Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 19 April 2022 – Rochelle Lockett

ID: RIB8626

Respondent(s):
Rochelle Lockett - Trainer

Applicant:
Ms Georgina Murrow, Racing Investigator

Adjudicators:
Geoff Hall; Noel McCutcheon

Persons Present:
Mr Neil Grimstone, Manager Integrity Assurance; Mr Kevin Myers assisting the Respondent

Information Number:
A15753, A15755, A14510

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Presenting horse that returned a positive result to the controlled drug Methamphetamine; providing sample containing the controlled drug Methamphetamine

Rule(s):
804(6); 656(3)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
BE FLEXI

Code:
Thoroughbred

Race Date:
05/01/2022

Race Club:
Otaki-Maori Racing Club

Race Location:
Otaki Racecourse - Te Roto Road, Otaki, 5512

Race Number:
R4

Hearing Date:
07/04/2022

Hearing Location:
Wanganui Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Trainer Rochelle Lockett - 3 years' disqualification, suspended after 18 months if conditions satisfied

[1] The Informant, the Racing Integrity Board, laid three Informations with respect to Ms Lockett. One Information (A14510) was withdrawn at a teleconference held with the parties on 18 March and it will not be further addressed in this decision.

[2] Information A15753 alleges on 5 January 2022, Ms Lockett brought the horse BE FLEXI to the Otaki-Māori racecourse. She won Race 4, the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race maiden F&M 1200 metres. BE FLEXI is a 4yo mare trained by Ms Lockett. BE FLEXI was post-race swabbed and on 24 January 2022, New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services issued a Certificate of Analysis detailing the sample positive to the controlled drugs Methamphetamine and Amphetamine. These are Prohibited Substances, as defined in Part B of the Prohibited Substance Regulations. Ms Lockett was responsible for the horse at this time and is therefore in breach of r 804(6) and liable to the penalty imposed pursuant to r 804(7) of the Rules.”

[3] Rule 804(6) states: “A Trainer of a horse commits a breach of these rules if the Tribunal conducting an inquiry finds that the horse has had administered to it or has present in its metabolism a Prohibited Substance as defined in Part B of Prohibited Substance Regulations.”

[4] Rule 804(7) states: “A person who commits a breach of sub-Rule … (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.”

[5] Information A15755 alleges that “on 28 January 2022, Ms Lockett was at Wanganui. She was required by a Racing Investigator to supply a sample of urine in accordance with r 656(3) of the NZTR Rules of Racing. She provided urine which upon analysis was found to contain the controlled drug Methamphetamine as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act. Ms Lockett is thereby liable to the penalty imposed pursuant to r 803(3) of the Rules.”

[6] Rule 656(3) states: “A Rider, or any other Licence holder who has carried out, is carrying out, or is likely to carry out, a Safety Sensitive Activity at a Racecourse, Training Facility or Trainer’s Premises, who, having been required by a Stipendiary Steward or Investigator to supply a sample in accordance with this Rule must not have a sample which is found upon analysis to contain any controlled drug as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 or other illicit substance or diuretic and/or its metabolites, artefacts or isomers.

[7] Rule 803(3) states: “Subject to Rule 803(2)(b), where any Licence holder who has carried out, is carrying out, or is likely to carry out, a Safety Sensitive Activity at a Racecourse, Training Facility or Trainer’s Premises commits or is deemed to have committed a breach of these Rules related to drugs or alcohol and a penalty is not provided elsewhere in these Rules for that breach, that Licence holder committing the breach may: be disqualified for a period not exceeding 5 years; and/or be suspended from holding or obtaining a Licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or be fined a sum not exceeding $50,000.”

[8] The Respondent has admitted the breaches of rr 804(6) and 656(3) (Informations A15753 and A15755). We find these charges to be proved.

[9] We have received written penalty submissions from the Informant. These submissions have been supplemented by oral submissions and we have received oral submissions from the Respondent and her support person, Mr Kevin Myers.

