Thoroughbred – Stewards Inquiry – GOTTABEYOU (Trainer Mr G Williams)

RWWA Stewards today resumed the adjourned inquiry involving trainer Mr Grant Williams into the presentation and subsequent withdrawal of GOTTABEYOU from Ascot on 5 March 2014 following a report by the on course veterinarian that an inspection of the mare found it to have a swelling to its near side jugular with traces of blood.

Stable foreman for Mr Williams, Mr Owen Gilbride had previously been disqualified for nine (9) months for a breach of AR178E relating to the administration of a medication by way of injection to the horse GOTTABEYOU on race day prior to Race 8 at Ascot on Wednesday 5 March 2014, a race in which it was entered to run. Mr Gilbride was also disqualified for six (6) months after pleading guilty to a breach of AR175(g) for giving misleading evidence in relation to this matter.

All samples taken from the mare on that day have been analysed with no prohibited substances detected.

After considering all of the evidence, including the additional evidence heard today, the Stewards noted that:

The Rules of Racing, and specifically AR178E which states:


(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of AR.178C(2), no person without the permission of the Stewards may administer or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race.

(2) The Stewards may order the withdrawal from a race engagement any horse that has received medication in contravention of subrule (1) of this rule.

do not contain any rules of strict and absolute liability directed towards a trainer in relation to a matter involving raceday treatment of a horse. Accordingly the Stewards cannot adopt a ‘strict liability’ or ‘vicarious liability’ approach in the absence of specific rules in this regard.

There was an absence of evidence that Mr Williams had either instructed, had knowledge of, or had given his consent to Mr Gilbride in relation to the administration of medication on raceday to the mare.

In the absence of the detection of a prohibited substance, which would have attracted the strict and absolute liability provisions of AR178 in relation to the presentation of a racehorse for racing, there was no rule of strict and absolute liability that applied.

On the evidence, Mr Williams was not within Western Australia at the relevant times leading up to the race in question, and had taken all reasonable measures with regard to the presentation of his horses in his absence. Accordingly on the evidence, Mr Gilbride had acted independently in his actions on the day in question.

That Mr Williams had engaged an authorised senior person, namely a licensed Stable Foreman to attend to his horses during his absence

Accordingly the Stewards determined to take no further action in relation to Mr Williams, however did reserve the right to revisit the matter should new evidence come to light in future.

Media Contact: Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity Ph: 9445 5427