AQHA Champion Trainer Kearl Suspended 19 Years; Stroud, Sanchez Also Sanctioned

by | 10.26.2017 | 5:50pm
Judd Kearl, 2016 AQHA champion trainer, will not be eligible for reinstatement until July 30, 2036

Reigning champion American Quarter Horse Association trainer Judd Kearl has been suspended 19 years and fined $110,000 by stewards in Texas after five of his horses tested positive for the Class 1 drug nomifensine – a human antidepressant medication taken off the market in the 1980s. Two other trainers were sanctioned at the same time after horses in their care tested positive for the medication: Brian Stroud received a one-year suspension and $10,000 fine for one nomifensine positive and Jose Sanchez was suspended four years and fined $35,000 for two positives.

According to the rulings, Kearl will not be eligible for reinstatement until July 30, 2036. He was suspended one year and fined $10,000 for the first violation, three years and $25,000 for the second, and five years and $25,000 for each subsequent violation.

The eight violations occurred over several weeks, beginning May 22 with a Kearl horse testing positive at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and continuing at Retama Park in San Antonio for the other seven. Nomifensine was detected and identified by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab and split samples were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Toxicology and Research Laboratory.

Each trainer was summarily suspended pending a hearing. All the cases were combined into one hearing, conducted from Sept. 25-27, with additional transcripts submitted Oct. 6 and written closing arguments on Oct. 10. Kearl and Sanchez were represented by attorneys Eleanor Ruffner and Darrell Vienna; Stroud by Trent Rowell. Stewards were Anne Alley, Mike Pelletier and Fred Winch Jr., with Devon Bijansky, deputy general counsel for the Texas Racing Commission, also present.

According to the rulings, “All three respondents employed veterinarian Dr. Justin Robinson, and the logical inference from the totality of the evidence is that he was responsible for the administration of nomifensine to all of the horses in question.”

The trainers claimed the drug was given to the horses without their knowledge.

“However, ignorance does not relieve the respondents of responsibility,” the rulings state, citing trainer responsibility under Texas Racing Commission rules. “To allow a trainer to excuse any positive by claiming ignorance regarding what a veterinarian administered, is to allow a trainer to abdicate a responsibility that is theirs by rule. Therefore, this board of stewards will not endorse a trainer's active ignorance as an excuse for a positive test for a prohibited substance in a race horse.”

The investigative process, specimen handling and storage procedures were brought into question by counsel for the three trainers, who said some procedures deviated from written policies.

“Some procedures have been improved, while the written policy is still in the process of being updated,” the rulings state. “Fewer tubes of blood are drawn from the horse after the race, because of the larger size of the storage tubes. Also, the process of storing the blood serum was improved, thereby lessening the chance of contamination. Respondents pointed out that some samples were refrigerated rather than frozen.”

On the latter issue, Dr. Scott Stanley of the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine was brought in as an expert witness for the commission. Stanley said refrigeration's only effect might be to “reduce concentrations of substances in the blood being stored.”

It was also revealed that security offices at the tracks had keys to the test barns, freezers and refrigerators, which is another departure from written policy.

“However, none of these issues compromised the sufficiency of the chain of custody of these specimens, and no evidence whatsoever was introduced that the specimens were tampered with or that the results are not reliable,” according to the rulings.

Nomifensine was withdrawn from the market in the 1980s and had its FDA approval revoked in 1992, the rulings state.

Robinson, the veterinarian who worked for the three trainers, did not testify at the hearing.

Attorney Vienna said he would be “surprised” if his clients did not appeal the rulings. “We had hoped for a different outcome,” Vienna said, “but all the signs during the hearing, the implications, tenor and general feeling was that this was a fait accompli.”

Vienna said any appeal would be heard by an administrative law judge appointed by the state of administrative hearings. “We still have an opportunity to seek a remedy in the courts,” he added.

Kearl was named AQHA champion trainer after horses he trained won 129 races from 474 starts in 2016 for earnings of $4.6 million. Stroud and Sanchez also have won won major Quarter horse races during their careers.

 

  • Truth Speaker

    What does it say about your short when your CHAMPION TRAINER is suspended for 19 years ? WOW. And what’s up with the guard having a key to the samples ? That could have led and may have led to all kinds of corruption. The rest of the world is looking at American racing and they’re laughing.

    • todd fortune

      Go ahead and laugh. This is not funny to me in any shape, way or fashion.

