01/11/2011 12:02PM

Ontario commission stays suspension of Schickedanz's license

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The Ontario Racing Commission has granted Bruno Schickedanz a stay of a one-year suspension of his owner’s license that was handed down on Dec. 20. Schickedanz requested the stay through his lawyer, Peter Simm.

The suspension was to have started on Jan. 1 but never went into effect as the ORC granted the stay Dec. 24. Schickedanz is currently racing horses in Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland.

The suspension followed an investigation into the death of the 13-year-old Wake At Noon who fractured a leg during a workout at Woodbine Racetrack last June 29.

Wake At Noon, owned and bred by Schickedanz, had been training at Schickedanz’s nearby farm and had not raced in more than 18 months when he broke down. A few days later, Woodbine banned Schickedanz from stabling or racing his horses on its property.

In August, Schickedanz petitioned the ORC to stay the racetrack’s decision, but the commission upheld Woodbine’s right to ban him.

The ORC suspended Schickedanz’s owner’s license in a ruling dated Dec.  20. According to the ruling, the last six months of the one-year suspension was to be stayed under several conditions, including allowing ORC investigators access to his stable at any time.

John Blakney, the ORC’s executive director, said that there had been no additional hearing prior to the ruling to suspend Schickedanz’s license, and that a hearing on the matter must be held no later than March 4.

“The whole matter is under appeal now,” said Blakney.

Schickedanz says his license should not be suspended because he did not break any rules.

“My position is that I didn’t break any rules,” said Schickedanz. “It was reported that I did, and the public got angry with that because they thought I did break rules.

“That was a mistake, and I’m going to contest this and other mistakes which have been made.”

Blakney declined to explain which rule Schickedanz is alleged to have violated.

Tom Marino, Wake At Noon’s trainer of record at the time of the fatal accident, initially was banned indefinitely by Woodbine.

Following the completion of an ORC investigation, Marino had his trainer’s license suspended for one year but was eligible to work as an assistant trainer. That suspension also has been stayed.