Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 12 September 2023 – Anna Clement

ID: RIB27179

Anna Clement - Trainer

Simon Irving - Investigator RIB

N Moffatt and B Mainwaring

Persons Present:
Mrs A Clement, Mr B Clement and Ms G Murrow

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge

Breach of Prohibitive Substance Rule - failed to present horse free of Prohibited Substance

804(2) - Prohibited substance


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Manawatu Race Club

Race Location:
Awapuni Racing Centre - 67 Racecourse Road, Awapuni, Palmerston North, 4412

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Hawera Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Trainer Anna Clement is fined $2,000

Information A16917 alleges “On the 10th of June 2023 at Awapuni Racecourse, being the Registered Trainer of the horse, presented ‘Stallone’ to the Manawatu Racing Club’s Meeting for the purpose of engaging in and did engage in Race 6 – the Manawatu ITM Door Department 1300 – failed to present the said horse free of the Prohibited Substance ‘Dexamethasone’, in breach of Rule 804(2) of the NZTR Rules and subject to penalty pursuant to 804(7) and 804(8) of those Rules.

Rule 804(2) provides: When a horse which has been brought to a Racecourse or similar racing facility for the purpose of engaging in a Race or trial to which the Third Appendix hereto applies is found by a Tribunal conducting an inquiry to have had administered to it or have had present in its metabolism a Prohibited Substance, as defined in Part A of Prohibited Substance Regulations, the Trainer and any other person who in the opinion of such Tribunal conducting such inquiry was in charge of such horse at any relevant time commits a breach of these Rules.

The penalty provision is r 804(7) which states: A person who commits a breach of sub-Rule (2) or (3) or (4) or (5) or (5A) or (6) of this Rule shall be liable to:

 (a) be disqualified for a period not exceeding five years; and/or

 (b) be suspended from holding or obtaining a Licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or

(c) a fine not exceeding $25,000

 Mr Irving produced authorisation to lay the Information.

Mrs Clement confirmed she had received all relevant paperwork and that she admitted the charge.

Summary of Facts

The Respondent Anna Clement is the holder of a Class ‘A’ Trainer’s Licence issued by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR).

On 10 June 2023, the horse ‘Stallone’ won Race 6 – the Manawatu ITM Door Department 1300 – at the Manawatu Racing Club meeting at Awapuni Racecourse, earning a winning stake of $17,250.

‘Stallone’ is a 4yo gelding trained by Mrs Clement and owned by Mr G Meredith.

‘Stallone’ was post-race swabbed and on 26 June, the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services (NZRLS) issued a Certificate of Analysis detailing the sample positive to Dexamethasone.

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid and can be used in horses to treat allergic reactions such as respiratory allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (heaves), hives, itching and inflammatory diseases including arthritis.

Dexamethasone is a Prohibited Substance (1.2.37) within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a Raceday sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules.

Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate is listed in the most recent NZEVA Guidelines as having a detection time of 5 days and a possible withholding time of 7 days.

On 29 June, Mrs Clement and her husband were spoken to at her Stable on the Hawera Racecourse and advised of the positive result. They advised that Stallone had not been administered any Dexamethasone and identified that they did have a 50ml bottle of ‘Dex’ in their medicine cabinet, but this had been introduced to the Stable by their Vet after Stallone’s race on 10 June, to treat another horse.

Mrs Clement could offer no explanation for the positive.

The only other nominated horse Mrs Clement had racing on the day of the positive, ‘Wheelitin’, also won and was also post-race swabbed, returning a clear blood sample.

Inquiries with Stable Vet Jim Robbins, confirmed that he had treated another horse in the Stable with ‘Dex’ on 23 May and again on 12 June (two days after the race) and following the second administration, had left the bottle of ‘Dex’ at the Stable for further treatment.

Dr Robbins’ last treatment of ‘Stallone’ had been on 06 June when the horse was administered another product that does not contain Dexamethasone.

Samples of sawdust were taken from the Awapuni Racecourse box that ‘Stallone’ was kept in on the day of the race, to test for the presence of Dexamethasone.

On 16 August, NZRLS issued an Analytical Report detailing that no Dexamethasone had been detected in the sawdust samples.

Mrs Clement did not bet on the horse and betting analysis of the race revealed no anomalies.

‘Stallone’ was disqualified from the race in an Adjudicative Decision dated 18 July.  NZTR records detail Mrs Clement has trained over 1300 starts since 2007 and has no previous breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rule.

Respondent’s reply

Mrs Clement confirmed the Summary of Facts was a correct account of events. She explained that she and/or her husband were always present when a horse was being seen by a Veterinarian.

The treatment of “Stallone” on June 6th had been for a haematoma due to a floating injury.

Dexamethasone had never been in their Stable before, until Mr Robins left a bottle there after treating another horse.


As Ms Clement has admitted the breach of r 804(2), it is found to be proved.

Informant’s Penalty Submissions

Mr Irving submitted the following written penalty submissions, which Ms Murrow summarised in his absence.

The Respondent Anna Clement, is a Class A Trainer under the Rules of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and has held her Trainer’s Licence since 2007.

Mrs Clement trains approximately 12 horses from her Stables on Hawera Racecourse. NZTR records detail that she has trained for 1324 starts and 98 career wins.

Mrs Clement has admitted a breach of Rule 804(2), the Prohibited Substance Presentation Rule.

The relevant horse, ‘Stallone’, was disqualified from its race by consent in an earlier ‘Request for Ruling’ Adjudicative Decision dated 18 July.


