Trainer Leon Erasmus (Jnr) has had his licence cancelled and has been warned off following an inquiry held by the National Horseracing Authority (NHA).
The NHA confirmed that at an inquiry held in Johannesburg on 6 September 2019, adjourned to 9 September 2019, to allow for further investigation of new evidence and concluded on 16 September 2019, Erasmus was charged with contraventions of Rules 10.5.1 and 72.1.17.
It said the particulars of the charges were that, in relation to Charge 1:
Erasmus was charged In terms of Rule 10.5.1 in that as a licensed trainer, subject to the Rules of the NHA and responsible for the care, treatment and training of horses under his control, he failed to provide a reasonable level of care and treatment to a number of horses under his control. These horses, upon examination, were found to be in poor condition and showed varying degrees of neglect.
In relation to Charge 2, the NHA said he was charged in terms of Rule 72.1.17 in that he misled the Stewards by intentionally concealing the presence and thus failing to provide access to certain horses at his training establishment.
These horses were under his control and concealed at the same time as an official stable investigation conducted at his premises on 28 August 2019. Subsequent evidence which had been obtained and presented during the inquiry, has shown these horses to be in a very poor condition.
As Erasmus did not appear on 16 September 2019, despite being required to be present, the inquiry board entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf regarding both charges. He was however found guilty on both charges.
After considering all the evidence presented at the inquiry, the board took into consideration the severity of neglect suffered by the horses concerned, as well as the fact that Erasmus had intentionally concealed these horses away from NHA officials which had precluded them from performing their duties.
In determining suitable penalties and giving due regard to the serious welfare and integrity breaches of the Rules, the Board ruled that in terms of Charge 1 that his trainer’s licence be cancelled and in relations to Charge 2. That Erasmus be warned off.
The NHA said Erasmus was afforded the right of appeal against both the findings and penalties imposed. – NHA