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SBD Global/April 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Gerard Butler Says His Horses Received Treatment, But Did Not Believe It Was A Problem

A second Newmarket horse trainer, Gerard Butler, admits that several horses in his yard received treatment for injured joints, but said that "he was so confident in veterinary assurances about the medication in question that he entered its use in his official medical records," according to Chris McGrath of the London INDEPENDENT. Those records were sent to the British Horseracing Authority, in connection with another matter, and returned without comment. He believes that more than 100 horses across the headquarters of British Flat racing have been given the same drug. BHA rules apply only to licensed premises, meaning horses can be administered steroids while at rest elsewhere. Butler, who stresses his full cooperation with the BHA, is clear that his horses were medicated in training. But his vets’ suggestion that the drug was widely used in the town, given in good faith, persuaded him that he was not courting trouble (INDEPENDENT, 4/29). In London, Mike Brewer reported Butler said, "It did not cross my mind that there could be any problem with this medication. And, judging from the fact that the BHA said nothing about it when they saw my medical book, it does not seem to have crossed their minds, either. Little Black Book ran on Aug. 4, and won a couple of weeks later, so they would have known he was clearly in training at the time." After admitting self-administering the same treatment to other horses, Butler "could now face a ban and he conceded he had made an error of judgment." Butler: “The fact I didn’t put that on the record shows that I knew it was wrong to diagnose and medicate those horses myself. It was an unpardonable misjudgment, purely to cut corners in what is a very expensive treatment" (LONDON TIMES, 4/29).

BHA INVESTIGATES: REUTERS' Justin Palmer reported the BHA said that "it was investigating a number of positive samples obtained from horses at Butler's yard." The BHA said in a statement, "One of the objectives of this investigation is to clarify the extent to which this product has been distributed and administered to horses in training" (REUTERS, 4/29).

GODOLPHIN IN 'NO RUSH': THE NATIONAL reported Godolphin stables is in ''no rush'' to appoint a new trainer at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket after Mahmoud Al Zarooni was banned for eight years. The BHA said last week Godolphin has "around 10 days to find a replacement for Al Zarooni if Moulton Paddocks is to remain active as a licensed training stable this season." Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford said that "the most pressing issue is to ensure the yard is 'clean of drugs.'" Crisford: "There is no rush to appoint anybody to train there at present" (THE NATIONAL, 4/29).
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