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Volume 7 No. 83
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Richard Hannon Urges BHA To Discuss Strict Liability Issue With Trainers

Racehorse trainer Richard Hannon "urged authorities to meet trainers and discuss the contentious issue of strict liability before it destroys someone's career," according to Mark Souster of the LONDON TIMES. The call comes after the classic-winning handler was fined £8,000 ($10,700) by the British Horseracing Authority for a horse failing a drugs test for a painkiller this summer -- "a punishment that he plans to appeal." Hannon said, "It is too broad and way too black and white. It is very easy for the BHA to say, 'You're the licensed trainer, you carry the can for everything. That's it.' That is not right." He was fined after traces of tramadol were found in a urine sample of De Bruyne Horse. Hannon: "I have tried everything to find out the source. If somebody wanted to finish someone as a trainer, they could walk into the yard, put some steroids in a feed and they have the power to get you shut down" (LONDON TIMES, 12/6).

'BAFFLING LACK OF SUPPORT': In Dublin, Brian O'Connor reported outgoing Horse Racing Ireland Chair Joe Keeling launched a "stinging attack" on the Irish government, accusing it of a "baffling lack of support" in not increasing betting tax. Keeling's tenure is due to end in March and he used Tuesday's 15th HRI Awards to declare that some cabinet members need to adopt "some bravery" on the betting tax issue. Irish racing received €64M ($85.6M) in state money through the Horse & Greyhound Fund in '17. But there was "widespread disappointment" in the sport when that allocation stayed the same in the '18 budget (IRISH TIMES, 12/5).