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O\'Brien rules toughened

December 05, 2006

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The finalists for the O’Brien Awards for the best horses in Canada will be announced in a couple of weeks but Standardbred Canada’s eligibility policy has just gotten a lot tougher as any horse that had a positive test for a Class 1, 2 or 3 drug during the past year is not eligible.

Standardbred Canada\'s policy already restricts an award being presented to anybody who has been assessed a penalty for a continuous period of 180 days or more during the calendar year, or is commencing a 180 day or more penalty prior to the presentation of the awards. Any horses trained by such participants, or owners whose horses are trained by such participants, are also ineligible for an O’Brien Award.

The new restriction means older pacing horse Holborn Hanover, who received a Class 3 positive after his win in the American National at Balmoral Park, is not eligible for an O’Brien. Trainer Brett Robinson was only fined and did not receive any suspension, and Holborn Hanover was disqualified from his first place winnings. Robinson has subsequently appealed the ruling.
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