The Horse Racing Appeal Panel of Ontario has ruled on the appeal of three horse owners and a matter of purse money received after a positive test was overturned.
Tammy Aspden, Linda Wellwood and Anne Shunock were the co-owners of Magic Of Brussels, a horse that finished second to Heathers Shadow in a race at Georgian Downs in June 2015. Heathers Shadow was disqualified following a positive test for Class 2 drug Oxilofrine.
As a result of an Ontario Racing Commission investigation into this positive and three others, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency subsequently advised the ORC that there was strong scientific evidence that these positive tests were consistent with an ephedrine administration that followed the CPMA elimination guidelines, as set out in the Schedule of Drugs. The ORC found the trainers not responsible based on the CPMA findings and disqualified all four horses that tested positive.
The Registrar of the AGCO reversed the earlier ORC order, gave the connections of the horse that tested positive back their purse and returned them to the original order of finish.
The owners of Magic Of Brussels were then suspended by the AGCO after failing to refund the first-place purse money they received. The owners appealed the decision.
In May, the Horse Racing Appeal Panel ruled in favour of the appellants. In the reasons for decision, the appeal panel stated the following:
Based on the unchallenged evidence introduced by the Appellants, we are satisfied that it would be inconsistent with long standing rules to permit a horse that tests positive for a prohibited drug to retain any purse monies. While the trainer of “Heathers Shadow” may have been exonerated, the Judges were correct when they disqualified “Heathers Shadow” and ordered that the first place purse monies should be redistributed. In our view, an application of the rules to that effect serves the best interests of horse racing.
The reasons for decision are available below.
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