Ky. Commission Seeks Review of Stewart Ruling

Veterinarian's four-year suspension overturned by Court of Appeals.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted April 9 to ask the state Supreme Court for discretionary review of a recent Court of Appeals decision overturning Dr. Rod Stewart's four-year suspension for possession of cobra venom.

In its March 15 ruling, the appeals court said the regulation under which Stewart was disciplined was vague. The appeals panel also declined to reverse a lower court ruling on Stewart's behalf dismissing a one-year suspension he was given for possession of two other drugs.

In September 2009, Stewart was suspended for four years for 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 occupied by trainer Patrick Biancone.

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

Should the Supreme Court deny a review, the Court of Appeals decision will be officially final. If it accepts the case, the Supreme Court would conduct its own independent review of the case.