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Horse trainer's $30,000 penalty

Horse trainer Mark Webb has been fined $30,000.
Horse trainer Mark Webb has been fined $30,000. Nev Madsen

PROMINENT Toowoomba horse trainer Mark Webb has been fined $30,000 as his horse Primed tested positive to banned drugs after two races last year.

Mr Webb was initially disqualified from training for a period of four months after he pleaded guilty to two offences during a Stewards Inquiry on October 25 last year.

Primed returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited drug Flunixin after racing at the Toowoomba Turf Club on July 24.

Primed also tested positive to Flunixin and ibuprofen after racing at the Turf Club on July 31.

Mr Webb’s appeal was heard by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal’s decision was published recently. Tribunal member Peta Stilgoe said Racing Queensland accepted Mr Webb did not administer the drugs.

However, Miss Stilgoe said Mr Webb did not take adequate precautions to ensure the safety and security of his horses.

The tribunal heard Mr Webb contacted an off-duty police officer when he was advised Primed would be swabbed if the horse ran at the races on August 28.

The police officer advised Mr Webb to put cotton strands around the top and bottom of the stable door the night before the race.

The next morning he found the cotton strands were broken, meaning the door had been opened.

Mr Webb spoke with his employees and after realising they were not responsible he contacted Racing Queensland and had Primed swabbed.

The horse tested positive for two banned substances and was scratched from the race.

He said a third party had administered the drugs.

Mr Webb’s barrister Frank Martin argued the disqualification would also impact on the local racing industry as Mr Webb had between 40 and 60 horses at his stables at any one time.

He also employed 17 people.

“While the imposition of a disqualification for four months seems lenient, it has far-reaching ramifications for the industry in Toowoomba,” Miss Stilgoe said.

The tribunal set aside Racing Queensland’s four-month disqualification and instead imposed a $30,000 fine.


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