Summary of facts
1. The Respondent, Rochelle Lockett, is the holder of a Class ‘A’ Trainers Licence issued by NZTR.
2. On 5 January 2022, the horse BE FLEXI won Race 4 – NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race Maiden F&M 1200 metres – at the Otaki-Māori Racing Club meeting at Otaki.
3. BE FLEXI is a 4yo mare trained by Ms Lockett and owned by G Lambert (Racing Manager), T Shaw and S Trow. BE FLEXI won the race earning a stake of $6,720.
4. BE FLEXI was post-race swabbed and on 24 January 2022, New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services issued a Certificate of Analysis detailing the sample positive to the controlled drugs Methamphetamine and Amphetamine.
5. Methamphetamine is a Class A controlled drug as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. It is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race-day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules.
6. On the morning of 5 January 2022 Ms Lockett transported BE FLEXI and two other racehorses she trained from Wanganui to Otaki. She transported these horses in her horse truck.
7. She had sole responsibility for these horses during this race meeting.
8. She was responsible for BE FLEXI during the swabbing process and signed the swab card accordingly.
9. Following the positive result RIB Investigators visited Ms Lockett’s racing stables, located at the Wanganui racecourse, on 28 January 2022.
10. Samples of sawdust were collected from BE FLEXI’s box on 28 January. These were sent for analysis and returned a negative result.
11. A swab was taken from the ceiling above the driver’s seat of the horse truck belonging to and driven by Ms Lockett. This horse truck was used to transport BE FLEXI to the racecourse on 5 January. This returned a positive result for Methamphetamine of 0.04 µg / 100cm2.
12. BE FLEXI’s stable was swabbed, as were those of four other horses belonging to Ms Lockett, all returning a negative result for the presence of Methamphetamine.
13. Three of Ms Lockett’s staff members undertook drug tests, as did the RIB Swabbing Official who obtained the urine sample from BE FLEXI. All returned a negative result.
14. Ms Lockett also provided a urine sample for analysis which returned a positive result for Methamphetamine and Amphetamine.
15. Ms Lockett also provided a hair sample for analysis. This also returned a positive result showing the use of Methamphetamine over approximately the last three months.
16. When initially interviewed by Investigators, Ms Lockett could offer no explanation for the positive result detected in BE FLEXI but admitted taking Methamphetamine in November 2021.
17. Upon the result of Ms Lockett’s drug tests she was spoken to again, admitting she had used Methamphetamine on her birthday two days prior to the test.
18. Ms Lockett is 50 years old and has been involved in the Thoroughbred Racing Industry all her life. She has been a Licensed Trainer since 2005. Her NZTR record details she has had 223 starters and 25 winners. She has no previous breaches of the Prohibited Substance rule or any other NZTR Rules.

Informant’s penalty submissions
[10] The Informant identified relevant sentencing purposes and considerations were helpfully stated in the Appeals Tribunal decision in RIU v Lawson (2019):

Proceedings under the Rules of Harness Racing, as is the position in all cases involving professional disciplines, are designed not simply to punish the transgressor, but crucially are to protect the profession/public/industry/ and those who are to deal with the profession….
A common thread in cases involving serious misconduct is for the regulatory tribunal generally to focus on the interests and reputation of the profession as being more important than the fortunes of the individual offending member….
The tribunal must endeavour to reach a proportionate balance between: the public interest; the interests of the offending member; the interests of the professional body as a whole; the seriousness of the offending; any aggravating and mitigating factors.

[11] The principles of sentencing relevant to the presenting charge were summarised:

Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrongdoing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense the punishment is disproportionate to the offence, but the offender must be met with a punishment.

In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences.

A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the Committee for the type of offending in question.

The need to rehabilitate the offender should be considered.

[12] The importance of animal welfare was also to be considered. This had been emphasised by the Judicial committee in RIU v Alford (10 May 2021):

If animal welfare standards are not upheld in the industry and when necessary, with condign sanctions by the Judicial control Authority, the industry cannot maintain a social licence in order to continue to operate.

Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant which poses significant animal health and welfare issues, it is an illegal Class A drug.

[13] Offending of this nature was said to carry with it the significant risk of adversely affecting the interests of the professional racing body. The dangers of Methamphetamine were highlighted in RIU v Donoghue (2019). The Judicial Committee noted that even if a race winner returned a positive swab where no blame could be apportioned it would still have unreasonable consequences for public trust and confidence in the Industry.

[14] In RIU v Turnwald (2021) it was noted any penalty imposed must act to denounce this type of breach. The nature of the drug involved, namely Methamphetamine, is a particularly aggravating factor and the need for general deterrence requires a more severe penalty.

[15] Incidents such as this, were said to place the integrity and viability of the Industry at risk. In R v Toomer (2020), it was noted:

There is a need to maintain the confidence and integrity of greyhound racing at every level, including betting public who wager on the outcome of races.

[16] The Informant submitted that the penalty for the breach of r 804(6) should be a substantial period of disqualification.

