On Thursday, 23rd May 2019, an inquiry was opened into the circumstances surrounding the death on the evening of Sunday, 24th February 2019 of I Am Rocky, a 4YO bay entire, whilst it was in the care of the Joseph Jones Racing Partnership, and also into the care that the horse was afforded in the lead up to its death.
Evidence was taken from the co-trainers of the training partnership consisting of Mrs Barbara Joseph, Mr Paul Jones and Mr Matt Jones, and stable foreperson Mr S. Jamieson, stablehand Ms L. Fehre, registered owner of I Am Rocky, Mr C. Warne, Dr J. Laing – Bungendore Veterinary Surgery and Dr Toby Koenig – Chief Veterinary Officer RNSW. Ms L. Hours attended the inquiry as a support person for Mr Warne.
The inquiry was continued today with further evidence being taken from Mrs B. Joseph, Mr P. Jones, Mr M. Jones, Mr C. Warne, Dr J. Laing and Dr T. Koenig. Ms L. Hours again attended the inquiry as a support person for Mr Warne but also provided evidence.
Mrs B. Joseph, Mr P. Jones and Mr M. Jones pleaded guilty to the following two charges:
Under AR103(4) that they did fail to lodge a stable return for the four-year-old horse I Am Rocky, which after joining the Joseph Jones Racing stables, had been in active work for a period of approximately nine weeks.
Under AR231(1)(b)(iii) that they did fail to provide for veterinary treatment where such treatment was necessary as:
(1) They were at all relevant times the co-trainers of the four-year-old entire I Am Rocky.
(2) In accordance with AR98(2), they are persons training in partnership and as such share all responsibilities, obligations and rights under the Rules in relation to training horses.
(3) Under LR78(2), they were, during the relevant times, responsible for the care, control and supervision of I Am Rocky.
(4) At approximately 4am on Saturday, 23 February 2019, co-trainer Mr M. Jones became aware that I Am Rocky was displaying symptoms of colic.
(5) At approximately 8:09am on Saturday, 23 February 2019, Mr P. Jones became aware that I Am Rocky was again displaying symptoms of colic.
(6) That during Saturday, 23 February 2019, stable foreperson Mr S. Jamieson had observed that I Am Rocky had “been lethargic all day”.
(7) That during Saturday, 23 February 2019, they did fail to provide for veterinary treatment of I Am Rocky when the horse was displaying symptoms of colic and such treatment was necessary for the horse.
(8) That after observing that I Am Rocky was dull and lethargic in its stable at approximately 7am on Sunday, 24 February 2019, licensed stablehand Ms L. Fehre contacted Mr S. Jamieson soon after and reported to him words to the effect “He looks unwell and he probably needs a vet”.
(9) That at no time did they, subsequent to Saturday, 23 February 2019 and whilst I Am Rocky remained in their care, control and supervision at their registered racing stables provide for veterinary treatment of the horse, when such treatment was necessary for the horse.
(10) I Am Rocky was found deceased in its stable at approximately 7:30pm on Sunday, 24 February 2019 by stable foreperson Mr S. Jamieson.
(11) A post-mortem examination report completed by Dr S. Raidal, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Charles Sturt University), on 26 February 2019, provided a gross diagnosis of right dorsal displacement of the large colon, likely secondary to diffuse typhlocolitis ultimately was the cause of the death of I Am Rocky. The Report also identified and described numerous superficial wounds and subcutaneous haemorrhages, consistent with trauma following an episode of uncontrolled colic pain.
CHARGE 1 – Fined $200.
CHARGE 2 – 4 months suspension, reduced from 6 months on the entering of a guilty plea. In further assessing penalty, amongst other considerations, recognition was given to this being the partnership’s first breach of a related Rule, the licensing history of the members of the training partnership and the scale of the training operation.
Under the provisions of AR283(7) the committee of Stewards deferred the commencement of the period of suspension for 7 days which permits the training partnership to continue to train and racehorses up to and including Wednesday, 3 July 2019.
Mrs B. Joseph, Mr P. Jones and Mr M. Jones were advised of their right of appeal to the ACT Racing Appeals Tribunal.
- J.D. Walshe (Chief Steward - South East Region Racing NSW & the Canberra Racing Club)
AR103(4) The trainer of a horse must:
(b) lodge a stable return immediately upon a horse joining the trainer’s stable.
AR231(1) A person must not:
(b) if the person is in charge of a horse – fail at any time:
(iii) to provide veterinary treatment to the horse where such treatment is necessary for the horse.
AR283(7) A person or body authorised by these Australian Rules to suspend or disqualify any trainer may defer the commencement of the period of suspension or disqualification for no more than 7 clear days following the day the suspension or disqualification was imposed, and upon terms and conditions considered fit.