Horse Racing

Melancon arrested for Evangeline ‘Buzzer’ Charge


Jockey Gerard Melancon, an equestrian leader in his home state of Louisiana, was arrested on August 26 on charges of being in possession of an electric shock device after the manager of Evangeline Downs. Report the “incident” to the state police.

Paulick Report’s Ray Paulick had the scoop in a story Tuesday. He cited confirmations of the arrest of “irregular arousal horses” from the St. Landry, clerk of the parish court and Louisiana State Police. But details are scant because of “an ongoing investigation”.

TDN attempted to contact the district attorney of St. Landry Parish to find out about the court date and whether Melancon will retain the attorney, but had no luck reaching out to anyone who would comment ahead of time for this story. Melancon himself is also unable to contact him in the story.

Court Clerk of the Parish of St. Landry told Paulick Report that Melancon, 55, was released on $20,000 bail.
Charles Gardiner, executive director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, told Paulick Report that state police and Evangeline managers will conduct separate investigations. However, he added, a complicating factor in the managers’ investigation is that the Evangeline race meeting has ended and the managers are not considered to be working 48 hours after the meeting ends. end.

Melancon rode 0 of 4 at Evangeline last Wednesday, Aug. 24. He was there in the mountains on Thursday and Friday but didn’t ride both cards. On the day after his arrest, Melancon rode the Evangeline card on the 27th of August, then rode at the Louisiana Downs on the 28th. He was supposed to ride at the Louisiana Downs on the 4th, 5 and 6 September.

Melancon has won 5,079 races from 32,444 mountains dating back to 1984. In June 2021, when featured on the Rayne-Acadian Tribune for his 5,000th race win, Melancon acknowledged the problems at 20s with alcohol and cocaine nearly derailed his life and riding career. . But he said he quit substance abuse in 1989 and has claimed to be sober as a recovering addict ever since.
Before that, Melancon’s name had surfaced in two race-fixing scandals in Louisiana.

In 1986, Melancon was named an “unrelated co-conspirator” in an investigation into a supposedly fixed Fair Grounds race in which he knowingly accepted $500 from another rider to keep it. his horse. News accounts published at the time said that Melancon testified before a grand jury against fellow racers, who were ultimately indicted.

In April 1987, after jockey Bryan Jenkins was allegedly arrested with an illegal shock device at Evangeline, he testified at a racing commission hearing that Melancon delivered the device. was given to him after obtaining it from a horseman, according to a report on the incident in the Shreveport Times.

Although he was never prosecuted in either case, citing race-fixing allegations, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied him permission to drive in the GI Kentucky Derby in 1992.

In 2021, Melancon is a finalist for the Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the award given by the New York Racing Association to a racehorse who embodies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship.

This summer, on June 29, Melancon joined a federal lawsuit in which two states, Jockeys’ Guild and various Louisiana-based “insurs” under the Safety and Integrity (HISA) is attempting to derail HISA due to its alleged unwarranted constitutionality and alleged failure to comply with federal rule-making procedures.

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