ORC Releases Decision On 'Tainted Feed' Stays

Published: July 8, 2013 02:53 pm EDT

On Monday, July 8, the Ontario Racing Commission released its June 27 ruling regarding the appeals from licensees Robert Fellows, Robert Key, Brad Maxwell, Bjorn Noren and Howard Taylor.

The appeals were in regard to Ruling Numbers SB 63/2013 (Lucky Journal), SB 64/2013 (Adaymer Seelster), SB 62/2013 (Northern Spark) SB 61/2013 (Creampuff MacDaddy), and SB 59/2013 (Posey Tina), respectively. The connections of the horses in question were seeking stays for their horses.

The ORC Panel denied the appeals and rendered Reasons for Decision on the matters, which appear both below and in the ORC's official ruling.

Reasons for Decision

23. No extraordinary circumstances were brought forward by the appellants that would warrant action by the Panel at this time. Due process is not complete. It may very well be that the investigation may reveal mitigating circumstances as to the source and cause of the positives tests as the appellants believe. It would be wrong for this Panel to act before due process, which this Commission actively works to protect for licensees, is complete.

24. It would also be wrong for this Panel, or Panels to come, to tinker with the 90 Rule as aptly put by former Vice Chair Donnelly, outlined in the Scott McFadden case ORCD No. 6, 29, 30, 34, 35.

25. The objectives and policy as they relate to the 90-day Rule remain as sound today as they did on implementation. Owners need to take an active role in the manner in which their horses are trained and raced and the people they engage to do those jobs.

26. Financial hardship in and of itself is not an extraordinary circumstance. Potential loss of income is an integral part of the Commission's penalty regimen. As has been stated many times, the principles of it are deterrence and denunciation.

27. The cited precedent case of Carroll/Williams is irrelevant. The stay was granted after due process was complete and the trainers were held blameless.

(With files from the ORC)

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