Thoroughbred trainer facing two-year suspension for Clenbuterol from hair sample

Editor’s Note: The USTA has long opposed the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA) for several reasons. One of them concerns the unchecked powers of the Authority’s enforcement arm — the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) — that now polices Thoroughbred racing. We urge every horseman to read about trainer Jeffrey Englehart’s ordeal and educate themselves as to how HISA’s mandate is being applied and the consequences that it will have for harness racing if and when HISA and HIWU arrive in our sport.

Is it better to protect innocence or punish guilt? We fear that HIWU is doing neither.

Columbus, OH — In Bill Finley’s Thoroughbred Daily News story, “Facing A Two-Year Suspension For Clenbuterol, Trainer Jeffrey Englehart Says They’ve Got The Wrong Guy,” he writes, “On the surface, the case against trainer Jeffrey Englehart seems pretty cut and dried. He had a horse test positive for Clenbuterol, the bronchodilator that is on the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit’s (HIWU) list of banned substances.

“Trainers found using banned substances can be suspended for up to two years. But Englehart, who races at the NYRA tracks and at Finger Lakes, is adamant that he never gave the drug to the horse in question.

Trainer Jeffrey Englehart, who is facing a two-year suspension from HIWU, claims that he never gave his horse Clenbuterol, the drug that he faces suspension for. Bill Denver/Equi-Photo.

“’We don’t use Clenbuterol. Period,’” Englehart said.

The problem began for Englehart after his horse broke down during training and was euthanized. The necropsy included testing blood, urine and hair samples.

Finley wrote, “The horse that tested positive for Clenbuterol was an unnamed 2-year-old by Classic Empire out of Fast Heart. Englehart bought the horse on behalf of owner Marcello Rosa for $14,000 at the OBS auction June 15. The horse broke down while training and had to be euthanized at Finger Lakes Nov. 21.

“HIWU performed a battery of tests on the deceased horse, including blood, urine and hair. The blood and urine tests were negative. According to Rick Arthur, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, a standard dose of Clenbuterol will typically be detectable in the blood for about three to four days after administration. For urine, the detection window would typically be between 10 to 17 days after administration.

“But HIWU also performed a hair test, which revealed the presence of Clenbuterol. Englehart claims that hair tests can show the presence of the substance for up to a year after it was given to a horse. According to Arthur, Clenbuterol can be found in hair samples for at least six months after the drug was administered.”

To read the complete Thoroughbred Daily News story, click here.

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