Peter Meecham/Getty Images
Picture that driven by Blair Orange won the New Zealand Cup at Addington Raceway on November 8th. (story photo)
Trainer Philip Burrows has been banned from racing for 10 years after being caught on camera injecting vodka and other substances up a horse’s nose on the day of the Grand Prix.
Rakero Rebel was withdrawn from his $140,000 race in the New Zealand Trotting Cup on November 8 after Burrows and Matthew Anderson surrendered their possessions.
Burrows admitted to detectives at the time that he injected Rakero Rebel with 30 ml of vodka “to calm the horse’s nerves”, and piped it with a mixture of Epsom salt, bicarbonate of soda, brown sugar and water.
The 50-year-old, who has been training for 26 seasons, did it because he felt “after the eight ball” for the Group 1 race and wanted to get the “best result” for the owners.
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On Tuesday, the Racing Integrity Board (RIB) disqualified Burrows from racing for 10 years.
He said the main event was that the RIB was on the roof of the Rakero Racing Stables in Fernside, near Rangiora, on November 8.
The video showed Burrows and Anderson – who is banned from preparing horses for any trial, race day or training after receiving convictions two years earlier in District Court – taking two horses into the main stable at about 11am.
The 3-year-old females – Rakero Rebel and Millwood Indie – are due to race in the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Day Cup meeting at Addington Raceway on Thursday afternoon.
After the check, Anderson Rakero held Rebel’s head while Burrows injected the substance into the horse’s neck using a hypodermic syringe. Burrows later confirmed he had 30ml of vodka.
After about 10 minutes, Anderson stood next to Rakero Rebel holding a winch – a device to restrain horses in stressful situations, such as vet treatment.
Burri then emerged with a plastic container containing liquid milk or ‘slurry’ and a bucket containing tubing equipment.
While Anderson held the head of the Rebel Rakero, Burrows was crushed and confined. He then handed it to Anderson to hold while he grabbed a white plastic tube from the bucket, blew through it, and inserted one into the horse’s nose.
The liquid was poured through a funnel and twice on the horse. The method is known as ‘tubing’.
RIB Investigators entered the property minutes after Anderson and Burrows led the two horses swimming over Burrows. Add-on Rakero Rebel pouches with syringes and tubing.
Investigators found tubing gear at the bottom of the medicine cabinet, and a used 30 ml syringe in a dung sack.
Rakero Rebel was drawn from stage 7, scheduled for 3pm. The total stake for the race was $140,000.
The horse was sent on the spot to Addington Raceway for blood testing and a swing, which showed no anomalies.
In a statement to investigators a week later, Anderson admitted to holding the horse while Burrows injected it, and while Burrows was tubed. He said he felt “forced to do it.”
Burrows and Anderson were both charged with administering a prohibited substance during race day and administering a substance through a nasogastric tube in violation of one of the race day manifesto.
Burrows was also accused of helping him on the day of the race in the preparation of two horses considered prohibited, and Anderson broke the rules.
Burrows pleaded guilty to the charges.