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Trainer Pepper-Sprayed After Shipping

Published: November 9, 2017 1:04 pm ET

Last Comment: November 10, 2017 8:19 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Imagine you’ve just won a race with your horse and are returning it to its stable. You’re on a high – feeling good. Now imagine the next thing that happens is that a police officer pepper-sprays you in the eyes. This situation played out this week, and the trainer in question wants answers.

Saab Hasan, pictured cooling out one of his charges (Image courtesy Eddie Jim / The Age)

Multiple media outlets have reported that Down Under Thoroughbred trainer Saab Hasan had just returned to Flemington raceway with his horse, Red Gucci, who had earlier won a race at Wangaratta.

Racegoers were letting out of Flemington when Hasan arrived. The trainer was stopped by a police officer at the stable gate and was told that the entrance was only available for Uber and taxi drivers at the time.

According to Hasan, he explained that he had to unload the Thoroughbred and get him out of his enclosure. The trainer stated that, after an almost four-hour drive, the horse was starting to become a bit agitated and it was definitely in the best interest of the animal to get him out.

Hasan stated that the police officer, who would not let him drive through the entrance to the stable, warned him that he would be pepper-sprayed and/or arrested if he tried to drive any further. Given the situation, Hasan stated that he would have to unload the horse, then. When the trainer got out of his vehicle and walked toward the back, the police officer in question pepper-sprayed Hasan in the eyes.

"The sad part about it I didn't use any force towards the officer – I would never do that sort of thing," Hasan was quoted as saying by "Here he is using unnecessary force on myself and treating me like a criminal when I am clearly an industry participant trying to go about my job… He should never have done it."

Officials with both the Victoria Racing Club and Racing Victoria have stated that they are looking into the matter. A police investigation into the incident is also underway.

November 10, 2017 - 8:19 amTough situation, but

Tough situation, but disobeying a peace officer or security guard is a no-win situation. Seeking out and presenting the case to the track's management team may have been a more viable option.

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