THREE-time Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning jockey Steven Pateman and his wife Jess have been disqualified for 11 months on a historic cobalt charge.
The disqualification means Pateman will miss riding and training at the 2024 Warrnambool May Racing Carnival - an event he's dominated in recent years.
The Patemans commented on social media relating to a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision on Thursday.
"We're shattered by yesterday's ruling, as it will derive us of the thing we love doing most, but our only realistic option is to accept the decision and put this difficult time behind us," it said.
The champion jockey, who holds a dual jumps-jockey trainers' licence was charged with his wife Jess after Sir Walter Scott returned a pre-race urine test to cobalt at Coleraine in September 2017. A report revealed a reading approximately 1200 mg per litre - 12 times above the legal limit.
The Patemans' joint statement went on to say:
"There are further avenues available to us to potentially clear our name but they would be costly and lengthy and emotionally-draining processes that neither of us are up for after a process which has gone on for over five years.
"Horses are a huge part of our lives and have been for as long as we can remember but this will give us both an opportunity to step back from the intensity of racing, a rare opportunity in this industry.
"We'd like to thank everyone who supported us through this period, particularly our friends, family and those in the racing industry.
"We won't be making any further comment for now and ask that you respect our privacy.
Pateman rode two winners at last month's Warrnambool May Racing Carnival. He was successful on Impulsar in a maiden hurdle and Saunter Boy in the Galleywood Hurdle.
The Western Australian-born jumps jockey has won all the features on the Australian jumping calender including the main races at Warrnambool during his illustrious career.
The disqualification which is effective immediately under Racing Victoria rules means Pateman cannot start a horse in any race, official trial or jump-out.
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