      • Truth Speaker

        I’m glad it’s not funny to you. But in order for American racing to stop being the laughing stock of the world you need to put a petition before your Congress that will outlaw race day medications and strengthen out of competition testing. It’s beyond me why these offenders don’t face criminal prosecution for animal cruelty.

        • kim

          Wait 😏

  • Debra Sheffield

    The vets are as much to blame as the trainers. The suspension is ridiculous. Time to get serious and get rid of the rid raf. That includes the big trainers like Baffert. Clean up the sport or lose the fans. Watch us horse enthusiasts go after the sport in any way possible.

  • Ike Green

    Hang em high

  • El Espresso

    This just the tip of the iceberg folks; but it IS a start. It’s a shame they couldn’t have doubled the fines for all those guys. Every single one of them has been getting away with doping horses for a long long time. Seems there is a little glimmer hope on the backside that the tide has turned and the racing officials are actually going to attempt to clean up the sewage that QH racing has become. There is still a ton of doping going on and NO I’m not making this up. Once the officials start sampling feed … which they need to do desperately AND take samples of feed supplements which people are lacing with peptides they will start to weed out a few more crooks and cheats. Keep the heat on the vets and a little

    • Todays_Tom_Sawyer

      Now if we can get this type of diligence on the thoroughbred racing in TX. Some leading trainers would be suspended for decades after they are dead and gone. Instead of suspension, there needs to be lifetime bans. If we are serious about making this a great sport, we need to weed out the cheats, and quit letting the big barns skirt the rules and gain favor with the racing office. The buddy system with the big barns needs to go, and we need to get ALL illegal doping out of horse racing. And yes, the vets should be held just as liable.

      • Tango F

        In TX? How about where the big cheats thrive, in CA?

        • Joey Seay

          Lol… Then who would be left to win the BCC every year

          • Guamo

            Yep.

        • Todays_Tom_Sawyer

          You’re right…I shouldn’t have limited it to TX. This is a nationwide issue in horse racing.

        • kim

          Name one

          • frank graziano

            Ignore her. Just her normal Venom-Spewing. Hence, SoCal nickname ” DUMB ASP”

          • kim

            Whatever sounds like you are in the koolaid gang , seems I was correct in big suspensions etc … when you go by your real name we might take you serious

          • frank graziano

            I was backing YOU up. She can’t name one. I agree with YOU. Cool your jets.

          • kim

            Apologize 😬😬😬I’m so used to getting crap , thought you called me the dumb blonde , at times I try to resemble that remark 😏I’ve found dumb blondes get further with some people , yes make one cheater . Sure Allred would love to know , he’s not a track owner who turns a blind eye , again I apologize

          • frank graziano

            Accepted. I might have added to the confusion by not saying ” Ignore Tango”.

          • kim

            😏 have a great day

          • Manefan

            Weird that I received your greeting to Frank on my Discus. Never happened before. Hope Frank got the message too. I’ve got to quit Discus, I guess. And, you have a great day too!

      • Guamo

        I couldn’t have said it better. And I am old and watched all this evolve. It’s no longer about horsemen but about using the best drugs and not getting caught. Yes, there are hall of famers that have a special little corner in hell reserved for them.

        • Al McBean

          Amen.

    • Guamo

      It’s sad. At least it will weed out a few. And yes the vet should lose his license, forever. The same should apply in all horse industries–including Thoroughbred racing. It’s the same there only less obvious by the glimmer of $$$, famous people involved and the industry itself turning a blind eye so not to be embarrassed. They go over-the-top to make everything look so “pretty.”

    • kim

      Exactly correct , I truly believe new owners of ruidoso who are taking the lines Allred is , is a huge help!!! There is power in numbers and don’t give up the fight of preyectimg the bettors and horses

  • El Espresso

    Hey AQHA Leaders here is a real “POSITIVE “ you all can focus on !! Too bad he and his program boy still trains for half of you !!

    • Scoot

      Thats the truth!!! What a joke.

    • Jana Trotter

      Please tell me who 1/2 of the AQHA leaders you are speaking of?

      • Tres Abagados Stupidos

        Bobby Cox, Ted Abrahms, Darling Farms, Stennets, MJ Farms, Jumonville…etc…etc… Those are just a few of the leading owners/breeders of AQHA horses that still have horses with Kearl via Padgett. There are many others as well. As long as these owners keep supporting these cheats the situation will never get better.

