25 Jun 2013

Trainer seeks discharge without conviction

3:47 pm on 25 June 2013

A Waikato horse trainer has denied knowing that drugs she imported for her horses were illegal and could be used to enhance the animal's performance.

Nicola Chilcott, 41, pleaded guilty to five charges brought by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) of breaching the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997.

She is appearing in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday seeking a discharge without conviction.

Chilcott said that as far as she knew the compounds ITPP and TB500 were legal. She told the court that she now accepts her mistake, but at the time she had no idea what the rules were.

Chilcott denied a claim by MPI lawyer Grant Fletcher that she must have known the products were illegal because they had been seized on previous occasions.

She said the products are available off the shelf overseas and claims other trainers use them.

Chilcott said the compounds are no more than the animal equivalent of vitamins and minerals and equated one of them to the Lucozade.

She told the court that she gives nothing to her horses within three days of them racing.