Earlier in the week Kentucky based trainer Kellyn Gorder was suspended a total of 14 months by the Kentucky state stewards after a horse he trains, Bourbon Warfare, tested positive for methamphetamine after breaking his maiden at Churchill in November. A barn search turned up syringes – a prohibited item in training barns.
Bourbon Warfare was disqualified and the purse redistributed.
Worthington, Minnesota native Gorder, a well-respected and highly regarded trainer, issued the following statement yesterday:
“I am devastated, not just for me but for my clients and my employees. I love horses. Period. They are my passion, my profession, my life. I would never, ever do something or give something to one of my horses that would in any way put them or the people around them in jeopardy, or gain them an unfair advantage over their competition. To put it bluntly, I did not, nor would I ever, give a horse methamphetamine, nor have I ever done or been in contact with methamphetamine.
“The levels of methamphetamine found in Bourbon Warfare’s bloodstream – 48 picograms per milliliter – suggests this is a contamination situation. I have drug tested all 31 of my employees since learning of this positive, and all came back clean for methamphetamine and all other Class A drugs. I don’t know if it was a person walking through the barn one day with something on their hand and fed a horse a mint, or someone touched a dollar bill with residue on it and then tied a tongue tie before her race. I want to get to the bottom of it and find out where the contamination came from.
“About seven months ago there was a horse in my care for training who had a condroma and needed nebulizer treatments. The protocol for administering Naxcel via the nebulizer includes the use of a syringe and a needle to combine the Naxcel and sterile water and put it in the nebulizer. I keep syringes in my barn to give oral medications and eye medications as well. I never injected the horse with the Naxcel. I only used the needles for the nebulizer treatments. I unfortunately did not dispose of them properly, as I should have, and they were found in my possession when my stable was searched.”
The suspension is slated to begin on May 1. Gorder has until that time to file an appeal which is likely.