A horseracing trainer has been banned for six months and fined £1,000 after admitting restricting her horse’s water for more than two days before a race.
Laura Young of Bridgewater, Somerset, was investigated by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) after gelding Strategic Plan tested positive for tranexamic acid after winning a selling handicap hurdle at Plumpton on 23 March 2009.
But because Mrs Young admitted the welfare charge the BHA decided not to pursue the charge of administering a prohibited substance at the disciplinary inquiry on 19 April.
BHA director of welfare Professor Tim Morris said: “The welfare charges were, in my view, particularly serious.
“The welfare of horses — whether in training or when racing — is of paramount importance to the BHA, and it will not countenance conduct on the part of any licensed individual which compromises or potentially compromises the welfare of horses.”
Tranexamic acid promotes blood clotting and can be used to treat horses prone to bleeding from the nose.
Although it can be used legally in training, it must not be in the horse’s system on a raceday.
Mrs Young told the inquiry that she had dehydrated the gelding because she believed that it would minimise the prospects of him bleeding in the coming race.
The gelding received no water for 52 hours, save for what Mrs Young described as “a wet sponge a couple of times before it ran”, “mouthfuls of water at reasonably regular intervals from a hand held bucket” and “plenty of times during the day it was allowed to have a couple of sips or wash its mouth out”.
Mrs Young’s disqualification was suspended for 72 hours to enable five horses in training to be transferred from her yard and for her nine other horses to be put in the care of her husband.
The disgraced trainer agreed to attend a course in equine husbandry.
The Queen’s trainer Nicky Henderson was banned for 3 months and fined £40,000 for use of the same drug last year.