Ah Weatherford, you bring up a fascinating point. There's an invisable line thats been drawn. Most people are not aware of it. But this line of rethoric has been heard time and again.
However, there is some substance to it. If you were a business owner, and one of your customers told you how, what and when, you might feel the same way. This is your business. I know, it is volunteer job, as is jury duty. But with jury duty, that selection of people changes, this does not. One set for the east, and one for the west.
Just some thoughts on a very interesting subject.
Since everyone seems to be interested in Jimmy Torano's suspension I thoght I should get involved. My name is JIMMY TORANO. First of all, I wish people would realize that nobody is giving their horse cocaine.Several of the statements that I have read are not even realistic.Most of you do not know me,but I do not give my horses illegal drugs nor do I overmedicate them.Unfortunately, my horse "Lancier 4" was found with a trace level of cocaine.As one of you said, it was less than they found in other horses.As a matter of fact,it was possibly the smallest amount ever found in a horse, yet I received the harshest punishment of any of the cocaine cases.As you know I lost my case and therefore I am now suspended.I do not wish for anybody to have to go through what I am going through right now.As for the person that said that a two month suspension is not enough of a penalty, YOU ARE WRONG!The AHSA has suspended me for October and November.Not only do I miss all of the indoor shows, but I also miss three very important World Cup qualifiers,basically knocking me right out of contention of going to the finals and representing our country.Then again, maybe someone like you doesn't want someone like me representing our country.Besides all this, I also miss out on alot of prize money being offered,that I could possibly win a share of.I'm also missing out on being there to train and support my wife,Danielle who is at the shows and still competing.(Danielle also shows competively, but as an Amateur).Hopefully she can pull it off, despite trying to deal with all this and not having me there for support.Nobody realizes just how much we are affected by this suspension.You also don't realize that this could happen to you.Has anyone heard of environmental contamination?Do any of you know that cocaine is found on 79% of all money in the USA.This is a fact,I didn't make it up.Unfortunately, most of you don't know all the facts,but you are quick to point the finger and attack.Before signing off,I have to address one person in particular. JUSTJUMP, you don't me and you don't know the kind of person I am, so you shouldn't be so quick to judge me. I play by the rules and I do not give my horses illegal or forbidden substances.
I have to back up what JT is saying about environmental contamination. I just did a month out at the TB racing track in the TESTING BARN here in Virginia. Five security guards were arrested and fired for selling crack cocaine to the grooms at the track this season. If a horse had tested positive for cocaine there is no way we could have proven that the trainer gave it to the horse and not that it wasn't contaminated by it's envrionment. When a horse goes to an A show, especially one that is campaigned, when all is said and done the only ones watching the horse at night is usually the nightwatch people. You pat your horse on the nose and head back to the hotel. Who else pats your horse on the nose or feeds it a treat and you don't know about it?
I believe that I read somewhere where it was acknowledged that our ability to test for drugs has gone farther than our knowledge of drug effects. In essence we can detect amounts so small down to a nanogram in the bloodstream, but does detecting it mean it was done on purpose or that it's presence affected the outcome of a competition? When we have talented riders suspended for detecting amounts of drugs so small that environmental contamination is a REAL possibility and others that are merely slapped on the wrist because they have more money to hire better lawyers how are we benefiting our horses and the sport as a whole? I would like to believe that the hearing committees are impartial but the huge differences in penalties handed out for the same infractions makes it impossible.
I have read the rules and medication guidelines (and no one believes in NOT drugging a horse more than me) but it seems that with the ability to detect amounts that small we need to review how up to date the rules are and account for the fact that environmental contamination can cause a positive test and possible ireprable (sp?) harm to someone's reputation and career.
Just my opinion. Then again I could be wrong. Dennis Miller
Your name may be on this thread, but I didn't put it there and it is certainly NOT in any post I have ever made. I took strong exception to the statement, made by C. Boylen that:
<<You'd be pretty hard pressed to find people that have never been suspended at one point or another, either through ill intent or just simply through accident or negligence.>>
--a statement with which I completely disagree! I do happen to know plenty of people who have NOT been suspended, who play by the rules, and who have been able to be plenty competitve doing so. I also know several people who have been at the receiving end of astonishingly bad treatment by the hearing committees, which seem in the habit of handing out wildly inconsistant sentences these days. I am sorry you are painfully on the receiving end of this flawed process, but please do not take it out on me!
