Results of enquiries (David Evans, Ray Williams) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 17 April
The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) held an enquiry on Thursday 17 April 2014 into the analysis of the urine ordered to be taken from PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE), trained by David Evans, by the Stewards at Lingfield after the horse finished first in the Ladbrokes Handicap Stakes on 23 November 2013. The sample tested positive for a prohibited substance, in breach of Rule (C)53 of the Rules of Racing. The Panel also considered whether or not to take action under Rule (A)74 of the Rules of Racing in respect of the possible disqualification of PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE). The Panel also considered whether or not Evans had committed a breach of Rule (C)13 in that he had failed to enter into his medication records the full details of the treatment administered to PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE).
The urine taken from PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE) was found to contain triamcinolone acetonide, which is a prohibited substance. After considering the evidence, including a written statement from Evans and his Veterinary Surgeon, the Panel was satisfied that the source of the substance was four vials of Adcortyl (triamcinolone acetonide) administered by his Veterinary Surgeon on 19 November 2013. Thereafter there was a breakdown in communication between Evans and his Veterinary Surgeon as to what treatment PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE) had received and when the horse was next running.
The Panel also noted that the treatment received on 19 November 2013 had not been entered into the yards Medication Book, in breach of Rule (C)13.
The Panel accepted an admission from Evans that he was in breach of Rule (C)53 and imposed a fine of £1,000 upon him. It also accepted an admission from him that he was in breach of Rule (C)13 and imposed a fine of £500. Under Rule (A)74 the Panel disqualified PRINCE OF BURMA (IRE) from the race, placing SHIFTING STAR (IRE) first, MAGICAL ROSE (IRE) second, PERFECT HAVEN third and ATHLETIC fourth.
The Panel informed Evans that all the horses in his care may be the subject of examination and the taking of samples for analysis provided for in Rule (A)49 within the next 12 months.
1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on Thursday 17 April 2014 to consider whether or not Ray Williams, a former permitted trainer, had committed a breach of Rule (A)40 of the Rules of Racing, in that on 26 July 2013 at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court he was convicted of a criminal offence related to racing, namely causing unnecessary suffering to a thoroughbred racehorse, ALMIRAH.
2. On 6 January 2012 the BHA Licensing Committee had granted Williams a temporary Permit to Train on the condition of his meeting a number of specified requirements within various time frames. On 10 September 2012, after Williams had fulfilled the conditions, the Licensing Committee had issued him with a full Permit to Train, valid to 30 September 2013.
Stable Inspection and Subsequent Investigation
3. On 26 November 2012 an unannounced stable inspection was conducted at Williams’ premises by two BHA Stable Inspecting Officers (SIOs), Andy Streeter and Derrick Morris.
4. During the inspection of the yard the SIOs discovered a seriously injured 3 year old filly, named ALMIRAH. The filly was acutely lame on her right hind leg to the extent that the limb was not weight-bearing. Although the limb was bandaged from just below the hock to just above the fetlock the SIOs, having examined the injury, were concerned that the trainer may not have realised the full extent and seriousness of the injury.
5. Williams was subsequently questioned by the SIOs in relation to ALMIRAH’s injuries and the veterinary care the filly had received since the injury was sustained. Williams advised them that the injury was sustained after the filly had been kicked by another horse and he considered the injury to be only a ‘nick’. However, Williams had been vague in his responses regarding the injury and the subsequent treatment and attention of it. Williams did state that ALMIRAH had been examined by a veterinary surgeon, Tim Beauregard MRCVS, at the end of October 2012 and, as a result, been treated with various medications, including in the three days prior to the stable inspection.
6. The SIOs advised, and Williams agreed, that ALMIRAH required urgent veterinary attention. He was informed that in the near future the SIOs would be returning to the yard with a BHA Veterinary Officer in order to follow up as to the filly’s wellbeing.
7. The following day the SIOs contacted Williams’ yard to inform him that they would be attending that afternoon with a BHA Veterinary Officer. Williams explained that a veterinary surgeon, Jenny Evans, had attended the yard the previous day, after the SIOs left, and that on her advice ALMIRAH had been euthanised.
8. Tim Beauregard MRCVS was interviewed as to his examination of ALMIRAH at Williams’ yard on 24 October 2012 and the advice he had given to the trainer on the treatment of the filly’s injury. Mr Beauregard confirmed that after examining the filly he had advised Williams that he had only two options: extensive treatment or euthanasia. Having been told by Williams that he could not afford extensive treatment, Mr Beauregard advised the trainer to put the filly down without delay. By 26 November 2012 Williams had still not put the filly down.
9. Following referral from the BHA, the RSPCA began its own investigation. Williams was interviewed by the RSPCA on 24 January 2013 in which he stated that he did not cause the filly unnecessary suffering nor did he fail in his duty of care for the horse.
10. Subsequently to the interview with Williams the RSPCA obtained evidence from several other sources which were all corroborative of each other, and contrary to Williams’ account. In particular, Mr Beauregard, the veterinary surgeon who examined ALMIRAH on 24 October 2012, stated that “Mr Williams has caused unnecessary suffering to ALMIRAH [the Horse] by delaying her euthanasia by five weeks” the consequences of which was “prolonged suffering to the horse”. Further, Jenny Evans, the veterinary surgeon who euthanised the filly on 27 November 2012, stated that Williams “neglected the animal”.
11. The RSPCA also obtained a statement from the filly’s previous trainer, David Evans. Evans confirmed that the filly had left his care on or around 28 September 2012 and stated that the filly was free from any illness of injury and in good health.
12. On 26 July 2013 Williams entered a plea of ‘guilty’ at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court. The court imposed a financial penalty of £295, along with costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £29. The court did not disqualify Williams from holding or obtaining animals under section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Decision and Penalty
13. The Panel accepted an admission from Williams that he was in breach of Rule (A)40 in that he had been convicted of a criminal offence which was clearly relating to horseracing.
14. In reaching a penalty the Panel considered the following factors to be aggravating:
– Williams failed to act upon the very clear veterinary advice given to him, thereby causing the filly unnecessary suffering for a five-week period; and
– Williams held a Permit to Train at the time and his actions were in direct contravention of his responsibilities under Rule to “conduct his business of training racehorses with reasonable care and skill, and with due regard to the interests of the horses under his care”.
15. The Panel declared Williams to be a disqualified person for a period of 18 months from Friday 18 April 2014 until 17 October 2015 inclusive. It also directed that he would be ineligible to apply for a Permit to Train for five years until 17 April 2019 inclusive.
Notes to editors:
1. The Panel for the enquiries was: William Barlow(Chair), Jeremy Barlow, Roger Bellamy
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British Horseracing Authority