On 29 September 2021, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered a charge issued by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Michael Barby under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1).

AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:

A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

The charge related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Teetreetommy’ after it won Race 6, the ‘Yabby Dam Racing Trot’, at the Geelong harness racing meeting on 17 April 2021. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the sample contained the prohibited substance aminorex.

Mr Barby pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr Barby.


In considering penalty, the VRT accepted that the likely cause of the presence of aminorex in the sample obtained from ‘Teetreetommy’ on 17 April 2021 was a result of the horse ingesting plants found to be present in the paddock where it was housed prior to the race. Samples of weeds taken from the paddock of ‘Teetreetommy’ were later confirmed by RASL to contain aminorex.

Mr Barby was fined $750, which was fully suspended for a period of 12 months.

The VRT also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Teetreetommy’ be disqualified from the relevant race and that the placings be amended accordingly.


VRT Panel: Judge John Bowman (Chairman) and Judge Kathryn Kings


The written decisions of the VRT can be found here.

(Please note that VRT Decisions will generally be published within 7-10 days of the date of hearing)