Results of enquiries (David Pipe, Tristan Davidson) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 23 April
The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) held an enquiry on Thursday 23 April 2015 into a report that HOME RUN (GER), trained by David Pipe, had refused to race in the Warner Goodmans’ Paddy Day Conveyancing Gallop Handicap Hurdle Race at Fontwell Park on 21 March 2015. The matter was referred to the BHA by the Fontwell Park Stewards following their enquiry of the same day, because the gelding had also refused to race at Sandown Park on 6 December 2014 and planted on the way to the start at Newbury on 29 December 2014.
Having considered the evidence, the Panel declared that with immediate effect under Rule (F)66, no further entries would be accepted for HOME RUN (GER) for races run under the Rules of Racing.
1. On Thursday 23 April 2015 the Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry into an allegation of a breach of the Rules of Racing made against the trainer Tristan Davidson. This arose from the return of a positive sample by ORCHARD ROAD (USA), a seven-year-old gelding trained by Davidson since 16 September 2014. The gelding was selected by the Stewards to be sampled after it finished fifth in the Kevin Oliver Christmas Handicap Hurdle at Kelso on 7 December 2014. The sample was analysed and disclosed the presence of omeprazole, which is a banned substance on a raceday.
2. Davidson did not challenge the finding, and did not elect for analysis of the ‘B’ sample. Furthermore, there was no challenge to the BHA’s contention that omeprazole is a Prohibited Substance on a raceday, as that term is defined by the Rules. It is used to prevent and treat gastric ulceration in horses and it may have a pharmacological effect on multiple body systems. There are three veterinary formulations of omeprazole licensed for horses in the UK: Gastroguard, Peptizole and Ulcergold.
3. On 5 January 2015, BHA Investigators attended Davidson’s yard in Carlisle to interview him and to see how, if at all, the positive sample might be explained. Those investigations and subsequent admissions by Davidson have established to the Panel’s satisfaction that:-
i) Davidson’s veterinary surgeon had examined the gelding on 29 November 2014, the gelding was scoped and diagnosed as having gastric ulcers.
ii) His veterinary surgeon had recommended that the gelding be administered with a treatment dose of omeprazole at 4mg/kg for a 500kg horse.
iii) Davidson’s National Trainers Federation medication record book showed that the gelding had been administered a course of Peptizole commencing on 29 November for seven days. The amount recorded was “6mg/day”, however Davidson clarified this entry, stating that it in fact represented a dose equivalent to 4mg/kg for a 550kg horse. He also clarified that the treatment had been for six days, and not seven, finishing on 4 December 2014, three days before the race.
iv) The BHA publishes a Detection Time of 72 hours for omeprazole, based on a daily administration of Gastroguard at a concentration of 1mg/kg, for 28 consecutive days; this information is available on the BHA’s website. This Detection Time is based on (i) a different formulation of omeprazole (Gastroguard as opposed to Peptizole); and (ii) a 1mg/kg dose (intended to be used as a preventative treatment) rather than the higher 4mg/kg treatment dosage administered by Davidson.
v) Davidson raced ORCHARD ROAD (USA) immediately after the expiry of the published Detection Time without allowing any additional length of time to allow the substance to take effect and pass through the gelding. The gelding was raced before expiry of the omeprazole’s Withdrawal Time. The Withdrawal Time is a Detection Time with an additional length of time added on by a veterinary surgeon, using their own discretion and knowledge of the situation to allow the substance to take effect, and then pass through a horse. The Withdrawal Time is longer taking into account the impact of all sources of animal variability such as age, sex, breed and lifestyle in addition to allowing for the variability between different preparations, route of administration, dosage regime and duration of treatment. Davidson acknowledged that he had confused the Detection Time and Withdrawal Time.
4. Given these findings and Davidson’s admissions the Panel was satisfied that Davidson was in breach of Rule (C)53, which imposes a strict liability upon a trainer if a horse in his care tests positive for a Prohibited Substance on a raceday.
5. The usual penalty for a breach of Rule (C)53 is a financial one. The entry point is £1,000, with a range of £750 – £10,000. The Panel imposed the entry level penalty of a fine of £1,000.
6. Finally, the horse was disqualified from the race pursuant to Rule (A)74.2, Ground 3, placing NEVILLE WOODS fifth and SPOT THE PRO (IRE) sixth.
Notes to editors:
1.The Panel for the enquiries was: William Barlow (Chair), Lady Celina Carter, Roger Bellamy.