RV Stewards' Report - Ron Stephens

Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards, subsequent to their investigation, have issued the following charges against Ron Stephens, as the trainer of Composed Legend (the Horse) under Australian Rules of Racing 240(2) and 104.

Charge One: AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting

(2) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse for the purpose of participating in a race and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of the horse at any relevant time breaches these Australian Rules.

The particulars of the charge are summarised as follows:

  • On 26 January 2022, “Composed Legend” (the Horse) was brought to Balnarring Racecourse and ran in Race 6 George Robinson-Pitt Open Trophy Race Handicap over 1008 metres, (the Race), and finished in fourth place.
  • On 26 January 2022, a pre-race blood sample was taken from the Horse (the Sample).
  • An analysis of the Sample detected the presence of Salbutamol.
  • Salbutamol is considered a prohibited substance pursuant to Division 1 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 (Prohibited list B) of the Australian Rules of Racing.

The presence of Salbutamol was detected in the Sample by Racing Analytical Services Limited and by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory.

Salbutamol (also known as albuterol) is a medication that opens up the medium and large airways in the lungs (it is a bronchodilator) by relaxation of the airway smooth muscle. Salbutamol is a therapeutic drug used in the training of racehorses, however is not a permitted drug on Raceday.

Charge Two:  AR 104 Trainers must keep treatment records

(1) A trainer must record any medication or treatment administered to any horse in the trainer’s care by midnight on the day on which the administration was given.

The particulars of the charge are summarised as follows:

  • On 8 March 2022, Stewards from Racing Victoria’s Compliance Assurance Team inspected Mr Stephens’ treatment records.
  • From 29 August 2021 to 15 January 2022, treatment records did not contain any medications or treatments administered to Composed Legend as required by AR 104.

The charges issued against Mr Stephens will be heard before the Victorian Racing Tribunal on a date to be fixed.