RWWA Stewards today, continued the adjourned inquiry concerning the charge issued against trainer Mr. Ben Owen at the Stewards inquiry on 28 January 2016 under AR175(h)(i) which alleged that

  • At Pinjarra on 13 December 2015, shortly before Race 6, Mr Owen did administer within the wash bay area the prohibited substance NITROLINGUAL SPRAY to RHINO’S LAD for the purpose of affecting its performance in that race.

Mr Owen had pleaded not guilty to this charge and guilty to another charge issued at that time under AR178A relating to his possession of the prohibited substance NITROLINGUAL SPRAY without first obtaining written permission from the Stewards as contemplated by that rule.

Stewards received a written submission from Mr Owen’s counsel in support of his plea on 16 February 2016.

In light of the submission, the inquiry was resumed at Pinjarra Racecourse today in order for the panel to conduct a viewing of the stall area where it was alleged the administration had taken place. Evidence was also heard today from Deputy Chief Steward Mr Harold Taylor who had presided at the hearing with Mr Owen in the Stewards room at Pinjarra on the day in question after the matter had been brought to the Stewards attention.

After hearing all submissions and clarifying various aspects of the written submission with Mr Owen and his counsel, Stewards reserved their decision in order to enable all evidence and matters to be considered in the determination of the charge.

As Mr Owen has been and remains, stood down from the outset of this matter since 14 December 2015 which is impacting a number of parties, Stewards have advised that the determination of this matter will be given high priority with every effort made to reach a conclusion by close of business Monday 29th February 2016 if possible.

Denis Borovica
General Manager Racing Integrity