A Brisbane trainer caught with equipment used for “stomach-tubing” a horse has been disqualified for 12 months.
Victorian stewards found Nathan Schofield guilty of two charges as a result of a raid on stables at Geelong on Melbourne Cup day.
Stewards scaled a fence around the stables and filmed Schofield outside his horse’s stall holding a measuring jug containing 400ml of warm water and a bag of equipment including a bucket, plastic tubing and a funnel.
He told stewards he had intended pouring the water down the horse’s throat because it hadn’t drunk well.
The horse Beseech had been due to run at Flemington later the same day.
Schofield told a stewards inquiry he had the tubing equipment to use as a “a last resort” if he couldn’t encourage the horse to swallow the water in the jug.
He also told the stewards he removed a 15-litre water container from the horse’s stall earlier in the day, but maintained he had been concerned that it hadn’t drunk enough and could be badly affected as a result when it raced.
“I was considering stomach-tubing the horse with 400ml of water, but only as a last resort,” Schofield told the inquiry.
“I was very concerned for the horse’s welfare.”
Schofield pleaded not guilty to a charge of intending to use a naso-gastric tube to administer a treatment on race day and to an associated charge of refusing to allow stewards to search his car.
He received a 12-month disqualification on both, the terms to be served concurrently.