Trainer V Rugg Fined


The National Horseracing Authority confirms that an Inquiry held at its offices on 16 February 2011, and concluded on 6 April 2011, Trainer V C Rugg was charged with a contravention of Rule 73.2.4 in that he was the trainer and the person responsible for the horse BOMBER BILL at the time when a specimen taken from this horse, after it participated in the 8th Race run at the Flamingo Park Racecourse on 25 October 2010, disclosed upon analysis the presence of Carprofen which is a prohibited substance in terms of the Rules of The National Horseracing Authority.

Trainer Rugg pleaded guilty to the charge, which plea was accepted by the Inquiry Board.

In determining a suitable penalty, the Inquiry Board took guidance from the judgment handed down in the High Court matter of The Jockey Club of Southern Africa vs Clodagh Shaw, which dealt with negligence administration of a prohibited substance by a Veterinarian Surgeon and the concept of strict liability imposed on Trainers. The judges remarked as follows:

“It need hardly be added that suitably heavy sentences will also deters others, such as veterinary surgeons, from careless conduct.  They will realise that such conduct might incur a penalty for and the displeasure of their clients, with resultant loss of custom of, or even civil recourse against, the veterinary surgeon.

In all of these circumstances it would in my view be quite wrong to reduce a serious offence to a mere technicality solely on the ground of absence of culpability, which is the risk that will be run if the deterrent effect of sentence is to be ignored.  The administration of the disciplinary rules by the appellant and the integrity of racing might thereby fall into disrepute”

Relying on these principles, the Inquiry Board imposed a fine of R15 000

Mr Rugg has the right of Appeal against the penalty imposed.

Furthermore, in terms of Rule 72.3.2, BOMBER BILL is disqualified from the said race and the provisions of Rule 67.7.8 shall apply.

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