Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have concluded an Inquiry into licensed trainer Ms Emma Stewart on Tuesday 5 December 2023.
The particulars of the Inquiry relate to a raceday stable inspection conducted by HRV Investigative Stewards at the registered training establishment of Ms Stewart on Saturday 16 September 2023. The circumstances related to an intravenous drip being administered and attempted to be administered to horses within one (1) clear day of the relevant race meeting, in contravention of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 196B(1).
Following the raceday stable inspection, HRV Stewards withdrew two horses from the Maryborough race meeting on 17 September 2023, in accordance with AHRR 196(B)(3).
After conducting a thorough investigation and hearing evidence and submissions from Ms Stewart, the HRV Stewards issued three (3) charges under the AHRR.
Two counts under AHRR 196B (1) which states:
A person shall not without the permission of the Stewards within one (1) clear day of the commencement of a race administer, attempt to administer or cause to be administered an injection to a horse nominated for that race.
And one count under AHRR 190B (1) which states:
A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book:-
(a) Listing all therapeutic substances in his or her possession;
(b) Recording all details of treatment administered to any horse
in his or her care and including as a minimum requirement:
(i) the name of the horse
(ii) the date of administration of treatment
(iii) the name of the treatment (brand name of active constituent)
(iv) the route of administration
(v) the amount given
(vi) the name and signature of the person or persons
administering and/or authorising the treatment.
Ms Stewart pleaded guilty to all three charges and subsequently provided both verbal and written submissions in relation to penalty.
HRV Stewards took into consideration Ms Stewart’s submissions and a number of mitigating and aggravating factors in determining the penalty. Based on the above, HRV Stewards deemed it appropriate to impose the following penalty:
Charge 1 - That as the licensed trainer of ‘Show Me Heaven NZ’ engaged in Race 3 at the Maryborough harness racing meeting on 17 September 2023, Ms Stewart did, within one (1) clear day of the day commencement of that race, attempt to administer an injection to that horse by way of intravenous drip.
Penalty – A Disqualification of 6 Months
Charge 2 - That as the licensed trainer of ‘Act Now’ engaged in Race 7 at the Maryborough harness racing meeting on 17 September 2023, Ms Stewart did, within one (1) clear day of the day commencement of that race, administer an injection to that horse by way of intravenous drip.
Penalty - A Disqualification of 6 Months
Charge 3 - That as a licensed trainer between the calendar year of 2022 and 21 September 2023, Ms Stewart did fail to thoroughly maintain a log book, listing and recording all details of treatments administered to horses in her care.
Penalty – A Fine of $2000
HRV Stewards considered AHRR 257 and determined that the two disqualification penalties would be served concurrently resulting in a total disqualification period of 6 months.
Additionally, as per AHRR 259 (3), HRV Stewards have determined that the disqualification will take effect from 5:00pm on Friday 8 December 2023. This directive has been given to allow Ms Stewart enough time to make alternative arrangements for the care and transfer of the horses in her stable. During this period, Ms Stewart will not be allowed to participate in any trials or races with her horses.
Ms Stewart was advised of her rights of appeal.