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New Jersey Commission Issues Rulings in Ledford Case
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - Harness Racing Communications, a division of the USTA

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The New Jersey Racing Commission on Wednesday released rulings pertaining to the case of trainer Seldon Ledford in connection with multiple arrests made at his stable in New Jersey on March 31.

Seldon Ledford was suspended a total of 10 years and six months and fined $12,000, as was his son, driver Eric Ledford. Assistant trainer Ryan Dailey was suspended a total of eight years and fined $10,000, as was his wife, Ardena. Veterinarian Dr. John Witmer was suspended a total of seven years and fined $7,500.

All suspensions are effective immediately, April 12, according to the ruling.

The ruling stated that Seldon Ledford did, "possess hypodermic needles and syringes in your stabling area on the grounds of Showplace Farms, a licensed off-track stabling facility." The fine and suspension for that violation is $1,000 and six months.

In addition, the commission ruled that Seldon Ledford, "did possess injectable foreign substances," for which a fine and suspension of $1,000 and one year was levied.

The ruling stated that Seldon Ledford, "did permit the possession of a shockwave therapy machine by your employees, in your stabling area" and for that violation, stipulated a fine and suspension of $2,500 and two years.

Additionally, the ruling said Seldon Ledford, "did conspire with other licensees to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing by providing your employees with prohibited illegal substances along with instructions for use. Mr. Ledford also accepted a performance enhancing prohibited substance that is not approved for use in horses, specifically Aranesp, a brand of Erythropoietin, from a licensed veterinarian." The fine and suspension for that violation is $5,000 and five years. The ruling stated that, "by providing your employees with illegal and prohibited substances together with instructions for use as well as permitting these substances to be possessed in his stabling area, Ledford did knowingly and willfully violated his duty as a trainer licensed by the NJRC in failing to protect and safeguard all horses under his care, control and custody against the administration or possible administration of any drug or substances foreign to the natural horse." The violation carried a fine and suspension of $2,500 and two years.

The ruling regarding veterinarian Dr. John Witmer stated that he, "did conspire with other licensees to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing insofar as Dr. Witmer did indiscriminately dispense a performance enhancing prohibited substance, that is not approved for use in horses, specifically Aranesp, a form of Erythropoietin, to a New Jersey licensed trainer. Dr. Witmer is hereby suspended for a period of five years and fined the sum of $5,000."

The ruling also stated that Witmer, "did knowingly and willfully violate his duty as a Veterinarian licensed by the NJRC in failing to protect and safeguard all horses under his care, custody and control against the administration or possible administration of any drug or substance foreign to the natural horse. Dr. Witmer is hereby suspended for a period of two years and fined the sum of $2,500."

The commission ruled Eric Ledford, "did knowingly and willfully violate his duty as a licensee of the New Jersey Racing Commission in failing to protect and safeguard all horses under his care, custody and control against the administration or possible administration of any drug or substance foreign to the natural horse." As a result, he was suspended two years and fined $2,500.

According to the ruling, Eric Ledford, "was directly involved with the training, management and other business matters relating to the Ledford Stable."  

The commission cited Eric Ledford's failure to report violations to the Board of Judges. According to the ruling, Eric Ledford had knowledge of "hypodermic needles and syringes possessed in the Ledford stable area," which carried a suspension of six months and fine of $1,000, plus knowledge of "prohibited foreign substances possessed in the Ledford stable area," which carried a one-year suspension and $1,000 fine.

Furthermore, the ruling stated Eric Ledford had knowledge that "there was in possession of Ledford stable employees, on the grounds of a licensed off-track stabling facility, a shockwave therapy machine," possession of which is a violation of NJRC rules and regulations. As a result, he was suspended for two years and fined $2,500.

Eric Ledford, according to the ruling, "did conspire with other licensees to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing insofar as Mr. Eric Ledford did accept a performance enhancing substance that is not approved for use in horses, specifically Aranesp, a brand of Erythropoietin, from a licensed veterinarian." As a result, he was suspended five years and fined $5,000.

The Daileys were both ruled to have been in possession of hypodermic needles and syringes on the grounds of Showplace Farms, which carried suspensions of six months and fines of $1,000 for each. They were ruled to be in possession of injectable foreign substances (one year and $1,000) and a shockwave therapy machine (two years and $2,500).

Furthermore, the commission ruled the Daileys "did conspire with other licensees to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing." As a result, they both received two-year suspensions and $2,500 fines. The commission ruled the Daileys "failed to cooperate with and give full assistance to the New Jersey State Police," which carried suspensions of six months and fines of $500.

The Daileys were both suspended two years and fined $2,500 for failing to protect and safeguard all horses under their care, according to the ruling.


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