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NJ rules on Ledfords

March 13, 2007

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The New Jersey Racing Commission today approved a settlement of an appeal by trainer Seldon Ledford, his son Eric Ledford and stable employees Ardena and Ryan Dailey, along with veterinarian Dr. John Witmer. Ledford and others were arrested by the New Jersey State Police for possession of Aranesp and other substances at Showplace Farm in New Jersey on March 31, 2006.

The initial penalties, levied in a ruling dated April 13, 2006, were a suspension of 10 years, six months for both Eric and Seldon Ledford and a $12,000 fine. The Daileys were initially each given an eight year suspension with a $10,000 fine and Dr. Witmer was fined $7,500 and suspended for seven years.

The amended penalties, which were approved unanimously by the Commissioners, call for Seldon to serve a six year suspension and to never again seek a license in New Jersey at the close of that suspension. Additionally, a $9,000 fine was agreed to.

Eric Ledford will serve a one year suspension and pay a $9,000 fine. The Daileys will each serve a four year suspension and pay a $7,500 fine and Dr. Witmer will be suspended for four years and pay a $5,625 fine.

All suspensions are credited with time served, which is nearly one year, given the initial date of the rulings on April 13, 2006. A stay was sought at that time by all parties in this matter through the Office of Administrative Law, but not granted.

Criminal sentencing will be held on April 5 for charges in this matter, in the Monmouth County (N.J.) Courthouse.

Commission Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki was asked if terms of the settlement announced today mean that Eric Ledford could be re-licensed in mid-April when his Commission suspension is concluded.

\"It is our position that as long as he is under the terms of a criminal penalty, he is ineligible to be licensed,\" said Zanzuccki. \"He plead guilty and the terms of his sentence could include probation (that would extend beyond the time of his Commission suspension); we just don\'t know yet.\" (Harness Racing Communications)
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