• At Chelmsford Racecourse on Tuesday 15th August 2017, blood samples were obtained from the horses Sacha Of Carless and Ugolin Viking. Following the sampling, the blood was tested by LCH, where the prohibited substances Benzoylecgonine (BZE) and Ecgonine Methyl Ester (EME) were identified, reported and confirmed. The presence of these substances being a breach of Section Y of the BHRC Rules and Regulations.
  • The horses Sacha Of Carless and Ugolin Viking were disqualified from the races competed in on 15th August 2017 and suspended from racing.
  • On 18th September 2017 Mr Foy requested the BHRC provide the levels of each substance reported in each blood sample in ng/ml. This information was confirmed by LCH and provided to Mr Foy on 22nd September 2017.
  • A hearing was convened on Friday 29th September 2017 to examine and adjudicate this case.
  • The panel consisted of BHRC Stewards; Barry Delaney, Jim McInally and Bret Strickland.
  • The panel heard submissions from Mr John Foy -
  1. Mr Foy confirmed that he had no dispute with the findings of LCH and accepted that he was the trainer responsible for the horses
  2. Mr Foy informed the panel that he had not administered any substance to either of the two horses.
  3. Mr Foy stated that the levels detected in his opinion showed a case of accidental contamination, an opinion he asserted was backed up by a line on an email from LCH which read ’It could be possible to an accidental contamination’.
  4. Mr Foy brought forward research regarding contamination levels on bank notes, permitted levels for judges and pilots, and racing jurisdictions with threshold levels.
  5. Mr Foy informed the panel that someone else had transported Ugolin Viking to the course for him.
  6. Mr Foy stated that he could not offer an explanation as to how the substances had come to be in the horses blood. Mr Foy felt that it would be impossible to make a charge against one particular person.
  • Mr Foy reiterated that he had absolutely not administered any substances to his horses. Mr Foy was resolute in his opinion that the levels detected could only be down to accidental contamination against which he felt it would be impossible for anyone to offer an absolute cause.
  • The panel determined that:
  • [i] The presence of Benzoylecgonine and Ecgonine Methyl Ester in the two blood samples is a breach of Section Y of the BHRC Rules and Regulations
    [ii] Having regard to the low levels of the substances reported by LCH (BZE 0.24ng/ml & 0.1ng/ml / EME 0.4ng/ml & 1ng/ml), the response of LCH (It could be possible to an accidental contamination) and the defence put forward by Mr Foy, the panel accepted that the levels reported are relative to accidental environmental contamination
    [iii] Having regard to the low levels of the substances reported by LCH, the panel accepted the defence that the trainer could not be conclusively resolute of how the contamination occurred.

  • The panel determined the following in regard to penalty:
  • [i] Both horses to remain disqualified from the races they competed in at Chelmsford on 15th August 2017
    [ii] No handicap penalty to be retained on the handicap marks relating to the horses.
    [iii] Both horses must pass a BHRC Integrity Test before becoming eligible to be entered to race. The owner to bear the costs of this test and any hearing pursuant to that test.
    [iv] The panel determined that it would not be appropriate to issue any fine or suspension against a trainer where accidental environmental contamination is an accepted defence.
    [v] The costs relating to the BHRC Integrity Tests taken on 15th August 2017 and any costs of the hearing to be covered by the BHRC

  • The Panel to prepare a report for the BHRC in reference to:
  • [i] Threshold levels for the substances reported
    [ii] Clarity and distinction of accidental contamination issues
    [iii] Precautionary advise notes for licence holders