        • kim

          Those are only juddd , you made it sound like all big owners with all
          Trainers , I agree with you on his clients , they have had plenty of time to change …..then complain when they can’t come to los al

          • Tres Abagados Stupidos

            The original statement was “Too bad he and his program boy still trains for half of you !!”…So when Mrs. Trotter questioned who the 1/2 were I named SOME of the ones Kearl via Padgett still train for. There are many more I did not list. I don’t think Espresso was indicting all the AQHA leaders. He was stating a fact that a lot of leaders in the AQHA world still have horses with this cheat.

          • kim

            You’re correct there ! They all
            JUmped on the world champ trainer ban wagon….. I’ve had some of his owners write me and say I was lying he never did it etc! It’s gotten very ugly , but Texas did the right thing , wonder how long til his owners leave assistants of his because they are not allowed at many track shows in the west

          • El Espresso

            IT will be a long long time because now he can get puppet trainers to stick their miserable necks out just like cartel folks used to and still do . The owners can always use the “well I just don’t believe or can’t believe “ lie to themselves and the rest of the world and keep him in business and try every dirty trick in the book to win of which he will be happy to oblige…. and then send them all a bill each month; which they will happily pay.

          • El Espresso

            By the way I know you’re not lying. I’ve walked past his barn for days watching the horses sweat and twitch while the rest of the world turned a blind eye

          • Scoot

            And shouldn’t a horse be able to walk off the track on their own accord after the race instead of locking up and having to be hauled off? Why is that not a big red flag?

          • kim

            Totally agree! Vets list

          • Scoot

            Now if the new Ruidoso owners want to really clean up racing, they will refuse the Judd/Padget entries and start cleaning up the program trainer issue. A recent stakes race run at Hobbs was stocked full of program trained horses. There is a common sense way to put a stop to this. It just takes a little effort.

          • kim

            You didn’t get that memo? They aren’t allowed at ruidoso next year

          • Jana Trotter

            I read “AQHA leaders” to mean (in the organization) – seems like I took the context wrong and am on the same page now (owners/breeders). Agreed.

          • El Espresso

            I should have been more clear in my statement, but I challenge you personally to just look at the entries and owners who are still running their horses through his operation.

        • Eric

          Your post points out a BIG part of the current problem – the owners. Owners are so desperate to win big races, and put some nice black type on their broodmares’ progeny, that they will employ these trainers even though deep down they must have had a pretty strong suspicion that the trainer has an illegal edge. And when trainer A gets in trouble, the owners (most of the time) will just move the horses to trainer A’s beard, or to another equally disreputable trainer.

          I could be mistaken, but I believe the Stennetts have all their horses with Trey Wood.

          • Tres Abagados Stupidos

            You are correct. Stennetts are with Trey Wood. I was thinking of Bennie and Teri Jeter. My mistake and if the Stennetts read Paulick Report I apologize.

        • Jana Trotter

          There are 5 owners/breeders listed here – not one of them has ever held any leadership position in AQHA. The Stennet’s have no horses with Kearl/Padett.

          • Tres Abagados Stupidos

            Bobby Cox??? Gus Barakis (Current TQHA VP)??? You gotta admit it is pretty disgusting that they still have horse(s) with them.

          • Scoot

            I agree. I always considered Bobby Cox to be a true horseman but I was so wrong. It makes his champion breedee award look like a joke.

          • Tres Abagados Stupidos

            Race 11 on Nov. 11th at Lone Star Park. Jerry Windham. Past AQHA President. Now what do you have to say?

      • kim

        Good for you I wanted to know also

      • Caballo

        Jana do you think it’s “ok” that your trainer of record also has multiple positive clenbuterol violations? Why is that acceptable but others are villainized for the same offenses? Your trainer had multiple infractions at Lone Star last year, then a positive in futurity trials at sunland that resulted in a scratch from the finals and earlier this year at Remington his horses weren’t allowed to enter the championship because of positive hair tests. You can’t have it both ways when you live in a glass house. The texas racing commission shows all of the positive tests on their website and so does the new mexico racing commission….it’s all public knowledge.

        • Tres Abagados Stupidos

          Ouch….that’s gonna leave a mark.

