An Ontario Superior Court Justice on Thursday found horseman Derek Riesberry not guilty of charges of fraud and cheating at play after being arrested on Nov. 7, 2010, when syringes filled with epinephrine, clenbuterol and clotol were found on him when he was at Windsor Raceway.
According to the Windsor Star, Justice Steve Rogin explained his decision came despite accepting the prosecution's claim that Riesberry attempted to gain advantage by injecting a horse on Sept. 28, 2010, with performance-enhancing drugs and had intentions of doing the same the day he was arrested with two fully-loaded syringes, and that he couldn't find that the public was either cheated or defrauded by the action. The defense argued that Riesberry's charges were not criminal and that his violation was that he broke Ontario Racing Commission regulations by having the syringes at the racetrack when only veterinarians were allowed to do so.
The Windsor Star story stated that Rogin "essentially ruled bettors are observers and not participants in horse races. Thereford Riesberry's action didn't fit the strict definition of the charges under the Canadian Criminal Code. Further, he said the race was not a game as defined by Section 197 of the criminal code and therefore Riesberry 'can't be convicted in that regard.'"
Rogin said, "If anyone was at risk of deception it was the other participants in the race. I can't find the connection between Riesberry's deception and the public's deception."
Charged at the same time were trainer Chris Haskell and his girlfriend, Cassie Nantais. The charges against Nantais have since been dismissed, while Haskell's trial is scheduled to begin in November.