Calif. Farm Cleared of A.I. Allegations

A Jockey Club investigation found no evidence that mares were bred using artificial insemination at Southern California's Valley Creek Farm.

The investigation followed allegations by Michael Power that Valley Creek Farm breed several mares artificially to his first-crop sire Siberian Summer, who stood at the farm from 1998-2000. Valley Creek is co-owned by Jack Liebau, a Jockey Club member and head of California racing operations for Magna Entertainment.

The Jockey Club's registrar Edward "Buddy" Bishop and executive director Gary Carpenter conducted interviews at Valley Creek Farm and reviewed farm records.

"Based on that investigation, the registration department has not identified any currently registered foal by Siberian Summer that was produced by artificial insemination or improperly registered," said a statement by Jockey Club spokesman Bob Curran. "As a result, we have no basis in currently available information on which to take corrective action and cancel any certificates of registration for any foals by Siberian Summer."

Power said he was disappointed by the Jockey Club's conclusion. While he was glad none of Siberian Summer's offspring would lose their registrations, he said he believes a farm owned by a Jockey Club member got away with breaking the rules. Artificial insemination is prohibited by American Stud Book rules.

"It is clear to me the final evidence was based on the politics of the Jockey Club and not on the facts of the case," said Power, who claims to have provided Jockey Club officials with copies of emails and faxed handwritten notes from farm manager Leigh Ann Howard that state artificial insemination was used.

Howard could not be reached for comment. She had categorized Power's allegations as outright lies when the investigation was launched in June.