INQUIRY – TRAINER M F DE KOCK

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an Inquiry held in Johannesburg on 11 October 2021, Trainer Mr M F de Kock was charged with a contravention of Rule 73.2.4 in that he was the trainer of the horse:

1.      QUEEN SUPREME, from which a specimen taken after it had participated in and finished second in the 8th race at Turffontein Racecourse on 28 November 2020, disclosed upon analysis the presence of caffeine which is a prohibited substance in terms of the Rules of the NHA.

2.      QUEEN SUPREME, from which a specimen taken after it had participated in and won the 7th race at Turffontein Racecourse on 12 December 2020, disclosed upon analysis the presence of caffeine which is a prohibited substance in terms of the Rules of the NHA.

Trainer de Kock pleaded guilty to a contravention of Rule 73.2.4 on the sole basis that in terms of Rule 76.8 it is not a defence for a trainer to prove that he was unaware of the administration of a prohibited substance to a horse. Rule 76.8 thus imposes strict liability on trainers if their racehorses test positive for the presence of a prohibited substance. Strict liability means that a trainer can be found guilty of contravening Rule 73.2.4 even if the trainer did not participate in, or have knowledge of, the administration of a prohibited substance to a racehorse. Trainer de Kock did not have any knowledge of, nor did he participate in, the administration of caffeine to QUEEN SUPREME.

For the purposes of penalty, the Inquiry Board treated both contraventions as one due to the close proximity of the two races (14 days) and given that it was the same horse. In terms of Rule 72.3.2, QUEEN SUPREME is disqualified from the respective races. The provisions of Rule 67.7.8 regarding the procedure for stake money applies and the stake cheques are to be refunded for distribution. Trainer de Kock is to pay a fine of R34 000.00.

(NHA Press Release)

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