[17] The Informant relied on RIU v Newton (2014). Ms Newton, a class A licensed trainer was charged with a breach of r 804(2) of the Rules of Racing. The horse, I’M NOT TICKLISH was taken to the Egmont Racing Club where it engaged in race two. The horse was found to have had present in its metabolism a prohibited substance, namely Methamphetamine. During the investigation, Ms Newton admitted to being a casual Methamphetamine user. The penalty imposed was a period of disqualification of three years and costs of $2,221.75 to the RIU and $700 to the JCA.

[18] The Judicial Committee in Newton observed the following:

The penalty that we are imposing is to denounce the breach of the Rule and to also act as a deterrent to others contemplating the use of such a prohibited substance (or any prohibited substance for that matter) in horse racing. It is intended to promote a sense of responsibility in the respondent and others, in terms of security around racehorses. It is not known how the drug was administered but the plain and simple fact of the matter is the rule is one of strict liability and Ms Newton must carry the responsibility for the breach.

[19] Reference was also made to R v Schofield (2018). Schofield was the licensed trainer of the greyhound ZIPPER ANDRE. The dog raced on 29 December 2017 and subsequently tested positive to Methamphetamine. In this case the JCA began with a starting point of four years’ disqualification, this was mitigated due to the respondent’s cooperation, admission of the breach and the financial impact upon his family. The JCA stated:

We believe these factors entitle the respondent to a 50 percent reduction in our starting point. This leaves us with a penalty of two years’ disqualification. When we look at the comparator cases, this period of disqualification is significantly less than that in Newton, which we regard as a higher end example as the respondent was a methamphetamine user….

[20] Schofield was considered by the Appeals Tribunal. The appeal was dismissed, and the disqualification of two years was upheld. The Tribunal considered the four-year starting point was appropriate and the 50 per cent deduction to be a generous recognition of Mr Schofield’s circumstances and contribution to Greyhound Racing.

[21] A further relevant authority was R v Turnwald (2021). Ms Turnwald admitted an offence against r 61 of the NZ Rules of Greyhound Racing, in that as the trainer of the dog ZIPPING SARAH she failed to present the dog for a race on 12 November 2020 free of prohibited substances. A post-race swab tested positive for Methamphetamine and Amphetamine. Her initial penalty was appealed by the RIB in May 2021. In considering the appeal the Tribunal stated:

Animal welfare in the industry is a paramount consideration and any breach must not be tolerated as it strikes at the very heart of the integrity and reputation of the Industry.

It is incumbent on Owners and Trainers to protect their animals from exposure to Methamphetamine.

The penalty imposed must act to denounce this offence. The nature of the drug involved namely Methamphetamine is a particularly aggravating factor and the need for general deterrence requires a more severe penalty.

[22] The outcome was a disqualification of 18 months, $3000 costs to the RIU and $500 to the JCA.

[23] The Informant submitted that the penalty with respect to the breach of r 656 should also be a period of disqualification.

[24] The RIB stated that NZTR has been drug testing Industry participants since 1995 and since that time there has been a growing awareness that there is an absolute obligation on those riding horses to present themselves free of the influences of any drugs.

[25] All riders are aware of the policy and the consequences should they not comply. The testing is conducted for two reasons, the need to maintain a healthy and safe workplace and secondly to maintain the integrity of the industry.

[26] R v Donoghue (2019) was cited in this regard. Donoghue a trackwork rider provided a urine sample which tested positive to Methamphetamine. In considering the penalty the JCA made the following points:

Methamphetamine is a Class A controlled drug. The issues associated with its use are well documented and it is said to be at the heart of many health, social and economic problems within communities across the whole of New Zealand.

The racing industry is a community in its own right and is not immune from the effects and consequences of this drug. Thankfully, the detection of methamphetamine is a relatively rare occurrence within racing. But a concern is the emerging risk of cross contamination. An increasing number of positives have emerged. Trace level identifications of methamphetamine have been detected in tie up stalls on course and in other places that have traditionally been thought of as being environmentally sterile.

Accordingly, Industry participants should not become complacent, and vigilance is called for as there remains a highly probable risk of an unwary winner of an iconic race returning a positive. And even if this were to occur and the connections are found to be blameless, it could still have immeasurable consequences for public trust and confidence in the industry.

A further consideration is the potential for the risk of a serious workplace accident to occur to horse(s) or rider(s) should any trackwork be undertaken by any rider who is operating under the influence of any prohibited substance, such as the Class A Drug Methamphetamine.

