ERA Media Release - Ms Jaci Wickham

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Wednesday 28 April, 2021 into the medical records and treatment of DABER W’RSAN (AE) trained by Ms Jaci Wickham.

Evidence was taken from Ms Jaci Wickham (Trainer) and Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) with the following matters established;
1. On Wednesday 20 May 2020, Ms Wickham was requested by the ERA Stewards to provide all medical records relating to horses trained by herself, for the previous 2019/20 ERA racing season.
2. On review of the medical records, Stewards identified an intra-articular (joint) injection of Flumethasone had been given to DABER W’RSAN (AE) on Tuesday 17 December 2019, by her stable veterinarian.
3. DABER W’RSAN (AE) competed in the “Masdar City Maiden 1400m” at Abu Dhabi racecourse on Sunday 22 December 2019 where the horse placed tenth, a period of four (4) clear days subsequent to the intra-articular injection.
4. It was established that the intra-articular injection occurred on the same day declarations were taken for the meeting where DABER W’RSAN subsequently competed.
5. Ms Wickham admitted to Stewards that she was aware of the relevant ERA Rules that stipulate a person shall not administer any medication via intra-articular injection to a horse within eight (8) clear days of racing.
6. Ms Wickham explained that other than pre-existing stable procedures preventing an occurrence of an intra-articular injection taking place such a short period prior to race day, she was unable to explain why DABER W’RSAN (AE) received the treatment the week of racing.
7. Dr Finn advised that the pertinent ERA Rule relating to the number of clear days between intra-articular injections and racing is common throughout international racing jurisdictions, is designed to protect the welfare of the horse and prevent the horse running on damaged joints cloaked by the benefits of prohibited substances.
8. Dr Finn advised that the substance involved, Flumethasone, is a widely used corticosteroid veterinary treatment used for anti-inflammatory and pain-relief purposes. Dr Finn added that if Flumethasone was found in any sample taken on raceday it would be considered a prohibited substance, and as such would be a breach of further ERA Rules of Racing.
9. Dr Finn advised that DABER W’RSAN (AE) had not been subjected to sampling at Abu Dhabi on Sunday 22 December, 2019 that would have detected Flumethasone.

Ms Wickham pled guilty to a breach of ERA Rule 95AAA 9(ii), that being:
• As the registered Trainer of DABER W’RSAN (AE) you caused that horse to be administered a medication, namely Flumethasone, by way of intra-articular injection on Tuesday 17 December, 2019, four (4) clear days prior to it racing at Abu Dhabi racecourse on Sunday 22 December, 2019, which is contrary to the requirements of ERA Rule 95AAA 9(ii).

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards took into account the following factors:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• Nature of the breach, that being an intra-articular injection within the designated period prior to racing;
• That the breach occurred four (4) clear days prior to the race;
• The substance involved, that being Flumethasone;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Ms Wickham’s forthright evidence and guilty plea.

Ms Wickham was subsequently fined the sum of AED 10,000 and advised of her rights of appeal.
Additionally Ms Wickham was advised that pursuant to ERA Rule 95AAA 11, DABER W’RSAN (AE) would be disqualified from the “Masdar City Maiden 1400m” at Abu Dhabi on Sunday 22 December, 2019.
Relevant Rules:
ERA Rule 95AAA 9 –
(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 95AAA1. no Person shall administer or cause to be administered any Medication to a Horse on Race day prior to such Horse running in a Race.
(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 95AAA 1. No Person shall administer, attempt or cause to be administered or use any medication by way of intra-articular (joint) injection to any Horse entered for a Race or Trial within eight (8) Clear Days of the commencement of the Race or Trial.

ERA 95AAA 11 –
Where it is established subsequent to a Horse competing in a Race, Test or Official Trial that the Horse had Raced in that Race or participated in that Test or trial and had received Medication, it may be disqualified from the Race or trial, or may be deemed to have failed that Test.

Stewards Panel:
• Mr Taylor Wilson (Chairman), Mr Sam Shinsky and Mr Ajay Anne.