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Former Trainer Banned After Assault

Published: February 8, 2016 1:40 pm ET

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A former Standardbred trainer has been handed a two-year suspension after having allegedly assaulted a racing commission official during a stable inspection a few weeks ago.

An article by the Gold Coast Bulletin explains that former conditioner Justin Abbott has been found guilty of having made physical contact with a Racing Queensland steward during a January inspection of trainer Travis Mackay’s stable down under.

Abbott is roughly a decade removed from having trained horses that competed on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit in Ontario and at Freehold Raceway and the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. In the early 2000s, Abbott’s stable earned more than $1 million in purses in North America for two consecutive seasons. The last time he was a trainer of record in North America was early in 2003.

The Gold Coast Bulletin article explains that Abbott had recently pled guilty to having backed his horse to lose in 2014. Abbott was not licenced to be working with racehorses when he was observed ‘ungearing’ a registered Standardbred in Mackay’s barn on January 23, 2016, the day in which the alleged assault took place.

(With files from the Gold Coast Bulletin)

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