[27] Donoghue received a 12-month disqualification and costs of $187.50 to the RIU.

[28] Two further cases were RIU v Thorby (2017) where a trackwork rider provided a urine sample which upon analysis was found to contain Methamphetamine and was disqualified for a period of 10 months and fined $2000, and RIU v Burton (2017) where Burton was disqualified for 10 months and ordered to pay $187.50 costs.

[29] The RIB acknowledged mitigating factors were that Ms Lockett had pleaded guilty shortly after the Informations were laid and had not incurred additional costs for the adjudicative or the investigative arms of the RIB. Ms Lockett had been involved in racing all her adult life and had an otherwise clean record.

[30] With respect to the appropriate final penalty, the Informant submitted that the offending in this case was significantly more serious than any of the cases cited above. It involved the use of a class A, illicit drug, and subsequent contamination of a horse. Ms Lockett further denied recent or ongoing use of Methamphetamine, adding an element of dishonesty to the offending. This dishonesty was said to elevate this case above that of Ms Newton, who admitted recent recreational Methamphetamine use to Investigators. Ms Lockett’s hair and urine samples showed a recent and sustained use of the drug.

[31] The RIB believed a “cumulative starting point of four years disqualification” was appropriate for these charges. The offending was observed to be serious in nature; it not only undermined the integrity of the racing industry but posed a serious animal welfare and safety issue. Any penalty had not only to demonstrate a denunciation of this type of offending but also to function as a deterrent to others. The reputation of the industry relied on members following the Rules, and breaches such as these undermined public trust and confidence and brought the Industry into disrepute.

[32] Mr Grimstone supplemented these written submissions with a brief oral submission. He emphasised the parallels between the present case and that of Newton. He believed an aggravating factor in this case, not present in Newton as she had admitted her Methamphetamine use, was that Ms Lockett had initially misled the RIB Investigator as to the extent of her drug use. The Respondent had admitted only use on a very casual basis, whereas the hair sample she provided showed a history of Methamphetamine abuse over the previous months. The sample taken from above the driver’s seat in the transporter also showed traces of Methamphetamine. He asked the Committee to conclude that the Respondent was a habitual user.

[33] Mr Grimstone also emphasised with respect to the r 656 charge, the seriousness of the Respondent carrying out safety sensitive activity while using Methamphetamine.

[34] Mr Grimstone reiterated that the RIB believed a cumulative four-year starting point was appropriate. A substantial penalty near this level was necessary in the interests of animal welfare and to protect the integrity of the Industry. A denunciatory penalty that was a deterrent to others who might be like minded would uphold public trust and confidence.

[35] When questioned by the Committee regarding the Respondent’s rehabilitation, Mr Grimstone acknowledged that the Respondent had been engaging with the Salvation Army. He accepted that the involvement of the Racing Counsellor, Ms Young, was appropriate in this case.

[36] Mr Grimstone concluded his submission by stating a significant period of disqualification should be imposed.

Respondent’s penalty submissions
[37] Mr Myers questioned whether the Racing Investigators were consistent in their application of the Rules. He believed that the Respondent was “not in the same bracket” as Ms Newton and that the Committee should not take guidance from this case.

[38] It was established that Ms Lockett had been stood down on 28 January and no longer had any horses, nor was she riding trackwork.

[39] Mr Myers stated that the Respondent had worked for him intermittently in the years 1994 to 2011. He she said she was a reliable, valued, and trusted employee who always turned up for work. He said Ms Lockett had ridden in the USA, Japan, and Australia. She was a successful jockey. Ms Lockett said she had stopped riding in 2011. In the years, 2015-2017 she had ridden trackwork in Singapore.

[40] When questioned by Mr Myers, Mr Grimstone confirmed there was nothing of note betting wise in the race.

[41] Mr Myers said Thoroughbred Racing was short of good people like Ms Lockett, with the age profile of trainers getting older and older. He said he was “dead against drugs, but it was hard for people to stay away from meth when it was so prevalent in areas like Wanganui.”

[42] Mr Myers concluded his submission by reiterating that Ms Lockett was a loyal and hardworking person. She had made a mistake, admitted it, and deserved to be given a chance to put things right. If she was out for years, a very good person would be lost to the Industry. He asked us “to give her a chance”.

[43] Ms Lockett produced a letter to the Committee, dated 5 April, from Ms Dianna Young, Registered Practitioner / Supervisor / Senior Caseworker / AOD Clinician to the Racing Industry.