    • Tisa Helmick

      Agreed they may have suspended Kearl but Padgett still runs his horses hmm. Glad the race commission is trying to clean it up now if they could only stop the owners also, believe me the money for the drugs were coming from somewhere other then the trainers own pocket. And as far as the vets being in their back pockets shame on them, they should be looking out for the animal that can not speak or fight it.

      • Guamo

        Well said. Sometimes the truth hurts, but not nearly to the kind of abuse and pain they put the horses through, just so they can get their mug in the media and get more horses to abuse because they are so “successful” in making money for the owners and breeders. Shame, shame and sad for the horses.

    • kim

      Not here and not in ruidoso

  • Manefan

    It’s a start. Good to know there are consequences. But, I didn’t read of punishment, in any way, for Justin Robinson, DMV, the pusher. I read that he had a suspension in 2015 in Oklahoma which Texas honored by reciprocity. Apparently, he didn’t get the message. If his license were revoked across the U.S. and he received a heavy fine, would it have an impact? Or, would he just operate under the radar? After all, the drug that the pusher got ahold of was off market since 1980. Must be secondary manufacturers for drugs off market to be sold on black market. Bust his you know what.

    • kim

      He did get arrested a few months ago by Feds just wait

      • Tres Abagados Stupidos

        That is not true. Though he should be……He has not yet been arrested. That was one of the many rumors.

        • kim

          Hmmm ok

      • Manefan

        I notice that the article says that Justin Robinson did not testify at the hearing. I don’t know if there are consequences for that but, maybe he is being prosecuted separately? I hope that all eyes are on J. Robinson, DMV and his cohorts for a long, long time and that reputable DMV’s will come forward to support change and shine some light on this cesspool.

        • Umpscous

          I thought vets were DVM’s’ Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and that DMV is the Department of Motor Vehicles?

          • Manefan

            You are so right, of course. Wierd, I saw it and thought, I need to fix that. Then, scrubbing my oven distracted me. Short-term memory problem, I guess. Thanks for catching it

    • rubey_red

      Vets are regulated by the state board. There is no national licensure. So each state has to take action individually.
      Nomifensine is no longer FDA-approved, but from a quick Google search, there are plenty of compounding pharmacies willing to fill an order. Tough to tell whether those are US-based or foreign, or whether these particular orders were shipped to the US or to, say, Mexico and illegally imported.

      • Manefan

        Once a U.S. patent runs out, or is no longer FDA approved, my guess is pharmaceutical companies will manufacture and market their product elsewhere where there is no legal ban. Maybe give it a new name and new pretty color. I remember when DDT was outlawed in the U.S. But, that didn’t stop it’s sale in Mexico. Your response was nice and meaty. Much to chew on.

        • Guamo

          Where is a will there is a way.

      • kim

        They made their own , bought stuff from Hong Kong , receipts etc

  • El Espresso

    Well in this case the vet worked “exclusively” at the Kearl barn and constantly drove around in the JK racing team golf cart with his little support dog. So the assumption that nobody knew what he was giving doesn’t hold water. It was a common discussion on the backside that if you wanted to win you needed this particular vet to administer the good stuff. Problem was he couldn’t go against his bread and butter so the secret was getting in a race that Kearl wasn’t in… or make a deal … which a few did and went down with the ship.

  • Joey Seay

    The vets arent sneaking in and injecting the horses..

    • Not sneaking, its part of the daily rotine. I would like to think traners are cluless about the mix thats being given under the guise of keeping the horse in peek health. But i dont think so ..heck i wonder if most track vets even understand the action of what they are givin ..or perhaps they do. The vet is the “knowleable” person and is as culpable if not more so than the trainer or owner. Further more if a vet supplys meds or administer a med at the trainers request that he knows is not aproperiate its only perpose is to fill there pocket book. As you can tell i have seen these CLOWN’S in action.
      About the only recorse an owner has (if he didnt know) is civil action against the vet. These are typicaly settled out of cort with non disclouser and thus never make the news

      • kim

        You guys ( some) are missing the worst part…. they compounded this drug themselves , like a meth lab, bought stuff to make it full knowing it’s been illegal since 1970 in humans and never legal for horses,

    • kim

      Thank you!

  • Susan Higgins

    Can someone tell me how this antidepressant enhances performance? Seems so odd…

    • Rick Blaine

      Nomifensine has been found to have strong analgesic (painkilling) effect in animals.

