10/07/2010 1:27PM

Schickedanz's appeal for reinstatement denied

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – An appeal by owner Bruno Schickedanz to have his racing and stabling privileges reinstated at Woodbine has been denied by the Ontario Racing Commission.

The ruling, released by the ORC on Wednesday evening, comes in the wake of a two-day hearing held on Aug. 17 and Aug. 26 and consideration of subsequent submissions made by Frank Roth, the lawyer for Schickedanz; David McCutcheon, who represented Woodbine; and Angela Holland, counsel for the ORC.

Woodbine banned Schickedanz from racing or stabling at the track after Wake At Noon, a 13-year-old former Canadian champion whom Schickedanz owned and bred, suffered a fractured leg and had to be euthanized June 29 after being shipped in from the farm to breeze over the Woodbine training track.

Wake At Noon, Canada’s horse of the year in 2002 and an earner of more than $1.6 million, had not raced since Nov. 18, 2007. The horse had been retired to stud for the second time following that race.

McCutcheon argued at the hearing that Woodbine Entertainment Group’s decision to ban Schickedanz was a response to the public interest following Wake At Noon’s death and that the company was acting to protect the health and welfare of horses.

The ORC, in its written reasons for denying Schickedanz’s appeal for reinstatement, stated that Woodbine acted appropriately in the public interest in its dealings with Schickedanz and that the company has the right to deny the uses of its premises under its track rules and the trespass to property act.

Schickedanz could not be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon. His lawyer, Roth, when contacted Thursday, said he had not yet spoken with Schickedanz but had some general observations.

“Certainly, I’m disappointed,” Roth said. “I had hoped that more consideration might have been paid to the issue of due process for licensees.

“But the Commission, in its wisdom, has made its ruling and I have to go along with it.”

Both Schickedanz’s farm manager, Tracy Harpley, and Wake At Noon’s exercise rider, Dessilva Luokanov, testified that the horse was fit and sound when sent to Woodbine to breeze under the supervision of trainer Tom Marino. Schickedanz agreed and acknowledged that he supported the plan.

Marino, Luokanov and Schickedanz, who was not present when Wake at Noon was injured, all testified that the horse’s injury was an unfortunate accident resulting from a “misstep.”

Woodbine’s ban has no impact on Schickedanz’s right to continue racing horses at Fort Erie and in other jurisdictions.