[44] Ms Young stated that she had spoken to Ms Lockett many times and that Ms Lockett was now at the point of wishing to seek treatment for herself and her drug use. The process would be to complete a comprehensive assessment with a view to referring her to the MASH Drug and Alcohol Programme in Palmerston North.

[45] Ms Young indicated that she would continue to be available to support Ms Lockett prior, during, and post, her treatment.

[46] Ms Lockett said she initially had difficulty in establishing contact with Ms Young. She commented that she was behind Ms Young’s MASH proposal “100 per cent”.

[47] Ms Lockett confirmed to the Committee that she had paid back her trainer’s percentage of the stake.

[48] Ms Lockett assured the Committee she never wanted to hurt an animal. She loved horses and had worked with them her whole life. She was harder on herself than anyone. Getting into such trouble had been “heartbreaking”. She knew she had let everyone in her whole life down and said she would do whatever she could to “make it right”.

Decision
[49] The Respondent is a well-respected figure in the Thoroughbred Racing Industry who has admitted a charge of presenting a horse with Methamphetamine in its metabolism and another of providing urine which upon analysis has been found to contain the controlled drug, Methamphetamine.

[50] The charges both arise out of the fact that Ms Lockett had consumed Methamphetamine sometime prior to the race meeting at Otaki on 5 January 2022. Thus, we believe concurrent penalties are appropriate. We will take the breach of r 656(3) as the lead charge but only because the monetary penalty for that breach is higher than that for a breach of r 804(6). However, we view each as being a grave breach of the Rules and see no need to differentiate in the penalty that we apply to each breach.

[51] Relevant sentencing considerations were detailed in the Appeals Tribunal decision in Lawson:

Proceedings under the Rules are designed not simply to punish the transgressor, but crucially are to protect the profession/public/industry and those who are to deal with the profession….
The Harness and Thoroughbred Racing Industry is a profession where key participants are required to be licensed in order to practice in various ways within that sphere. Comprehensive rules of practice, behaviour, procedure and the like are set down in extensive detail in the Rules which govern the codes and behaviour. As with most professions a careful internal disciplinary and regulatory process is set up. Those who practice within the professions … are subject to sanctions for breaches of standards of conduct or rules designed to protect members of profession as well as the public. Such sanctions can be at the highest end, include removal from a profession for serious breaches of professional rules and standards involving dishonest or immoral conduct. Such behaviour if unchecked may greatly harm the reputation of the profession and bring it into disrepute – that is the public loses confidence in it.

[52] There are serious animal welfare issues arising from the presentation of a horse to race with Methamphetamine in its metabolism. This has a significant impact on the Racing Industry’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. The Industry cannot maintain its social licence in order to continue to operate without maintaining a high standard of animal welfare. Ms Lockett’s actions have brought the Industry into disrepute and they challenge the integrity of the sport which could potentially have a devastating effect from a resulting lack of confidence from the wagering public.

[53] In this regard we refer to Donoghue, and the Appeals Tribunal decision in RIU v Habraken (2019) where it was stated:

“The lifeblood of racing depends upon millions of dollars wagered in New Zealand. Loss of confidence with punters and the community and the integrity of the sport/industry, inevitably carries grave risk to its wellbeing.”

[54] The most helpful comparator cases are Newton and Schofield.

[55] The starting point in Schofield, a Greyhound Racing case, where a dog returned a positive result to Methamphetamine, was four years. We note the 50 per cent deduction in Schofield for an elderly licence-holder with an “exemplary record” and a lengthy active participation in the administration of the code, was viewed by the Appeals Tribunal as being “generous”.

[56] Newton was a defended case of presenting a horse, which was found to have Methamphetamine present in its metabolism. The starting point was three years’ disqualification. The Respondent admitted to using Methamphetamine and, with no personal mitigating factors being identified, this was the penalty imposed. It was a first breach. This is an obvious mitigating factor that the Committee in that case would not have overlooked, and we can only assume that this was factored into the starting point that was adopted.

[57] We do not accept Mr Myers’ submission that this and the Respondent’s case are completely different. To the contrary, both Newton and the Respondent admitted to consuming Methamphetamine prior to presenting a horse to race. Each horse subsequently returned a positive result to that drug.