      • Guamo

        “Nomifensine is rapidly and completely absorbed and is widely distributed throughout the body. The major route of elimination is through the kidneys. Because of its short half-life and resultant lack of accumulation, nomifensine is usually given in divided doses. Because of its short half-life and resultant lack of accumulation, nomifensine is usually given in divided doses.” Therefore, with the abuse of Lasix, horses still get the drug effects but quickly (with the aid of Lasix) urinate much of it out of their systems pre-testing. For the greedy, worth the chance.

        • Rick Blaine

          Thank you. I was unaware of how quickly the drug was eliminated. I do recall a paper published in an anesthesiology journal about how anti-depressants could play a major role in suppressing pain. It was a rather convincing study and one of the few, if not the only, drug named was nominfensine. The fact it’s also very hard to detect makes an ideal drug to abuse in racehorses.

      • HowardRoark314

        As a human who has been prescribed tramadol for back pain, I can attest that while lifting weights on these pills my performance is greatly enhanced. More strength and more endurance along with the euphoric effect.

  • Eric

    If you are a trainer – and not a hobby horseman but a legitimate trainer that is entrusted with high priced horses and competes for Grade I’s and year end titles – you ought to know exactly what your vet is using when he treats your horses. If you think you are one of the best at what you do, there shouldn’t be one detail in the treatment of your horses that you aren’t 100% aware of – especially if its something that could potentially cost you your livelihood.

    Did all these trainers employ Dr Robinson because they felt he was the best at treating musculoskeletal issues? Of course not. They knew he had “the good stuff”.

    Unfortunately for Texas racing, this is all too late. The TRC appears ready to issue just 48 QH race days for 2018. Thats for all the Texas tracks combined. How can any Texas racing operation survive racing just 48 dates a year, especially with the purse structure where it is?

    • Guamo

      Maybe for obvious reasons it should not survive. Sad but true, for the horses sake who have to endure the abuse. Tell the crooks what racing world they have created.

      • Eric

        Thought provoking post. I don’t want to endorse this, because its easy for me to say “shut it down” when I don’t make a living from the industry, but its possible that the problems run too deep to be fixed, at least with the way that the sport is currently governed.

        • Guamo

          Your post is thought provoking also, and appreciated. I don’t want to endorse it either, however, I don’t hold much hope that things will change much. Now and then the big headlines come out about big changes. Personally I think it is them trying to do damage control. The “problems run too deep to be fixed” IMHO. Whenever, wherever there is such large amounts of money involved, whether in horse racing, other sports, or life in general there are always those who come in through the back door.

  • Neigh Sayer

    I will never understand how the vet that knowingly administers an illegal drug walks without any punishment. I have no doubt the trainers tell him to give it and the trainers should get the punishment given, but the vet should not walk. And this goes for any positive of an illegal substance. If the vet would also be held responsible this would not happen nearly as often and it would soon become clear which vets are doing it and who isn’t when all the dirty trainers start switching vets.

    • Guamo

      Well said! Most trainers do not have the chemistry background to comprehend drugs/combinations/withdrawal times so depend on their vets. There is a lot of $$$ involved for the vets. Most vets in private practice (small animal and large) have a building and a reputation to protect. Race track vets only have to show up and put certain drug administrations on paper—but nobody follows them around to see what they actually do and give to a horse in 5 seconds in the stall. Their paper trail is sometimes not true. The trainer does not have to be present to watch and confirm the administration of such drug(s). But yet they know. If not, they are irresponsible and should not be training horses. Notice they don’t change vets for a reason. Anyone who has ever worked on the backside know which vets do what.

      • kim

        I got told a yr and a half ago
        That this vet and judd were working very late in his barn all the time , I suggested videoing and or hiring someone to follow and do that … maybe they did?

    • CEOmike

      How about a vet giving a drug without the trainers knowledge in order to have an advantage in betting. For example, a vet gives a drug to a 20 to 1 horse in a race with a real strong favorite, then goes and bets $1000 on an exacta that will pay maybe $100.

      • togahombre

        jane cibelli went on claiming her vet blocked her horse without her approval but the authorities didn’t buy it

        • kim

          Was she trainer or owner?

          • togahombre

            trainer

          • togahombre

            she got 60 days from the state regulators plus the track wouldn’t take her entries for a year

          • Neigh Sayer

            And Monmouth welcomed her with open arms where she vied for trainer title.

