On 22 March 2021, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered a charge issued by the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer Terry French 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 ‘Joeys Hangover’ after it won Race 3, the ‘Hicks Transport Group Pace’, at the Shepparton harness racing meeting on 6 July 2020. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the sample contained arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.

Mr French pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After submissions were made by the HRV Stewards and Mr French, the VRT found the charge against Mr French proven.

Submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr French.


Mr French was fined $500, wholly suspended for a period of 6 months.

Further, the VRT decided not to activate the previously suspended penalties that it imposed on Mr French on 10 June 2020 in relation to unrelated charges. 

The VRT noted that the penalty imposed in this matter should not be seen as a precedent and is reflective of its own unique circumstances.

The VRT also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Joeys Hangover’ be disqualified from Race 3 at Shepparton on 6 July 2020 and that the placings be amended accordingly.


VRT Panel: Magistrate John Doherty (Chairman) and Judge Marilyn Harbison


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)