ERA Media Release - Ms Jaci Wickham

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on 22nd of January, 2019 into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the prohibited substance Xylazine and Hydroxy-Xylazine had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from DABER W’RSAN (AE), after it raced and won, Race 2 “The Damas UAE Bred Maiden” over 1200m at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on the 23rd of December 2018.

Evidence was taken from Ms. Jaci Wickham (Trainer), Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Veterinarian) and Mr. Jahfar Nalakath (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established during the inquiry;
1. On the 17th of December, 2018 DABER W’RSAN (AE) received 2mls of Xylazine for the purpose of sedation to complete an endoscopic examination of the colt. This treatment was recorded within the medication log book for the colt and was outside the suggested withdrawal time for the product as suggested by the ERA.
2. On the 23rd of December, 2018 DABER W’RSAN (AE) raced and won, Race 2 “The Damas UAE Bred Maiden” over 1200m at Abu Dhabi Racecourse.
3. The Dubai Equine Forensic Unit notified the ERA on the 30th of December, 2018 of the presence of Xylazine and Hydroxy-Xylazine within the post-race urine sample collected from DABER W’RSAN (AE).
4. On the 30th of December, 2018 Ms. J Wickham was notified during a stable inspection at her licensed training location “W’Rsan Stables” by the ERA Stewards that the sample taken from DABER W’RSAN (AE) at Abu Dhabi on the 23rd of December, 2018 had returned an irregularity to the presence of Xylazine and Hydroxy-Xylazine, a prohibited substance under the Rules.
5. On the 30th of December, 2018 Ms. J Wickham notified the Stewards that she wished to proceed with the testing of the “B Sample” by an independent laboratory.
6. On the 20th of January, 2019 the ERA was notified that testing of the “B Sample” had confirmed the presence of Xylazine and Hydroxy-Xylazine.
7. Ms. J Wickham noted that when being treated with Xylazine by the stable Veterinarian DABER W’RSAN (AE) may have inadvertently received more than 2mls as was recorded within the medication log book.
8. Mr. Nalakath stated that if DABER W’RSAN (AE) had in fact been treated with more than 2mls of Xylazine it would take longer for the substance to clear the horses system.

Trainer Ms. Jaci Wickham pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that she presented and raced DABER W’RSAN (AE) at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on the 23rd of December 2018, when the post-race urine sample taken from that colt, upon analysis, was found to have had administered to it Xylazine and Hydroxy-Xylazine, prohibited substances under the ERA Rules.

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• Xylazine is a non-performance enhancing substance;
• The administration of Xylazine was documented in the stable’s medication log books;
• The administration of Xylazine was outside the ERA recommended withdrawal period;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Ms. J Wickhams’s forthright evidence and co-operation throughout the inquiry;
• Ms. J Wickham’s guilty plea and record in relation to the prohibited substance rules (see below).

Ms. J Wickham was fined the sum of AED 25,000.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), DABER W’RSAN (AE) was disqualified from first place in Race 2, “The Damas UAE Bred Maiden” over 1200m at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on the 23rd of December 2018 and the placings adjusted to:

Finish Place Horse Name Trainer Jockey
1st JAP AL AFREET (AE) Irfan Illahi Brett Doyle
2nd SHAWALL (AE) Mohamed Ali Jesus Rosales
3rd AF ALMOHANAD (AE) Ernst Oertel Tadhg O’Shea
4th HAJJAR W’RSAN (AE) Jaci Wickham Richard Mullen
5th MARAYAH (AE) Eric Lemartinel Fabrice Veron

Ms. Jaci Wickhams record in relation to prohibited substance:
• 19th December 2001 was fined AED 3,000 after pleading guilty to presenting ELDJANI (GB) to the races with the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone.

Relevant Rules:
ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under the Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received a Prohibited Substances, the Horse shall be disqualified from the Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

ERA Rule 95AAA 2 – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or performed a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

Note: The Stewards note that suggested withdrawal time’s list in which is distributed to trainers is provided as a guide only and the ERA accepts no liability or responsibility when using that list.

Stewards Panel:
• Mr. Simon Carey (Chairman), Mr. Sam Shinsky, Mr. Taylor Wilson, Mr. Hamad Al Shamsi and Mr. Dhahi Al-Jallaf (Trainee)