          • togahombre

            they should have given her another 60 days for thinking the regulators would buy that phony excuse

          • Neigh Sayer

            She thought she could get away with anything as she was closely and personally tied to a person in a high place at Tampa.

        • Neigh Sayer

          Ah, good ole Cibelli. I remember that. Interesting trivia, she was fined not once but twice for foul language. She was known for having a foul temper and often would blow up. The backside is not known for polite language so it’s really hard to get fined for it let alone twice.

      • Harry Plummer

        But Mike when the blood and urine samples are tested and show positive I’m not sure how the vet is going to win – just a thought.

        • HowardRoark314

          This vet found a drug that had long been discontinued….and he figured it wouldn’t show up in any modern test. Seems like he graduated from the bottom of his vet school class. Plus any positive test resulting in a return of purse money doesn’t effect those who cashed tickets.

      • kim

        Quote about this particular vet…. oh he’s just a mad chemist … ( that’s sick)

      • BDuffy

        Do you really think it’s that simple?
        That a vet could just administer a med to a long shot and that would make the horse win??
        Wow….
        That’s incredible that you think that could happen

    • Ida Lee

      100% with you…..Vets, of all MDs, should be the loudest voice in protecting animals against all kinds of abuse….we had a vet in our town who would fix up dogs who would be in shreds after dog fighting which is of course illegal …I tell you I try not to hate anybody….it only hurts me but when I see animals being hurt in any way I go a little crazy …

      • kim

        Agree , why I quit racing , seeing your baby you raised and or raced killed by drugs , couldn’t take it anymore

        • Ida Lee

          I love the TBs and racing …. a horse in flight is one of the most beautiful sights I’ve every seen but I know, and I’ve said this for years, that one day we’re going to have a breakdown or death of a special horse to me and I’ll never see another race again…

          • kim

            Yep sadly unless more people kick in and help you could be correct

          • Rusty Shackelford

            FYI : All horses are special, no matter what conditions they run in, G1 to clming 4000. To categorize horses as some being special then what do you or whomever your referring to categorize the other runners as? Intrested in hearing this answer or will I get no response. Hmm….. Stay tuned for this response. Ida Lee we all await your knowledgeable response…..

          • Ida Lee

            You don’t have to be a genius to respond to your comment Rusty….and obviously, you don’t have to be a genius to make such a statement….First of all, everyone (or at least I hope everyone) has someone or something they consider special….and I do have special people and animals that I like or love and think are special to various degrees…..it’s human nature….and yes I know the sport I’m in and that every race is a tragedy waiting to happen….and of course, being a human being who loves animal, it’s very traumatic to lose one even if I don’t know them well, but if they’re a personal favorite of mine, and I do have many favorites, then it’s like losing someone close to me….I have invested a lot of time and emotion into that one particular horse…so yeah, I’m going to be quite upset if I lose a special one to me…we’re human beings….the heart wants what the heart wants….we’re all different ….especially when it comes to what is special to us….

          • FastBernieB

            I’m not a genius and I understand exactly what you’re saying. The saddest days I’ve ever witnessed at any racetrack are when a catastrophic breakdown occurs. A pall settles over the fans and for most, there will be no joy left in what otherwise might have been a nice day. Likewise for all of the backstretch community who care deeply for all of the horses and their human connections. And as much as the owners, trainers and barn staff will be terribly upset by the loss, it will often be the groom of the horse who is inconsolable by the loss of their “special” horse. I can name one groom that I knew directly who was unable to recover from one such loss several years ago, changed careers and achieved success in the banking sector. Suffice it to say that I knew exactly what you meant in your first response (to Kim).

          • Ida Lee

            Thank you for your comment. I’ve never been to a horse race except when I was in High School and my best friend was a horse racing fan big time and was always at Yonkers Race Track or Aquaduct… we skipped classes a couple of times to go to the track….but I was always so scared that something bad would happen….now, I live within 45 minutes or so from the new Equestrian Center in Tryon, NC, and people keep inviting me to the Championships and I just can’t do it….Ruffian’s breakdown really did a job on me….I remember reading about George Washington’s breakdown during the Classic and how this woman who was there with her young daughter, said she saw George’s panic-stricken eyes when they brought out the blue tarp….I tell you I could never see that and not live with nightmares the rest of my life….it’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t think they’re all special….it’s a matter of self perseverance ….

