Greta Kuntzweiler, whose riding career was derailed in 2006 and 2007 after her arrest on drug charges, has been granted a license to resume riding in Kentucky, contingent upon her compliance with a set of strict conditions.
Lisa Underwood, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said Kuntzweiler’s licensing would be under a consent order that requires her to meet certain conditions. Underwood said the order would likely be completed and approved by all parties within a week to 10 days, at which time the rider would be allowed to continue her career.
During a June 8 hearing before the KHRC license review committee, which approved the license, Kuntzweiler tearfully recounted how off-track stress affected her negatively and led her to a lifestyle that eventually resulted in three arrests for drug-related offenses.
Joel Turner, the attorney representing Kuntzweiler, explained that although his client was influenced by others in her use of drugs, she always took full responsibility for her actions and did not blame others. He noted, and Kuntzweiler affirmed, that she never competed in a race while taking drugs.
Kuntzweiler explained that she has not used drugs since her 2007 arrest. The rider said she is still involved in an intensive rehabilitation program and believes she is now better able to handle the pressures of her career and personal life.
"I am better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than I ever have been, and it is the result of doing a lot of inner work and finding out how to use this support system," she said. "I know how to support myself and I know how to take care of myself. I have done a lot of work to get to where I am.
"I'm really confident I am in a better place today than I have ever been."
Kuntzweiler was first arrested in January 2006, when she was fined after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, with four drug-related charges dismissed or amended down. In 2007, Kuntzweiler pleaded guilty to complicity to manufacture methamphetamine, complicity to trafficking a controlled substance in first degree schedule II methamphetamine, and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. After pleading guilty, she agreed to five years probation on a suspended 10-year prison sentence.
Her former husband, exercise rider Bryan Beccia also pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Since being placed on probation, Kuntzweiler has been exercising horses for trainer Don Grego at the Skylight Training Center.
"I really regret the choices that I made. I ... have a new understanding of how to deal with the stress and challenges that I didn’t have before. ... I was looking for a way to escape."