the hearing was conducted on a raceday.  There is therefore no order for costs.

 

 

 

 

 

B.J. Rowe - Chairman

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