...I believe that if you re-read my posts, you will find that I made rather pointed GENERAL statements about the process, the punishment, and the circumstances that in my experience, I have been privy to, in responding to what others have written.
I am the first to say the process is hyprocritical and inconsistantly applied. I have also spent enough time around the back of the stabling tents to know that not everyone who is caught can honestly claim to be a victim of "environmental" contamination.
Well Jimmy T. welcome to our angst ridden BB.
As a reminder to all BBers in the United States of America we are entitled to Due Process of Law. We also need to remind ourselves of slander and it's definition.
Mr. Torano was probably caught in a backlash created when several world class Grand Prix riders tested positive for resurpine and begged off saying it was incidental contamination in a "natural" feed additive. NONE recieved more then a slap on the wrist resulting in substantial backlash from others.
Mr. Torano was caught the backside of this as nobody would give coke to a horse jumping the big sticks. In this he joins other noteble trainers in both jumpers and TB race horses in a suffering test results revealing trace amounts of a substance that does nothing to enhance performance, merely creating the illusion in the mind of the abusuer that they will succeed. Where in the mind of the horse does this take place??????
Nonetheless these gentleman accepted their punishment because, under the rules of their respective organizations, as trainers they are ultimately responsible for whatever is accidently or otherwise introduced into the systems of animals under their care.
Cocaine and other recreational pharmaceuticals are rampant in our society.
Click on my profile for my E-mail address if you would care to discuss this on a more personal and private basis.
I urge everyone to avoid making accusations not based on fact.
From Allergy Valley USA
Has there ever been a study to determine whether the average show horse/race horse whatever is carrying a trace amount of any substance which could be attributed to environnmental conditions...for instance, if the idea of a trace amount of whatever is due to environmental conditions...wouldn't all horses in the same environment be carrying the same trace amount? Couldn't this be determined by testing large numbers of horses in the same environment? Wouln't this be more fair than running the risk of applying a penalty to somone for something that is genuinely unavoidable? And, sorry it is under such trying circumstances, but welcome Mr. Torano, and thank you for stating your piece.
Whatever the truth is I admire you for having guts OK! As I stated before I still don't get it.Enviromental contamination ?? ok so test 15% of the horses at any show anywhere .It would be very interesting to hear the results!
Actually I think M. Oconnor's idea of a long term study would be more beneficial in determining the level of positive tests and identifying the risks of environmental contamination. I wish I could remember where I had read about the testing capabilities being so sensitive that it had surpassed the ability to determine actual guilt due to the detection of such incredibly small quantities. Some jobs such as trucking take a small hair sample from the end of the hair since you can't environmentally contaminate that so a positive test would be conclusive. I also remember that environmental contamination was identified years ago in a drug case in criminal court where the government was trying to seize a large sum of money from someone claiming it was the proceeds of drug money since some of it tested positive for cocaine. When the defense attorney tested the money out of the pockets of the judge, a clerk, and a few others and some of it came out positive the man got his money back and that was when it became obvious that no one really knows where there money has been. Yet after that I don't know of any studies that were done to determine how much of the actual circulating cash would have traces of an illegal drug on it and how it would effect people or animals in a drug testing situation. A long term study is desperately needed to determine how much you would have to have on your hands to pass on to a living organism to make it detectable in the blood stream at the small levels they are getting. One of the physicians I checked with told me that in humans you can detect "metabolites" about 48 hours out from exposure. Not knowing about horse physiology he couldn't carry it over but it would seem that possible that it could be detected in a larger animal as far out as a week from exposure. However, we know that anything like cocaine given a week earlier would have no benefit at a competition.
What makes it so infuriating for us in our sport is that the hearing committees have no rhyme or reason as to the variations in the penalties they hand out and why they accept the reason from one person it was environmental and then set the next person down hard. Again, the ones that suffer the most are the ones who can least afford it. Lets face it when you are up and coming and have to make it with one or two of your own grand prix horses and one or two of a client's split with coaching and training a suspension hits you right in the pocket hard and then sets you back by months playing catch up. This is where the adjudicating panels have a responsibility to conduct fair and impartial hearings. Something that so far they have not done.
