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Racing Victoria stewards' issue two charges against trainer over strangles case
19 Apr 2017 | ThoroughbredNEWS News Desk 

Racing Victoria (RV) stewards on Wednesday issued two charges under the Australian Rules of Racing against licensed trainer Matthew Cumani arising from his failure to notify stewards of a strangles infection (and other infections or suspected infections) at his Ballarat training premises.

The RV stewards have charged Mr Cumani with breaches of AR 175A and AR 64K(2) as follows:

Charge One (AR 175A) – Conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, or welfare of racing
AR 175A states that:

• Any person bound by these Rules who either within a racecourse or elsewhere in the opinion of the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) has been guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing may be penalised.

The RV stewards allege that Mr Cumani knew that his horse, Corrs, was infected with Strangles by 27 October, 2016 and that he had received veterinary information and advice regarding the presence of strangles (included other infections or suspected strangles infections) in his stables on (amongst other dates) 31 October, 2016 and 18 November, 2016.

The RV stewards allege that Mr Cumani was aware of his obligation to notify RV of the strangles infection and suspected infections and did not do so from the period 27 October, 2016 to 23 November, 2016.

During this period, the Stewards allege that, amongst other things Mr Cumani:

a. failed to implement adequate biosecurity measures to prevent the direct and/or indirect spread (and the risk of spread) of strangles within his premises and to horses at other places;

b. engaged in other conduct which compromised and/or had the potential to compromise the health of horses at his premises and elsewhere through the direct and/or indirect spread of strangles.

The RV stewards allege that Mr Cumani’s conduct was prejudicial to the interests, image and/or welfare of racing.

Charge 2 (AR 64K(2)) – Failure to notify RV of strangles infection

AR 64K(2) states that:

• (1) The following animal diseases or conditions are declared to be notifiable, and must be notified and dealt with in accordance with subrules (2) to (8) of this rule:


(2) A person who owns or is in charge of, or has in his possession or control, a horse which the person suspects or should reasonably suspect is infected with a notifiable disease or condition, and who does not, as soon as possible after he should have suspected or became aware that the horse is infected, report the fact to the Principal Racing Authority in that State or Territory by the quickest means of communication available to the person is guilty of an offence.

The RV stewards allege that Mr Cumani breached AR 64K(2) by not notifying RV of the strangles infection(s) (and suspected strangles infections) in his stable at any time between 27 October, 2016 and 23 November, 2016.

The charges will be heard by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.

Note: On 24 November, 2016, the RV stewards inspected Mr Cumani’s stables and declared them an ‘infected place’ pursuant to AR64K(4). As a result, the stewards implemented a series of strict biosecurity measures which were ultimately lifted in full on 22 December, 2016.

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