The Int’l Fund for Horses have often asked this question here on Tuesday’s Horse.
How it is that trainers who dope racehorses not only escape any sort of relevant punishment but also never face criminal charges? Doping a horse in a race that is gambled on is betting fraud and a federal offense.
We have at long last put together a legal team of specialist advisers expert on gambling laws and the U.S. Judiciary to see what we need for racehorse dopers in the U.S. to be charged and prosecuted for their crimes.
Call it kismet. I recently came across a highlighted article on the Paulick Reort regarding a milkshaker in Australia possibly facing jail time for it.
Trainer Greg McFarlane is facing a minimum 12-month ban from the Australian Racing Board and a possible decade-long imprisonment after he was caught stomach tubing runner Ferocimo before a stakes race on Saturday.
McFarlane admitted that his actions were “dumb” and “stupid” after he was caught with the tubing equipment. Penalties for the practice were increased earlier this year thanks to the NSW Crimes Act due to its potential influence on a betting event.
Trainer Cody Morgan was the first horseman to be charged under the new rules earlier this year.
McFarlane initially denied that he had completed the process of tubing the horse, but officials found the horse with the hose up its nose and a funnel and bucket with fluid in the stall. McFarlane was also discovered to have white powder in a plastic bag in his pocket. Stewards took blood from Ferocimo to test his TC02 levels.
And I love this:
Mcfarlane and his employee, Carmen Hepburn, who was holding the horse during the treatment, face a minimum 12-month disqualification after the Australian Racing Board implemented harsh penalties for “stomach-tubing, attempting to stomach-tube, cause to be stomach-tubed or be a party to the stomach-tubing” earlier this year.
Under part 4ACA of the Crimes Act, it is now an offence if the conduct of any person corrupts the betting outcome of an event, or if that conduct is likely to affect the outcome of any type of betting on the event, or if a person gets an unfair advantage from inside or privileged information.
This means that not just convicted trainers will do some time but the employees who collude with them. Assistant trainers or other staff who administer shock wave therapy for its pain numbing injury-masking properties – even if “the devil made you do it” – can be held accountable and punishable by law.
Another thing I really like about the NSW (New South Wales) law is that pending trial, the trainer can continue training (that is only fair in case the are innocent) but his or her horses cannot be entered into races.
It is our aim to get this started in the U.S. as early as possible.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at who would be in Dopeville Prison – maybe never to return to a racetrack except to work in the garden while wearing stripes – according to a 2010 New York Times report on racehorse doping violations.
Frequency of drug violations for horses of the top-earning trainers in the United States (2010)
Richard Dutrow Jr.
W. Bret Calhoun
Christophe Clement and Graham Motion are also on this list; however, both had zero violations in 2010.
See also Table 1, Repeat Offenders, for number of violations per entry:
Part 9 of The Chemical Horse, by Jane Allin.
Apologists, please do not use that age old argument that everyone has to cheat and dope their horses in order to compete on a level playing field. Does a school teacher say, oh, I have caught some of you cheating, so to make it fair for everyone, you can all cheat on your exams.
It is about time that the law caught up with these crooks, liars and cheats. It is clear to see that horse racing American style is drunk with doping with no end in sight. Testing does not work. New, improved, tighter regulations, enforced or voluntary, do not work (noting of course, in order for voluntary self-regulation to have a chance, owners and trainers cannot change their minds the moment they get back to the training barn and racetrack).
Yes, some good old-fashioned time at the pokey may be just what horse racing and its dopers need.