Seoul trainer An Byung Ki, whose horse Argo Asset was disqualified in March after weighing-in more than two kilos light, sparking off a near-riot at the racecourse, has had his license suspended for one year.
An had horses entered in consecutive races just 25 minutes apart, circumstances in which weighing out is done prior to both races. Some time after the jockey sat on the scales, the wrong saddle found its way onto the wrong horse.
It is deemed to be the trainer’s responsibility to make sure the right saddle is on the right horse and therefore An was found ultimately responsible. Argo Asset won the race, carrying lighter than he should have and the ultimate disqualification caused unrest that resulted in two races being cancelled and the KRA ultimately paying out on the disqualified horse.
An Byung Ki’s stable has now been closed and his horses are being dispersed to other trainers. An is a fromer jockey who took up a training license in 2008 and has trained 200 winners from 2080 starters.
A week after the Argo Asset incident, Busan punters tried something similar when the saddle slipped on favourite Yeongung Bolt. This time the Authority did not budge and simply cancelled the remaining two races on the card. Seoul punters did not join in with the action that day.
In the Yeongung Bolt case, which was also resolved this week, trainer Kang Byung Eun was fined KRW 3 Million (just under $3,000) and jockey Joe Fujii – whose stirrups-less ride around the track is destined to become a mainstay of stocking-filler comedy racing DVDs in years to come – received a reprimand.