Louisiana Stewards Hand Suspensions To Owner, Trainer Accused In Neglect Case

by | 12.16.2019 | 4:10pm
I Promised Youhuff after animal control officers helped him stand. The officer at the rear is holding the gelding's tail to help him balance his hind end.

Stewards in Louisiana have issued lengthy suspensions to trainer Thomas Sam and owner Keith Sam in connection with the neglect and eventual death of 8-year-old gelding I Promised Youhuff. Rulings published Dec. 6 indicated that both Sams are suspended for the remainder of the Delta Downs meet plus ten days, and denied access to all facilities under the Louisiana State Racing Commission's jurisdiction. The Delta meet continues through March 10, 2020.

The stewards held hearings on the matter Nov. 27, where both Sams were represented by attorneys. Testimony provided at the hearings indicated both men “knew of the health issues concerning I Promised Youhuff as early as July 2019 and failed to provide proper veterinary care and nutrition,” according to the ruling.

The stewards referred both Sams to the commission “for further action.”

Charles Gardiner, executive director of the Louisiana Racing Commission, said the suspensions were under appeal. Thomas Sam continues to have horses entered at Delta Downs and will be permitted to do so until the commission hears his appeal.

I Promised Youhuff was seized by St. Landry Parish Animal Control in September, when he was found lying in a front yard of a property belonging to Thomas Sam in a severely weakened and emaciated state. The gelding, who had run in February for owner Keith Sam and trainer Thomas Sam, died a few days later despite veterinarians' efforts to save him.

Boyd Gaming revoked stall privileges from the Sams after a report about the gelding's case, but told the Paulick Report it could not bar them from the entry box without action from the Louisiana Racing Commission.

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