[58] Ms Newton’s frankness when confronted with and questioned by Investigators with respect to the positive result is, as Mr Grimstone submits, a distinguishing feature. Ms Lockett did not immediately acknowledge her Methamphetamine use and, in so doing, implicated others. When she eventually was forthcoming, she did not admit to anything other than casual use on her birthday some two days before the meeting. The summary of facts which the Respondent has accepted, states that a hair sample submitted for analysis, returned a positive result showing the use of Methamphetamine over “approximately the last three months”.

[59] We believe this aggravating feature of the case before us is balanced by the Respondent’s lengthy unchequered career in the Industry. Ms Newton was similarly a first offender, but she did not have the same lengthy riding and training history as Ms Lockett, who has been involved in the Industry for 27 years, has ridden overseas, and held a responsible position in Mr Myers’ stable for a lengthy time before commencing training in her own right.

[60] Ms Newton was not charged under r 656(3). She could have been. The Respondent was charged under this Rule. In setting the starting point the Adjudicative Committee does not discount the seriousness of and the inherent danger in the Respondent carrying out safety sensitive activity while regularly using Methamphetamine.

[61] We believe a global four-year starting point is appropriate in this case. Ms Lockett’s admission of the two breaches, her remorse, her previous excellent record and good character and consequential reputational loss, merit a 25 per cent reduction in the starting point.

[62] The penalty is three years’ disqualification for each breach (Informations A15753 & A15755) imposed pursuant to rr 803(3) and 804(7), to be served concurrently. A penalty of this length satisfies the interests of denunciation and deterrence, as emphasised by the Appeals Tribunal in Turnwald (above).

[63] However, there remains the issue of the Respondent’s rehabilitation. The Informant has acknowledged that this is a further relevant consideration when imposing penalty upon the Respondent.

[64] We refer to r 812 which is a relatively recent insertion into the Rules of Racing. This provision states: “The Adjudicative Committee may: (a) in addition to or in substitution of any penalty imposed under Rules 801, 803 and/or 804, require the person committing the breach to complete a counselling or rehabilitation course of the type specified by the Adjudicative Committee; and/or (b) stay, in whole or in part, and for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, the operation of any penalty imposed for a breach of the Rules, provided that, in the event of any failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions of the stay, the Adjudicative Committee may order that the penalty or the remaining part of the penalty take effect.”

[65] Clearly, the purpose of r 812 is to enable the re-entry into the Industry of a licence-holder at a time when that person can demonstrate that they are drug free and are not a danger to themselves, other participants, and animals.

[66] We have given anxious consideration to the period of time that Ms Lockett should be disqualified before being able to reapply for her Trainer’s licence. As we have previously noted, she has an unblemished record and has made a positive contribution to Thoroughbred Racing over a number of years in a number of roles. A drug free Ms Lockett would again be an asset to the Industry. Against that background, we believe 18 months before re-application is a sufficient period to denounce the Respondent’s actions and to uphold Industry standards and animal welfare and to address safety concerns. If Ms Lockett cannot prove she is controlled drug free, then the simple fact is, she does not come back.

[67] The three-year disqualification period commences on 28 January 2022, the day that Ms Lockett was stood down. In the interests of Ms Lockett’s rehabilitation and having regard to her determination to be free of the drug, Methamphetamine, and to resume her otherwise very successful participation in the Industry, we order pursuant to r 812(a) that Ms Lockett attend and complete a counselling and/or rehabilitation programme mutually agreed upon by herself and the AOD Clinician to the Racing Industry.

[68] We further order pursuant to r 812(b) that upon Ms Lockett providing evidence that she is controlled drug free and has successfully participated in a drug and alcohol programme, after she has served 18 months of her disqualification (ie on 28 July 2023), that the final 18 months of this disqualification period be suspended.

[69] We order, in addition, that after a further period of three months she provide a further negative sample to verify the fact that she has remained controlled drug free. We make this further requirement having regard to the safety of all participants in the Industry, and in the interests of animal welfare.

[70] All participation in programmes, counselling and testing is to be at the Respondent’s expense. The means by which Ms Lockett is to be tested is to be determined by the RIB after consultation with the AOD Clinician to the Racing Industry.

Disqualification of the horse
[71] A ruling as to the disqualification of BE FLEXI was made on 22 February 2022 and need not be further addressed in this decision.

Costs
[72] The Informant does not seek costs. The Adjudicative Committee believes a small contribution from the Respondent to hearing costs is appropriate. These must be just and reasonable. We make an order for costs to the RIB in the sum of $400.

Decision Date: 19/04/2022

Publish Date: 21/04/2022