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Ledford suspended 10 years

April 12, 2006
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The New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended Eric Ledford a total of 10 years and six months and fined him $12,000 as the result of an investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police and a search executed by the State Police on March 31.



Others involved in the investigation - his father, trainer Seldon Ledford, trainer Ryan Dailey and his wife, Ardena Dailey, and veterinarian John R. Witmer - also received major suspensions and fines.



After having considered evidence, testimony and legal arguments presented in an administrative hearing conducted by the New Jersey Racing Commission on Tuesday, April 4, the commission issued rulings made public late Wednesday afternoon.



The ruling against Eric Ledford said he was "directly involved with the training, management and other business matters relating to the Ledford Stable…."



The commission suspended and fined Eric Ledford in regard to five different findings:

1--The possession of hypodermic needles and syringes in the Ledford Stable area at Showplace Farms;

2--Having knowledge of violations of the rules of the New Jersey Racing Commission insofar as there were prohibited foreign substances possessed in the Ledford Stable at Showplace Farms;

3--Having knowledge of violations of the rules…insofar as there was in the possession of Ledford Stable employees, on the grounds of a licensed off-track stabling facility, a shockwave therapy machine;

4--Conspiring with other licensees to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing by accepting a performance enhancing prohibited substance not approved for horses, specifically Aranesp, from a licensed veterinarian;

5--Knowingly and willfully violating his duty as a licensee of the New Jersey Racing Commission to protect and safeguard all horses under his care, custody and control against the administration or possible administration of any drug or substance foreign to the horse.



Seldon Ledford, the programmed trainer for the Ledford Stable, was also suspended for a total of 10 years and six months and fined a total of $12,000. The commission's ruling cited violations similar to his son's.



In the case of Ryan Dailey, a trainer for the Ledford Stable, the commission also cited similar violations as those specified against Eric and Seldon Ledford and suspended him for a total of eight years and fined him $10,000. According to the ruling, Dailey's suspension and fine also included a six-month suspension and $500 fine penalty because he "Failed to cooperate and give full assistance to the New Jersey State Police during the investigation."



Ardena Dailey, Ryan Dailey's wife and an employee of the Ledford Stable, was suspended for eight years and fined $10,000. She also was cited for the violations specified against Eric and Seldon Ledford and for failing to cooperate with the New Jersey State Police.



Veterinarian John R. Witmer was suspended for seven years and fined $7,500. The ruling issued by the commission said he conspired "with other licenses to engage in corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to racing insofar as Dr. Witmer did indiscriminately dispense a performance enhancing prohibited substance, that is not approved for use in horses, specifically Aranesp…to a New Jersey licensed trainer."
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