<<A long term study is desperately needed to determine how much you would have to have on your hands to pass on to a living organism to make it detectable in the blood stream at the small levels they are getting.>>
I don't agree with the above---all that's needed is to determine the average amount, if any, of contamination present in a large number of horses in the same environment as the ones that are in question. It's not necessary to learn how it got there. Certainly, if every competitor runs the same risks of being unfairly penalized, it would be in everyone's interest to participate in such a study. The winter circuits are coming--large numbers of horses will be sharing the environment in question.
The idea of environmental contamination should be easy to prove or disprove, although I'd bet doing so might be pricey. The environment isn't going anywhere and there are plenty of horses in it.
There are 3 possibilities that I can think of:
1. People are giving their horses illegal substances to enhance performances.
2. All horses in the same environment are carrying similar amounts of these substances as a result of being exposed to that same environment.
3. "Other parties" are involved in introducing these substances to these horses, without the knowledge of those who are associated with the animals as owners/trainers/etc for reasons we can only surmise are not good ones.
The second possibility can be proved or disproved, as I've suggested. If the parties that take part in the first scenario can simply claim the third scenario as a defense and succeed, then we might as well take the whole D&M rule and throw it out. Security in the stable area is an issue, but could obviously be improved if people are willing to pay the price. How sad that it should be necessary to consider this.
[This message was edited by M. O'Connor on Oct. 19, 2001 at 08:28 AM.]
[This message was edited by M. O'Connor on Oct. 19, 2001 at 08:29 AM.]
I agree with anyone that posted that the punishments are NOT CONSISTANT with the "crime"..Making an "example" of ANYONE after the reserpine incident is unfair and biased. The reserpines SHOULD have had the book thrown at them and then those that come after them could take their own fines and suspensions a little more "easily". What's good for the goose should be good for the gander but NOT at the AHSA. I mean "the federation". It's ALWAYS WHO you know not what you know and people like Jimmy Torano who take the beating for the mucky mucks to make the membership "feel good" about the hearing proceedures. I feel for him and everyone else who has been USED to justify the system and how it "works".
Lead, follow, or get out of the way...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Glimmerglass:
From the AHSA ruling in the Spring of 2001:
JIMMY TORANO, as trainer, and MEGAN MORAN, as owner, violated Rule IV of this association, in that on or about March 12, 1999, at the Palm Beach Finale Horse Show, they exhibited the horse STATE FAIR in Class 2102/2103 (First Year Green Working Hunter), after it had been administered and/or contained in its body reserpine.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
And I am re-posting it here, because it appears to be a direct quote from Horse Show Magazine. The response to it only stated that this was not why J. Tornao was under suspension at this time.
But this 1999 incident with the horse State Fair and reserpine leads me to believe that the cocaine incident is the second time Mr. Torano has been before the AHSA on a drug charge. Could he or someone else more informed than I am please address this issue?
If this is true, then the discussion of severity of penalty is easily explained. If not true, then the discrepancy needs to be cleared up for everyone's edification, since the implication is out there and might be unfair if not true.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by M. O'Connor:
3. "Other parties" are involved in introducing these substances to these horses, without the knowledge of those who are associated with the animals as owners/trainers/etc for reasons we can only surmise are not good ones.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't know M.O'C, at least as it pertains to cocaine, I can certainly see that if a groom who worked in the barn was a regular user, and either mixed feed, cleaned tack or groomed or fed that specific horse, I could see where certain horses would have higher levels of contamination than others, and none of it would be with the intent of altering the horse's performance. I confess, I can also see a link to a Friday/Saturday night of partying and, umm, shall we say a certain likelihood that levels might be higher in the horse on Saturday/Sunday.
But as you say, that defense renders the D&M committee practically obsolete. Perhaps trainers should follow large corporations lead and be doing some drug testing on their employees? My oh my, could you see your trainer's bill if that were to happen [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
Of course, Option B would be for the horse show world to realize that cocaine is so... 80's... and get over it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] My god, they have all that ketamine at their disposal, let's get with the new century's program! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] (sarcasm, folks, sarcasm)
but you can count on Danielle and Eeyore's many friends and fans to send her all our support and best wishes.
written by Dr. Lengel, I believe, that was posted on the Fed website. I just looked for it and couldn't find it, but if I can come up with a copy I will post it here.
