Canterbury Trainer Gets 90-Day Suspension for Cattle Prod

Canterbury Park trainer Troy Bethke was handed a 90-day suspension by track stewards this week for possessing a cattle prod, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported Thursday.

Canterbury stewards have referred the case to the Minnesota Racing Commission and are recommending an additional 90 days be added to the suspension. Bethke, who was Canterbury's leading trainer in 1997 and '98 and ranks 11th at the current meet, is appealing the ruling.

Jack Walsh, Bethke's attorney, said the punishment is too harsh because possessing a cattle prod does not violate the intent of a Minnesota law that prohibits tampering with horses. Walsh said cattle prods are sometimes used to load stubborn horses into trailers or to get them to turn so they are facing the front in a stall.

A hearing will be conducted by the commission on Sunday with a decision following within 10 days.