11/25/2011 5:23PM

Ontario Racing Commission alters Schickedanz’s penalty

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Upon appeal, the Ontario Racing Commission has altered the suspension it issued to owner-breeder Bruno Schickedanz on Dec. 20, 2010, regarding the breakdown of Wake At Noon during morning training hours at Woodbine. As a result, Schickedanz will not have to serve the suspension and instead will be placed on probation.

The commission originally issued Schickedanz a 12-month suspension, beginning Jan. 1, 2011, with six months to be stayed. Schickedanz appealed that ruling and did not serve any of the suspension. The new ruling was issued Nov. 9.

Now, the entire 12-month suspension is stayed, and Schickedanz is on probation through Oct. 31, 2013.

The new ruling also requires Schickedanz to donate $16,000 to the University of Guelph’s equine center and to pay court costs of $34,000 incurred by the Ontario Racing Commission.

Schickedanz said he did not want to comment on the commission’s action because legal issues still could be pending.

The new commission ruling will have no impact on Woodbine Entertainment Group’s July 2, 2010, decision to ban Schickedanz from stabling, training, or racing his horses at Woodbine, according to Jamie Martin, senior vice president of racing for Woodbine.

“It’s a different issue from our issue,” Martin said.

The matter stems from an incident at Woodbine on June 29, 2010, in which Wake At Noon, a 13-year-old horse who had not raced since November 2007 but was training on Schickedanz’s farm, shipped to Woodbine to work over the training track. Wake At Noon, under regular exercise rider Dessislav Luokanov, took a bad step during the workout, was injured, and euthanized.

While the racing commission never cited Schickedanz for any specific rule violations, it held Schickedanz responsible for the breakdown of his horse.

Schickedanz’s lawyer, Peter Simms, and the racing commission administration have now agreed on a statement of facts that acknowledge Wake At Noon was eligible to race at Woodbine at the time of the accident and that proper procedures had been followed in having the horse admitted to the backstretch and notifying the clockers of the workout.

Schickedanz appealed Woodbine’s ban to the racing commission in August 2010, but was denied two months later.

Schickedanz, who has been involved in the industry for more than 25 years, has been the leading owner at a number of Ontario meetings. While his appeal was pending, he raced primarily at Thistledown, Mountaineer, and Monmouth Park and had entrants at several other tracks in the United States. He did not start a horse in Ontario until Oct. 23 at Fort Erie.