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ROLANDO MARTINEZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/08/84)

decided: March 8, 1984.

ROLANDO MARTINEZ, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission in case of In Re: Rolando Martinez, No. 81-082.

COUNSEL

Richard J. Makoul, for petitioner.

Terry R. Bossert, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 2]

This is an appeal from an order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission) which upheld a ruling by the Board of Stewards (Board) to suspend the horse racing license of Rolando Martinez (Petitioner) for forty-five days; revoked his license until January 1, 1983; and affirmed Petitioner's ejectment from the Penn National Race Track (Race Track).

Petitioner is the owner and trainer of the horse "Impersonation." On June 7, 1981, after Impersonation ran the first race, the horse fell to the ground from heat exhaustion and possible shock. Petitioner used green plastic buckets, approximately eighteen inches in diameter and two and one-half feet high, to water down the horse. The horse stumbled towards Petitioner at which time the Petitioner struck the horse on the nose with the bucket. While the Petitioner testified that he struck the horse because it stepped on his ankle, the videotape of this incident

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 3]

    did not show whether the horse actually came in contact with Petitioner. After track personnel sprayed the horse with water, the horse was brought to the paddock area.

The Board held a hearing and on July 1, 1981 suspended Petitioner's license for forty-five days.*fn1

The Board based its decision on the negative crowd reaction to the incident and a veterinarian's report which indicated that Petitioner's actions in attempting to move the horse were contrary to the generally accepted method of treating heat exhaustion.

On July 7, 1981, Petitioner received ejectment notices from the Race Track by Penn National Racing Association, Shamrock Racing Association and Mountain View Racing Association. The ejectment notices listed cooking and smoking violations,*fn2 hiring undesirables or unlicensed persons and the incident at the Race Track as the basis for the ...


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