The gist of the article, as I recall, was that it would take enormous amounts of cocaine to influence the performance of a horse, and that there was no way to reliably predict the magnitude of the effect it would have once administered.
Personally, while I am opposed to medicating horses to alter their performance in any way, I think we could stand some improvement in the application of our drugs and meds programs. I don't think the FEI no foreign substances rule is the answer (can you say "undetectable substances with unknown potential side effects"?) and I do think that we should address the perception (accurate or not) that the hearing process applies the rules unfairly or unevenly.
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)
I know nothing about the details of this case. And I have my doubts about the "environmental contamination" arguments.
But THANK YOU for coming here and defending yourself.
I have had the fortune of knowing Jimmy Torano's family since before Jimmy was born; therefore I am sure that I can speak about his moral character an his upbringing better than most.
In response to Duffy who would have to think LONG & HARD or do a lot of investigating before you consider training with someone who has been suspended on a drug related issue, in this particular case if you did investigate you would find out from those who REALLY know Jimmy Torano that he is as straight and HONEST as they come. I have ridden with many top trainers throughout the years and consider myself very lucky that both my daughter and I are able to ride with Jimmy.
I am 100% sure that Jimmy did not give cocaine to his horse. For those that do not know Jimmy I must add that he does not drink, smoke or do drugs.
I am not only upset by the unfairness of a suspension to someone for something which he did not do but also by the inconsistency of the punishments like many of you have stated. YES, Jimmy's horse tested with the least trace of all the cases, yet he got the longest suspension. Is this fair?
I can imagine the frustration Jimmy must feel knowing that he is being punished for something he did not do. But there are many of us who love you, believe in you and will always support you.
I still stick by my comments about a two-month suspension not being long enough. I did not refer to Mr. Torano directly, although I will admit this thread is about him. I should have been more clear because I was not singling Mr. Torano out. In general, I believe that if you are caught giving banned substances to a horse(s), the punishment must be more severe. It has to be a deterent, and obviously, 2 months ain't cuttin' it.
Welcome to the BB, Ampy! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
I think it's wonderful that you feel that way about your trainer. I wouldn't have a trainer I didn't feel the same way about! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
who posted re: the sensitivity of our testing as opposed to our ability to determine what is really performance enhancing quantities and what is considered truly "trace" amounts. It was a thread last spring, I think, but I don't remember spec.
Having lived and worked in horses through the coke years of the 70's and 80's, I can attest to the fact that if the testing was as sensitive then as now, nearly every horse would have been at risk of testing positive for trace amounts. The stuff was EVERYWHERE! I know of grooms that worked for us that did it, and then fed the horses, mucked stalls, groomed, etc. And we were a pretty straight barn compared to some. Abby, M.O'C, Dolcevita, KLG, will back this fact up. It is not a cut and dried issue, and to be a "purist" about it is to do some (not all) potentially innocent people a disservice, and maybe deprive yourself of an excellent coach.
Each case must be considered on its own merit; some drugs are available "environmentally" and some can only get into a horse's system by being put there. I think it behooves us to use whatever clout we get to be sure that all accused are treated the same, regardless of money or power behind them.
For me, I find many of the punishments handed out by the federation unjust. It just seems to me that too many times things like this are going on. One thing that really turned me off was the person who protested her suspension and wrote a letter to the Chronicle a few months ago. She also took the time to defend her case; however, because she was listed as the trainer, and the trainer is responsible, while the fed. did find that she had never done something like that before and basically presented a good case, they socked it to her anyway. Quite honnestly, any of us could have this happen. It must be horribly embarassing, upseting, and expensive to try to keep your good name. It really turns me off especially because there are unscrupulous people out there who when given the opportunity will not only injure their own horses but someone else's. Unless you sleep outside your horse's stall, have someone as dependable as yourself to cover for bathroom breaks, and never leave your horse alone, it could happen. Unfortunately, I saw it happen at 4-H shows, overnight horse shows (unsanctioned) and dog shows. I think that the system does need to be looked at and instead of guilty unless proven innocent, it should be innocent until proven guilty.