          • FastBernieB

            I shared your pain with Ruffian. Go For Wand haunts me to this day. When I turned off the TV, she was back up on 3 legs awaiting the inevitable. I didn’t watch or attend another race until the Kentucky Derby the following Spring. I “get” where you’re coming from. May they all come back safely in one piece. (Horses and riders / drivers).

          • El Espresso

            WELL when that day comes just know that the horse you are referring to will be doing what he or she was put on this earth for… he or she will be answering the call and running with the fortitude of what makes this animal so truly great… to watch it fall and refuse to watch another answer the same call…. well, that might just be a little selfish. We as horseman are blessed with the sight and ability to see these animals perform in the real true capacity that they perform … to close our eyes and refuse another animal the blessing of our vision and comprehension is a sin …a real sin

          • Ida Lee

            If that’s the way you think, more power to you El….but my views are quite simple….my emotions are quite simple…I’m old enough and have lived long enough to know what is good for me and my well-being, physically and emotionally…and BTW …..neither you nor anyone else will be taking away or changing my feelings about what I love or care about and how I go about loving and caring for other living things …..

      • Eric

        Any chance Robinson was the vet for the dogs at the Iditarod?

    • kim

      Just wait it’s not over

      • Neigh Sayer

        And this guy might get something as the punishments are heavy, but they usually walk. And notice this is the quarter horse industry where they have been taking no prisoners. I can’t remember thoroughbreds getting this kind of fines and suspensions. Even they have all but banned clenbuterol while we freely allow a horse to be trained on it.

  • Larry sterne

    WHAT ABOUT THE VET???? HE WAS THE GUNMAN IN THIS ROBBERY…… ..

    • kim

      Trainer responsibility period and yes Justin will get his

      • jj

        Yep Vodka boy is back at Tup

  • perks

    I hope they have better things planned for the vet.

  • Ida Lee

    Bad News: big suspension & fine….Good News: great job market in practically all fields EXCEPT HORSE RACING …..

  • Noelle

    19 years for one of them is a good start. The vet should be struck off too. Is there a procedure for the stewards to forward their findings to the veterinary licensing officials? How awful for the horses – exploited and abused by these creeps.

  • kim

    Hopefully soon Doc Allred saidxat our sale , there will be a test to catch all . There is a key ingredient 😏

  • snazzygirl

    I hope the New Mexico Racing Commission and all other state racing commissions will honor the ruling of the Texas Racing Commission and that those 3 trainers will not be allowed to race anywhere in the United States. Potential source of drug nomifensine – compounding in Canada. I know Kearl has done that before.

    • kim

      They do

  • Birdy2

    To those talking about busting the vets for Judd and company: if a vet here in Texas gets caught with a smoking needle in his hand (the Doc O’Quinn-Broberg fillies case comes to mind), he’s toast. Otherwise, no — and for good reason. To wit, almost all trainers know more about drugs than outsiders want to believe — and even those trainers who refuse to join the training meds stampede already know what everybody else is training on. With the exception of outliers like dermorphin, legal training meds (not race-day desperation) are what most bad tests are about, anyhow. *Sigh* Inside dope on the dope du jour for training or cheating is easy to obtain; go drinking with a farrier, learn to speak Spanish, and treat the Mexicans like the human beings they are instead of like barn equipment…

    • kim

      Agree

  • jarmstead

    I just posted a week ago about this same topic (and it was removed). All you have to do is make the “Fines” as much as the Parimutuel Pool for the races where the drugs were used, and/or; just permanently ban the trainer for a life sentence. It will stop.

    If Big Brown’s Dutrow had to pay a bigger fine (plus the suspension), this would all stop. You just take the money from the fines and study ALL THE BLOOD from each horse where trainers are winning at percentages higher than 20%, or; some other more arbitrary parameter.

    These comments about the “Vets” are dead on, too. Throw them off the premises, and; take their Licenses as well. Then, the owners will have to find trainers who play fair.

  • gus stewart

    Oh you mean this super trainer was using something other then new training methods. Im sure in thoroubred racing this doesnt happen, because we really do have super trainers,, lmao!!!!

  • JoMarie Massaro Burns

    What happened to the vet that gave the meds to the horses or did i miss read,, and perhaps this should come to new york and other tracks

  • ridingtowin

    “Champion Trainer Kearl Suspended 19 Years”
    Cancel Christmas!

  • Sherri Crider

    Hopefully, they showed more integrity than the Big Lick crowd and didn’t let him compete anyway.

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