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ORC Rules On Five Appeals

Published: April 20, 2011 7:03 pm ET

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The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) released five standardbred rulings Wednesday afternoon regarding licensees Dan Leblonc, Robert Shepherd, Jason Brewer, Nick Martino and Gregory Liezert.

Dan Leblonc

On February 19, 2011, standardbred driver Dan LeBlonc appealed Judges Ruling SB43219, dated February 19, 2011, wherein he was fined the sum of $200 and suspended for three days (February 25th to the 27th inclusive) for excessive use of the whip during the 12th race, on February 10, 2011, at Kawartha Downs, in violation of Rule 22.2.01(b) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On April 13, 2011, a Panel of the Ontario Racing Commission consisting of Commissioner Brenda Walker as Chair, was convened to hear the appeal.

Rick Rier appeared as agent for the Administration. Leblonc attended the hearing in person and was self represented.

Upon hearing the testimony of Judge Rick Rier, upon reviewing the exhibits filed and upon hearing the submissions of Rier and Leblonc, the Panel dismissed the appeal.

Leblonc will now serve his driving suspension April 19th to the 21st inclusive.

The transcript of the Panel’s Oral Decision can be viewed by clicking here.

Robert Shepherd

On March 2, 2011, standardbred driver Robert Shepherd appealed Judges Ruling SB43025, dated February 28th, 2011 wherein he was fined the sum of $200 and suspended for three days (March 6th to the 8th inclusive) wherein he used his whip from outside the confines of the race bike, during the fourth race on February 4, 2011, at Woodbine Racetrack, in violation of Rule 22.23.03(c) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On April 13, 2011, a Panel of the Ontario Racing Commission consisting of Commissioner Brenda Walker as Chair, was convened to hear the appeal.

Rick Rier appeared as agent for the Administration. Shepherd attended the hearing in person and was assisted by Anthony Haughan.

Upon hearing the testimony of Shepherd and Judge Brian Newton, upon reviewing the exhibits filed and upon hearing the submissions of Rier and Haughan, the Panel upheld the appeal.

The transcript of the Panel’s Oral Decision can be viewed by clicking here.

Jason Brewer

On February 3, 2011, standardbred, driver Jason Brewer appealed Judges Ruling SB43010, dated February 3, 2011, wherein he was suspended for three days (February 6th to 8th inclusive) for causing interference in the stretch during the ninth race, on January 31, 2011, at Woodbine Racetrack, in violation of Rules 22.05.01 (a) and (d), of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On April 13, 2011, a Panel of the Ontario Racing Commission consisting of Commissioner Brenda Walker as Chair, was convened to hear the appeal.

Rick Rier appeared as agent for the Administration. Brewer attended the hearing in person and was represented by Robert Burgess.

Upon hearing the testimony of Judge Rick Rier, Jason Brewer, drivers Mike Saftic and Mark MacDonald, upon reviewing the exhibits filed and upon hearing the submissions of Rier and Burgess, the Panel dismissed the appeal.

Brewer will now serve his driving suspension on April 19th to the 21st inclusive.

The transcript of the Panel’s Oral Decision can be viewed by clicking here.

Nick Martino

Standardbred licensee Nick Martino, was previously licensed as an owner, licence number W13422.

On September 20, 1999, Martino was suspended pursuant to Ruling # SB 230/1999, for conduct contrary to the public interest.

Martino appealed Ruling # SB 230/1999, and on June 19, 2000, a hearing was held before a Panel of the Commission.

The Panel upheld the suspension, dismissed Martino’s appeal and did not reinstate his licence. The Panel’s Ruling, SB 178/2000 provided no end date for the suspension.

On April 13, 2011, a Panel of the Ontario Racing Commission consisting of Chair Rod Seiling was convened to address the end date of Martino’s suspension.

Angela Holland appeared as counsel for the Administration. Martino appeared in person and was self-represented.

Upon reviewing the exhibits filed, and upon hearing the submissions of counsel for the Administration, and of Martino, the Panel ordered as follows based on the recommendation of the Administration:

    i. Martino can apply to have his licence reinstated at his earliest convenience; and
    ii. Upon receipt of Martino’s application for reinstatement, a due diligence investigation will be commenced and the Director will determine if Martino can be licensed based on the findings of the investigation.

The transcript of the Panel’s Reasons for Decision can be viewed by clicking here.

Gregory Liezert

Standardbred licensee Greg Liezert appealed Ruling SB 41865, dated December 30, 2010, wherein he was suspended for two years (January 31, 2011 – January 30, 2013), plus two years probation (January 31, 2013 – January 30, 2015), for committing an act of cruelty to the horse Brittle Truth, in violation of 6.22 of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On March 16, 2011, a Panel of the Ontario Racing Commission consisting of John W. Macdonald as Chair, Commissioner Brenda Walker and Commissioner Dan Nixon, was convened to hear the appeal.

Angela Holland appeared as counsel for the Administration, Liezert attended the hearing, and Gerry White appeared as counsel for Liezert.

Upon hearing the testimony of Senior Judge John Campbell, Chance Stewart, Audrey Dumont, Charles Beirnes, Dr. Linda Berthiaume-Atack, Dr. John Atack, Dr. David Bruce Duncan and Liezert, upon reviewing the exhibits filed and upon hearing the submissions of counsel for the Administration and counsel for Liezert, the Panel denied the appeal.

The Panel’s Reasons for Decision can be viewed by clicking here.

(With files from the ORC)


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