Ballarat-based champion harness racing trainer Emma Stewart has been disqualified for six months.
The Harness Racing Victoria integrity unit announced the ban on Tuesday after the conclusion of a stewards' inquiry relating to the pre-race treatment of two horses at her Cardigan stable in September.
Stewart pleaded guilty to each of two charges relating to an intravenous drip being administered and attempted to be administered to horses within one clear day of racing, in contravention of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 196B(1).
HRV stewards laid the charges after a stable inspection on her Cardigan property on Saturday, September 16, this year.
Stewards disqualified Stewart for six months on each of the two charges, but determined the two penalties be served concurrently resulting in a total disqualification of six months.
The stable inspection led to the scratching of two Stewart-trained horses from a Maryborough race meeting on Sunday, September 17 - including Act Now, which had been engaged in the Maryborough Gold Cup.
Stewards also charged her with having failed to thoroughly maintain a log book, listing and recording all details of treatments administered to horses in her care. She pleaded guilty and was fined $2000.
A Harness Racing Victoria statement detailing the outcome of the inquiry also advised that HRV Stewards had determined that the disqualification would take effect from 5pm on Friday, December 8.
"This directive has been given to allow Stewart enough time to make alternative arrangements for the care and transfer of the horses in her stable. During this period, Stewart will not be allowed to take part in any trials or races with her horses." Stewart has the right to appeal.