Joseph Jones ban upheld following horse's death despite appeal against severity

Barb Joseph and her sons have been banned from training despite an appeal this week. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
Barb Joseph and her sons have been banned from training despite an appeal this week. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

A training ban on the Joseph Jones Racing stable was confirmed this week, although matriarch Barbara Joseph has had her penalty reduced on appeal.

On Tuesday, the Australian Capital Territory Racing Appeals Tribunal heard an appeal against the severity of a four-month suspension handed to the trainers in late June.

The suspension issued by Canberra Racing Club stewards was the result of a four-week inquiry into the death of four-year-old I Am Rocky at the Joseph Jones Canberra stables in February.

A post-mortem report tendered as evidence at the inquiry revealed the unraced horse died from a colitis related illness.

The inquiry found Joseph, Paul Jones and Matt Jones guilty of failing to lodge a stable return and failing to provide veterinary treatment for I Am Rocky. A six month training licence ban was reduced to four months following a guilty plea and recognition of the Joseph Jones partnership's first breach of the rule in its long history.

Despite appealing the severity of that ruling, Tuesday's appeal upheld four-month suspensions for Paul and Matt Jones. However, Joseph's suspension was reduced to one month on appeal due to "lesser culpability", with the penalties for all three trainers to take effect from August 8.

Barbara Joseph told Australian Community Media on Thursday she will appointing an interim trainer at both Sapphire Coast and Canberra stables for the month suspension.

"I can still go to watch trackwork and visit the stables, but I'm not allowed to touch the horses," Joseph said.

"I've had to put in a trainer for the next 30 days while I can't do it, then on September 8 I'll be back working."

Joseph said she and her team were all very upset at the loss of I Am Rocky, and was adamant they did all they could to treat it.

"We did treat that horse, we didn't just leave it to die. But it suffered a colitis attack which can come on very quickly.

"It's hard when something like this happens. But we know it wasn't our fault."

Joseph Jones Racing has numerous horses in work at Thoroughbred Park in Canberra. It also breeds and spells horses at its 1200ha farm at Bombala.

In 2016 the trainers built a large training stable facility adjacent to the Sapphire Coast Turf Club in Kalaru.