On Wednesday 23 November 2016 RWWA Stewards resumed the adjourned inquiry from 31 October 2016 following the issue of a charge under AR178E against Trainer Mr Daniel Pearce with the particulars of the charge being that at Belmont on 3 September 2016 shortly before Race 4, Mr Pearce did administer the medication “Nature’s Botanical” which contains the prohibited substance ‘camphor’ to the nostril area of TRAVINATOR prior to the horse proceeding to the barrier for that race.

The inquiry had been adjourned at the request of Mr Pearce in order for him to seek legal advice prior to responding to the charge. At the resumed inquiry, Mr Pearce was represented by legal counsel and pleaded guilty to the charge. After then hearing submissions with respect to penalty the Stewards reserved their decision.

Stewards have today concluded their deliberations with respect to penalty and have imposed a disqualification of six (6) months for this offence. In determining penalty Stewards took into account:

  • The seriousness and nature of the offence.
  • The plea of guilt and personal considerations of Mr Pearce, including several character references provided.
  • Past cases dealt with under the rules since the inception of prescribed minimum penalties in 2013.
  • The minimum penalty provisions applicable to AR178E which state that a period of disqualification of not less than 6-months must be imposed unless in the Stewards opinion, there were ‘special circumstances’ as provided by the rules that applied in the matter. In the Stewards opinion no such ‘special circumstances’ applied.
  • That whilst the substance in question was used widely as a fly repellent, it was a substance that contained camphor and had a strong odour similar to Vicks VapoRub which had been applied in close proximity to the race, to the nostril area of the horse as outlined in the charge where it was readily found and detected by the Barrier attendant and Course Veterinarian.
  • That all samples taken from TRAVINATOR, which was withdrawn from the race, returned negative for prohibited substances following analysis.
  • The need for a clear message to be sent to all that such actions are entirely unacceptable and will lead to significant penalties.

Trainers are again reminded of the provisions of AR178E and the various publicised notices regarding the CONTROL OF RACE DAY TREATMENT/MEDICATION OF RACEHORSES (Refer to Veterinary Notices in Racing Ahead Magazine and RWWA Website).

Whilst routine, non-medicated shampoos and fly sprays are permitted, even where a substance is permitted, it should not be applied to the nostril or mouth area of any horse in close proximity to racing particularly where the substance has a strong or pungent aroma.
Denis Borovica
General Manager Racing Integrity