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.

In its March 15, 2013, ruling that the KHRC asked for discretionary review by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals agreed with Stewart’s attorneys—Mike Meuser, Michelle Hurley, and Karen Murphy—that the regulations were vague. The Court of Appeals ruling noted that the drug was then legal for use in the Standardbred industry in Kentucky and it was not expressly prohibited for use in Thoroughbreds at the time of the raid on the Keeneland barn. Stewart treated both Stand