The penalties which may be imposed are detailed in the Charge Rule and Penalty Provisions document.

Rule 804(7)

A person who commits a breach of sub-Rule (2) or (3) or (4) or (5) or (5A) or (6) of this Rule shall be liable to:

(a) be disqualified for a period not exceeding five years; and/or

(b) be suspended from holding or obtaining a Licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or

(c) a fine not exceeding $25,000.

The RIB submits the penalty in this case should be a fine of $2,500.

The RIB investigation failed to identify how the Dexamethasone came to be in the horse’s system. Inquiries revealed no evidence of ‘Stallone’ being treated with the product, however another horse in the Stable had been injected with ‘Dex’ two and a half weeks prior to the race and Stallone had been injected with a different product four days prior to the race.

Comparable Cases

A search of Adjudicative records has identified two previous cases involving Dexamethasone, being RIB v A Campbell (2021) and HRNZ v I Brownlee (2009), although both these cases involved the deliberate administration of products containing Dexamethasone.

In RIU v P Pertab (2019) and RIU v S & E Clotworthy (2019) the substances in question were different, but were found at the Trainer’s premises, with no evidence that the subject horse had been treated.

RIB v Campbell (2021)

Class A Trainer admitted a breach of Rule 804(2) in relation to a horse presented to the trials which tested positive to Dexamethasone following a pre-race blood sample. Inquiries revealed Mr Campbell had treated the horse for an eye condition with an ointment provided by his Vet. He applied a small amount to the eye on the afternoon before the horse trialled the next day. The ointment contained Dexamethasone, unknown by the Trainer that it was a Prohibited Substance. The penalty was a $2,500 fine.

RIU v Pertab (2019)

Class B Trainer admitted a breach of Rule 804(2) in relation to his horse presented to the trials which tested positive to Meloxicam following a post-race blood sample. Meloxicam is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain and fever. Mr Pertab could offer no explanation for the positive result, other than possible cross contamination from another horse he was training that was prescribed Meloxicam by his Vet. The penalty in this case was a $3,000 fine.

In considering this case, the Adjudicative Committee advised the following:

“We have regard that this is not a situation where the Prohibited substance, Meloxicam was given to enhance performance, but rather the likely cause was cross contamination.”

R V Clotworthy (2019)

Class A Training Partnership admitted a breach of Rule 804(2) in relation to ‘Zabdi’ testing positive to Clenbuterol following a post-race swab. While there was no evidence of how the substance got into the horse’s system, two products containing Clenbuterol were located in the Stable’s feed room. The penalty in this case was a $2,500 fine.

In considering this case, the Judicial Committee emphasised:

“There is no suggestion that Mr and Mrs Clotworthy acted deliberately in breach of the rules or that any of their conduct was directed towards somehow “cheating the system”. Inadvertent contamination of thoroughbreds can occur in a wide variety of circumstances and in many of those circumstances there is no fault on the part of the trainer or trainers”.


Mrs Clement consented to the disqualification of the horse at the earliest stage to enable NZTR ratings and stake money to be adjusted. She has also admitted the breach at the earliest opportunity and has been cooperative throughout the process.

It is accepted that there were no sinister intentions in relation to the positive result and the presence of Dexamethasone was unlikely to have influenced the performance of the horse.

Mrs Clement has an exemplary record in the Racing Industry and has had no previous racing offence charges in her 15 years as a Licensed Trainer.


The are no aggravating factors to consider in this matter.


The RIB submits that a fine of $2,500 is appropriate given the circumstances and factors in this case.

The RIB does not seek any costs.


Mrs Clement accepted that she was going to be fined, but asked the Adjudicative Committee to take into account the fact they had never had a charge prior to this.


In the matter before the Adjudicative Committee, it is imperative to emphasise the responsibility placed upon Trainers to ensure that their horses are presented for racing free from any substances that are prohibited under the Rules of Racing.

When Mr Irving visited the Stables of Mr and Mrs Clement to advise of STALLONE’S positive test result, they were shocked, distressed, and at a loss to explain how it could have happened.

There is no indication or insinuation that this incident was the result of any deliberate action on the part of the Respondent. A bottle of Dexamethasone was discovered within the Stable by Mr Irving, however, it is crucial to note that this bottle had only been left there by the Veterinarian two days after STALLONE had returned the positive test.

Furthermore, it has been established that STALLONE received treatment from the Veterinarian just four days prior to the race; however, the Veterinarian attests that Dexamethasone was not administered during this treatment. Neither Mrs Clement nor her husband can be linked to any product containing Dexamethasone. The circumstances surrounding how this Prohibited Substance entered the horse’s system remain unknown.

The Adjudicative Committee set a starting point of $2,500 after seeking guidance from comparative past penalties associated with breaches of the same Rule:

RIB v Campbell  2021 – Positive test to Dexamethasone. Fine $2,500

RIU v Pertab  2019 – Positive test to Meloxicam. Fine $3,000

RIU v Clotworthy 2019 – Fine $2,500

There are no aggravating factors requiring uplift.

Credit is given for the Respondent’s excellent record, with this being her first breach of any racing offence in 15 years of holding a Trainer’s Licence. She has been prompt and forthright in admitting the breach, facilitating the adjustment and timely payout of stakes money.

Consequently, the Adjudicative Committee has determined that an appropriate penalty in this case is a fine in the amount of $2,000.


Given the circumstances of this hearing, which took place on a Raceday, no award of costs shall be made.

Decision Date: 10/09/2023

Publish Date: 12/09/2023