An Australian racehorse trainer has been fined after threatening to shoot his horses and deliver their heads to a government minister.
David Londregan made the threat during the suspension of jump racing in Victoria at the beginning of May.
Following the deaths of three horses at the Warrnambool May Carnival (5-7 May) jump racing was put on hold in the state and an emergency board meeting of Racing Victoria Ltd (RVL) was called to discuss a potential ban of the sport.
But on 18 May the RVL board came to a “unanimous” decision that jump racing would continue in Victoria, but new changes including removing the last obstacle and lengthening races would be put in place.
Last month Mr Londregan told local press that if the panel banned jump racing he would shoot his horses and send their heads to Victoria’s racing minister Rob Hulls, the head of Victoria’s racing regulatory body and animal rights groups.
He was fined AUS$5000 for his comments at a hearing in front of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Monday (1 June).
Because he pleaded guilty to “conduct prejudicial to the image of racing” $4000 of his fine was suspended, providing he doesn’t commit a similar offence before next May.
“I wish I had used better words and not caused all this hoo-ha,” Mr Londregan told local press.
“It was said in the heat of the moment. I’m pleased I’ve sort of saved jumps racing and I hope it survives for the next 100 years.”