CLEARING HURDLES: Cooran-based showjumper Billy Raymont competes at the Fraser Coast Show.
CLEARING HURDLES: Cooran-based showjumper Billy Raymont competes at the Fraser Coast Show. Valerie Horton

Rider kicked out of show comp for refusing horse drug test

A LEADING Sunshine Coast equestrian rider has been disciplined for refusing to let a horse be drug tested during competition at the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show.

Olympic hopeful Billy Raymont and rider Ali Berwick were banned from competing in the final day of the Nambour competition after an incident during the hack event on Saturday morning.

Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show Society president Jenny McKay, who is also a Sunshine Coast councillor, said a random swab test was ordered on four randomly selected horses.

Swab tests involve a veterinarian taking blood from an animal for it to be analysed for drugs including antibiotics, analgesics, sedatives and stimulants.

Connections of three of the four horses allowed tests to occur.

Mrs McKay said Mr Raymont and Ms Berwick were among connections of the horse Soldier Boy who refused to let the animal be tested, leading it away.

"It is our belief that the horse was subsequently removed from the grounds," Mrs McKay said.

She said Mr Raymont had signed a horse health declaration form agreeing to abide by all conditions and directions of the show society as well as the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies.

Statements were taken from the people involved and the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Management Committee met to address the issue.

"Billy Raymont has confirmed his refusal of the request given by Steward Bodie Weir, to swabbing of his horse Soldier Boy."

As a result, Mr Raymont and Ms Berwick were issued with a notice to exclude both of them from participating in any of Sunday's events.

"The association was of the belief that this matter was appropriately addressed with our guidelines and the matter was closed," Mrs McKay said.

Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies CEO Mark Bryant said, in general, any horse entered into an affiliated show must comply with the chamber's anti-doping policy.

He said refusal to submit to a swab test was an issue that could be dealt with by individual show societies.

Repeated unsuccessful attempts were made yesterday to contact Mr Raymont and Ms Berwick directly and through their solicitor.

HORSE SWABS

The most common drugs tested for in equestrian horses include:

 Analgesics (painkillers)

 Sedatives (tranquilisers)

 Steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflamatories

 Stimulants



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