CHRB suspends trainer John Martin after 3 horses test positive

Golden Gate Fields. Photographer Unknown.

ALBANY — A Southern California trainer has been suspended for one year by Golden Gate Fields stewards after three horses in his care tested positive for a banned drug, the California Horse Racing Board announced Tuesday.

Owner/trainer John Martin of Marina del Rey had half of the suspension stayed as long as he does not commit any other serious medication violations, state racing officials said in a news release.

Martin, who has 1,941 victories in 7,631 starts, according to Equibase, also was fined $20,000.

Three horses Martin ran at Golden Gate Fields in Albany and the Big Fresno Fair tested positive for ergoloid mesylates, state officials said. Ergoloid mesylates are used to treat Alzheimer’s and certain mood disorders in humans, according to the horse racing board. State officials said the drug is thought to be used in racing as an anti-bleeding treatment.

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We looked up ergoloid mysylates. See below. We still don’t what the heck it is. Is it really an anti-bleeder, or simply makes you feel happy, feel no pain type of happy that is. Not that we really need to know. The list of illicit drugs given to racehorses is seemingly bottomless. However, it’s interesting about Albert Hofmann, being the discoverer of LSD. Totally unrelated no doubt, except LSD has been given to racehorses. It was the 70s but you know . . . and, . . . never mind.

“Ergoloid mesylates (USAN), co-dergocrine mesilate (BAN) or dihydroergotoxine mesylate, trade name Hydergine, is a mixture of the methanesulfonate salts of three dihydrogenated ergot alkaloids (dihydroergocristine, dihydroergocornine, and alpha- and beta-dihydroergocryptine).

It was developed by Albert Hofmann (the discoverer of LSD) for Sandoz (now part of Novartis).”

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” —Aristotle.

We only quote from the best. Ta-ra.

2019 Celebration Grand Champion winner suspended

Help End Horse Soring

The script never changes when it comes to horse soring, does it?

Clant Seay writes:

World Grand Champion “Big Lick” Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick upholds “Tennessee Tradition” of going on the USDA federal suspension list for alleged “horse soring” shortly after the conclusion of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

But that’s not all of course. It never is with these “folks”. Seay adds:

Mr. Rodney Dick will start serving an 18 month USDA Federal Suspension on October 1, 2019, for two alleged “Horse Soring” violations occurring at the 2016 TWH Celebration. Mr. Dick also agreed to pay a $2,200.00 fine related to his suspension which will end March 31, 2021.

Of course this atrocious human being could care less because he got his ribbon. All of that horrific abuse of a horse who could barely canter because of the excruciating pain he was in — for a lousy ribbon. Where else would you see such a thing? We must stop it.

S.1007 — The PAST Act

Please contact your two U.S. Senators today and ask them to cosponsor S.1007, the PAST Act, and stay committed to giving it their yes vote. The PAST Act has already passed the U.S. House 333-96. When the PAST Act becomes law it will end the ongoing monstrous acts of animal cruelty that is horse soring.

It will only take you a few minutes. Will you do that for these horses?

Type up what you want to say. Go to and find your two Senators. If you don’t know who they are there’s a drop down box where you can sort by State. Click on their links to go to their pages. Click on the email link. Copy & paste your message. Send.

We hope you will speak from the heart. This will impress your lawmakers more than anything else.

If you have any questions email us at or ask us in comments below.

In case you need to see what this looks like again.

Seay tells us more:

Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick is the second Walking Horse Trainer to go on USDA Suspension for alleged “Horse Soring” charges in the last three years.

The first was Walking Horse Trainer BOYZ Mr. Bill Callaway who established the “Tennessee Tradition” of going on USDA Federal Suspension for alleged “horse soring”. Mr. Callaway did so at 12:01 A.M. on Monday, September 4, 2017, after winning the Celebration World Grand Championship at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 2, 2017.

Ask Congress to close the loopholes that allows this horrific “sport” to go on.

Find and contact your two U.S. Senators at »

Thank you on behalf of I’m Mayhem and all of the thousands of horses like him who have suffered and will continue to suffer these cruelties unless we bring it to an end for them.

California Governor steps in to protect racehorses

California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom. Image: LA Times

California Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday announced his support for SB 469, which would authorize the California Horse Racing Board to suspend horse racing licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders, reports the Pasadena Star-News:

“The recent horse fatalities in California are unacceptable,” Newsom said in a statement. “We must hold the horse racing industry to account. If we can regulate horse race meets, we should have the authority to suspend licenses when animal or human welfare is at risk.”

Additionally the Governor announced his administration has taken substantive regulatory actions through the horse racing board in response to the recent horse deaths in the state. The board has:

  • Initiated special investigations into all fatalities at Santa Anita this year. Investigations are being conducted by a team of sworn CHRB investigators, an official veterinarian and a safety steward.
  • Suspended authorization of 11 previously lawful corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory medications from being present in race horses on race day at all tracks in California. This will prevent the masking-effect such medications can have in hiding a horse’s existing injuries from examining veterinarians on race day.
  • Increased official veterinarian, safety steward and investigator staffing at Santa Anita.
  • Proposed five regulatory packages to:
    1. Eliminate use of the riding crop in racing, except in cases of emergency.
    2. Require trainers maintain records of all veterinary medications, treatments and procedures performed on a horse in their care (for purposes of CHRB inspections).
    3. Make the board’s existing Postmortem Examination Review a mandatory requirement for all trainers who have a horse die in their care. This is currently a voluntary program.
    4. Prohibit use of bisphosphonates, which is a class of drug that prevents loss of bone density.
    5. Restrict the amount of anti-inflammatory medications that may be present in a horse’s body when working out at a CHRB-licensed facility.

We thank California Governor Gavin Newsom for forcing the California Horse Racing Board to take these much needed steps to begin protecting the racehorse from injury and death. It is a valiant step forward that never would have happened if the Governor had not intervened, and for that we applaud him, states Vivian Farrell, founding President of The Horse Fund.

A new regulation going into effect July 1 will greatly expand out-of-competition testing and provide a means for the board to prosecute offenders who abuse prescribed medications.


For Californians

The Horse Fund calls on Californians to support SB 469. Find your California legislator here »

California has updated its legislative website »

Visit this link to see the latest markup of SB 469 »

Visit The Horse Fund website »

Related Reading

LAist names the 26 horses who died at Santa Anita since December »
26th horse death at Santa Anita track prompts calls for a halt to racing »
The slow and merciless death of American horse racing »