KHRC Increases Campbell Penalty
Published: November 20, 2012 3:05 pm ET
Last Comment: November 24, 2012 6:49 pm ET | 36 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
When Odds On Equuleus was disqualified earlier this year from a win at the Red Mile, the judges did not fine driver John Campbell as it was determined that his loss of purse was enough punishment. After hearing the connections appeal the decision, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission judges not only denied the appeal but also added a fine.
Campbell was fined $150 as a result of the drive in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes on Saturday, Sept. 29. Judges ruled he took up abruptly after clearing to the lead, disqualifying Odds On Equuleus.
Campbell and trainer Robin Schadt requested a hearing along with Lexington-based attorney William C. Hurt, and the trio met with KHRC stewards Rich Williams and Dan Ross on Tuesday, Nov. 13. According to harnessracing.com, the stewards wrote the following in their ruling:
"After weighing the evidence presented at a hearing requested by Mr. Campbell on 11/13/12 and the information immediately after the race, from the video replay and reports from drivers, it is the decision of the judges that Mr. Campbell and the horse Odds On Equuleus did slow the pace of the race sufficiently to cause confusion among the trailing horses. It is the judge's opinion that from talking to Mr. Campbell after the race, that the horse and the driver are both at some fault for the interference. The normal penalty for a driver in this type of infraction would be a 5 day driving suspension or a $300.00 fine. In finding the horse and driver both at fault Mr. Campbell is fined $150.00."
Schadt told harnessracing.com that the connections filed an objection and motion to strike an affidavit provided by driver Yannick Gingras - who drove Rockin Amadeus in the race and was on the lead before Campbell cleared to the lead - on the grounds that Gingras' affidavit was "materially misleading." Gingras stated that "Within 2-3 strides after taking the lead position, John Campbell 'slammed on his brakes' and Odds On Equuleus dramatically slowed down. As a result of this sudden change of pace, I was struck in the back and head by the horse Real Rocker, driven by Brian Sears in the third position at the time."
The connections of Odds On Equuleus argue that "from the time Campbell took the lead until Real Rocker collided into Gingras, fourteen seconds elapsed. From the spot where Campbell took the lead to where Real Rocker collided with Gingras, the horses traveled seven hundred feet -- more than 1/8 of a mile. The race video is undisputable and demonstrates that Gingras' statement to Mr. Williams was false, or, at best, materially misleading."
Schadt and Campbell will each file additional appeals.