Kentucky Supreme Court Will Not Review Cobra Venom Case

The court declined to review a ruling overturning a suspension imposed on equine vet Rodney Stewart, DVM.
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The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court ruling overturning a four-year suspension imposed on equine veterinarian Rodney Stewart, DVM, for possession of cobra venom and other substances.

In September 2009, Stewart was suspended for four years by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (subsequently renamed the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, or KHRC). He was found to be in possession of three sealed vials of cobra venom, a substance used to kill pain, and suspended for one year for the possession of carbidopa and levodopa, both of which are used to treat Parkinson’s disease in humans. The substances were found during a June 22, 2007 search and seizure of items in a barn at the Keeneland training center, in Lexington, occupied by trainer Patrick Biancone.

Biancone also was suspended six months, and then did not seek licensing for an additional six months before resuming his training career.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority later voted unanimously to accept a hearing officer’s report upholding the suspensions

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Written by:

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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