Disgraced reinsman Matt Anderson ‘not fit’ for the trotting industry

Matt Anderson photographed after leaving a court hearing in 2018. Photo / NZME

Disgraced rein man Matt Anderson has been banned from the harness racing industry for more than five years for ‘hosing up’ a horse and injecting it with vodka on Cup Day.

At the time of his offense in November last year, Anderson was already under an industry ban after being criminally convicted of assaulting and asphyxiating a woman in 2020.

In a strongly worded decision, the Racing Integrity Board said Anderson was “currently unfit to serve in the harness racing industry.”

On the morning of November 8 last year, the day the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club met in Addington, investigators staked out trainer Philip Burrows’ stalls in Fernside, Canterbury.


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They secretly filmed Burrows injecting trotter Rakero Rebel with a substance while Anderson held his head.

Anderson, 30, then used a “twitch” device to restrain the horse while Burrows inserted a feeding tube into his nostril and esophagus.

Burrows later admitted that the substance he injected was vodka and that he administered a combination of baking soda, brown sugar, Epsom salts, and water through the tube.

Burrows was banned from racing for 10 years for his actions.


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The Racing Integrity Board [RIB] accused Anderson along with Burrows of administering a prohibited substance via hypodermic syringe and administering a substance to Rakero Rebel via a stomach tube on race day, in violation of trotting rules.

He was also accused of assisting Burrows in preparing for race day Rakero Rebel and another horse, Millwood Indie, in violation of his ban from Harness Racing New Zealand.

Anderson initially lied to investigators when confronted about his actions at another property this morning.

When told he had been filmed, he said he wanted legal advice before answering any questions, but later pleaded guilty to all charges.

The Racing Integrity Board, chaired by former High Court Judge Warwick Gendall, an advocate for the King, called Anderson’s actions “premeditated and dishonest”.

“It is made worse by Mr. Anderson’s disregard of the instruction that he should not be involved in preparing the horses for the race – meaning he should not have been near the tie-stall that morning,” reads the ruling.

The film was said to exhibit “secret and stealthy behavior,” making it clear that Anderson knew he was seriously offending.

His disregard of his previous warning was “arrogant” and showed a total disregard for the standards of the profession.

“Mr Anderson has not cooperated, as has Mr Burrows. He lied to the investigator first,” the decision said.

“When it was pointed out to him that there was a film, he escaped into silence as before. It was only when it became clear that any defense would have been futile that he had no choice but to admit the prosecution.”


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The board banned Anderson from participating in harness racing for five years and three months.


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