Cobb License Revoked After Stewards Discover Evidence She Violated Suspension - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Cobb License Revoked After Stewards Discover Evidence She Violated Suspension

A still from the video evidence presented to the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission shows Cobb striking the filly with a plastic rake while she is tied to the back of the stall

Amber Cobb, who was the center of a controversial ruling by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission earlier this year, has had her owner and trainer licenses revoked by the Delaware stewards. The licenses had been scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2022 and the revocation covers the remaining term for which they would have been active.

According to an Oct. 28 ruling, Cobb did not appear at a scheduled hearing before stewards on Oct. 22 to answer complaints about “past abuse and neglect of horses in her care that did not involve her recent suspension by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission in stewards' ruling 19B-2021.”

Ruling 19B-2021 refers to a two-year suspension Cobb had been given by Delaware stewards in May of this year after they were given a video showing Cobb hitting a 2-year-old unraced filly with a rake while the horse was tied to a stall wall. Cobb was shown shouting at the horse, who scrambled to get away from her and reared, falling to the ground with her head still tied to the wall. Cobb appealed that ruling to the full commission in July, and the regulatory body agreed to shorten the suspension from two years to 60 days.

The filly in the video is a daughter of Klimt out of Bluegrass Ellie. Breeder Dan Barraclough told the Paulick Report he received a call from Cobb prior to the circulation of that grainy video across social media. Cobb stated she was having issues with the filly, and Barraclough agreed to take her back to his Saratoga Glen Farm.

“We have kind of a don't ask, don't tell policy: if there's every any trouble with a horse we bred, just send them back, we'll take them and we'll sort it out,” Barraclough explained.

Barraclough stated that he'd later seen the video, about a month prior to the Paulick Report's story being published on Aug. 29, but that he had no idea the horse appearing in the video was his filly. He added that stewards had called him to check up on the the filly, but that the conversation lasted just 30 seconds and did not reveal any circumstances of the case against Cobb.

By the time he learned about the incident, Barraclough said his team had already re-started the filly and sent her on to a new owner, where she had started galloping on the racetrack.

“She really was no worse for the wear, and she settled right back in to her normal routine at the farm,” said Barraclough. “We started the breaking process and she was very easy to deal with, no problems at all. She went on to her next stop and is now galloping on the track, about ready for her first breeze.”

Learn more about the original case and appeal process in our previous reporting here.

The ruling on Oct. 28 appears to have been in reference to separate incidents from the one at the heart of the case from May.

As her 60 days began winding down, the stewards issued a summary suspension on Sept. 10, citing a new list of alleged rule violations by Cobb, including possession of hypodermic needles and cruelty to horses. Summary suspensions are typically issued when stewards want to limit a licensee's access to sanctioned grounds or the entry box as they await a date for a hearing to consider evidence of a potential rule violation.

According to the Oct. 28 ruling, Cobb did not attend an anger management program as required by the stewards and the commission after the incident with the filly and the rake. Additionally, the stewards wrote that they discovered she had failed to get stewards' approval for bills of sale and horse transfers for horses that had been in her care prior to her suspensions.

“Horses that were in her care remained on the grounds of another trainer during the term of her suspension,” the stewards wrote. “Miss Cobb solicited the services of another licensed Delaware trainer that brought horses on the grounds that were not approved by the stewards. Stewards retained documents that Amber Cobb was involved and was still participating in horse racing while under suspension.

“Pursuant to D.T.R.C. Rule 7.5 Horses Suspended: All horses in the charge of a Trainer whose registration has been revoked or suspended shall not be permitted to race during the period of such Trainer's suspension. Upon application by the Owners of such suspended horses, the Stewards may approve the bona fide transfer of such horses to the care of another registered Trainer and, upon such approved transfer, such horses may be entered to race.”

In the Oct. 28 ruling, stewards cited a number of rules they say Cobb violated, including the state's regulation against cruelty to horses.

Chelsea Hackbarth contributed additional reporting to this story.

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