08/16/2011 1:24PM

British trainer barred for nerve-deadening


British racing authorities have banned a trainer for four years for de-nerving a horse and administering anabolic steroids to three other horses, according to the Racing Post.

Howard Johnson, who had 39 wins from 198 starts over the past five years, received the ban on Friday from the British Horseracing Authority, which accused the 58-year-old trainer of overseeing the administration of a nerve-deadening operation on the horse Striking Article and then racing the horse eight times. It is illegal in Britain to race a horse after the operation, called a palmar neurectomy, is performed.

According to the Racing Post, Johnson immediately announced his retirement following the racing authority’s decision. The racing authority banned the trainer for three years for racing the de-nerved horse, and another year for allegedly administering anabolic steroids to three horses under his care.

Striking Article was euthanized after he pulled up lame following a race in February. A necropsy on the horse revealed the de-nerving operation.