On January 27, 2009, Ontario's Superior Court of Justice released its ruling on the Woodbine Entertainment Group's appeal of a June, 2008 decision by the Ontario Racing Commission regarding the racing privileges of owners Robert Hamather, Lloyd Nicholson, Gary Smith
and Geoffrey Mound.
WEG was appealing an Ontario Racing Commission ruling in regard to horses conditioned by trainer Bill Elliott and owned by Hamather, Nicholson, Smith and Mount.
On April 14, 2008, the ORC announced that test results confirmed the presence of EPO in Michelles Power, one of 29 horses that Elliott was training. According to ORC rules, all horses in Elliott's barn were subsequently declared ineligible to race until transferred to the care of another licensed trainer approved by the ORC.
According to files from the ORC, the horses were transferred with approval of the ORC and were eligible to race. The problem arose when, notwithstanding ORC eligibility, WEG refused to accept those horses at WEG tracks (Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks).
On May 15, 2008, an ORC panel ruled that WEG is prohibited from rejecting eligible horses. This is the ruling that WEG appealed to the Ontario's Superior Court of Justice and lost.
In addition to losing the appeal, the Superior Court ruled that WEG has to cover the owners' $12,000 court costs and the ORC's $10,000 court costs.
To view the ruling, click here.