1. Sexual ‘predator’ who assaulted teenager jailed
A “predatory” offender who sexually assaulted a 17-year-old as she was riding her horse alone – and “showed no remorse” for his actions – has been sent to prison. Nathan Thomas McCracken (pictured, top), of Commercial Street, Norton, was sentenced at York Crown Court on Tuesday (7 February). The 29-year-old had pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault and two breaches of a sexual harm prevention order imposed for a previous offence. He was jailed for four years and seven months.
2. Who should be at five-star
Eventing’s leaders debated how to weed out “soft qualifications” as part of ensuring that only the right competitors get to five-stars. The discussion took place at the FEI’s eventing risk management forum in Jardy last month. Standards at CCI5* were scrutinised as the forum – made up of top course-designers, riders, coaches, organisers and officials – looked at who is getting there, how they are qualifying, and what needs to change.
3. Trainer fined in ‘mystery’ contamination case
Trainer Gordon Elliott was fined £1,000 in a ‘mystery’ contamination case involving the horse who finished third in the Champion Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. Zanahiyr tested positive for 3-hydroxylidocaine – a metabolite of lidocaine – in a post-race urine sample at last year’s Festival. It is a prescription-only veterinary medicine, and is also available in over-the-counter products without a prescription for humans. Its use is not banned by the British Horseracing Authority, but it cannot be present in a horse’s system on raceday and has a 72-hour detection time. Neither the BHA nor Mr Elliott could find the source of the contamination. The horse was disqualified and Mr Elliott fined.
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