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RWWA Stewards yesterday concluded an inquiry conducted into reports received from RWWA Stewards Compliance officer Ms Freya Norman and RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd into the condition of horses under the care of licenced harness racing trainer Ms Tammy Horn-Walker. Ms Horn-Walker pleaded guilty to a charge under Harness Rule of Racing 218 in that she as the person having responsibility for the welfare of the Standardbreds ALL AMERICAN BEAUTY, ZZZAFFERANO and HARD TO FORGET had failed to care for those horses properly which resulted in ALL AMERICAN BEAUTY found to be in a very poor condition with a Body Score of 1/5 and ZZZAFFERANO and HARD TO FORGET found to be in poor condition, both horses having a Body Score of 1.5/5, when inspected on 29 August 2017 by RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd. After considering all factors in relation to the matter Stewards today determined to disqualify Ms Horn-Walker for a period of nine (9) months, backdated to 21 September 2017, the date Ms Horn-Walker was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards took into account: Previous penalties issued for related matters. The seriousness of the matter and the need for deterrence to reinforce and maintain the high standards of animal welfare that apply within the industry as a whole. The acknowledgment of the offence by Ms Horn-Walker Harness Stewards Inquiry – Trainer Tammy Horn-Walker Barbara Scott – Chief Steward Harness Ph: 9445 5176

On 5 December 2017, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) considered submissions regarding penalty following their decision on 1 November 2017 in relation to an application for review by licensed trainer Luke Kilduff against the 4 August 2016 decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board. Background On 3 and 4 August 2016, the HRV RAD Board heard a matter involving Luke Kilduff, who was charged under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1), 190A(1)(a) and 190AA(1) and (2). Mr Kilduff pleaded guilty to the charge issued under AHRR 190(1) and after being found guilty of the remaining charges was disqualified by the HRV RAD Board for a period of 18 months. Details of the HRV RAD Board hearing of 3 and 4 August 2016 can be viewed here. On 9 and 10 March 2017, the VCAT heard Mr Kilduff’s application for review of the decision of the HRV RAD Board of 4 August 2016 in finding him guilty of the ‘administration’ offence (AHRR 190AA(1) and (2)). Mr Kilduff did not challenge the six month disqualification for the 'presentation' offences. The details of the VCAT Review Hearing and decision can be found here. Penalty Hearing On 5 December 2017, VCAT Senior Member Gerard Butcher heard submissions on penalty from Barrister David Hallowes SC representing Luke Kilduff, including Mr Kilduff’s personal circumstances and history of good character. Mr Hallowes put forward a plea for leniency and submitted that a period of suspension may be appropriate in lieu of a period of disqualification. This submission was withdrawn when it was pointed out that Mr Kilduff was already disqualified for six months on the ‘presentation’ charges. Mr Hallowes then sought a 6 month disqualification fully concurrent with the six month disqualification already imposed for the presentation offences. HRV, who was represented by Barrister Adrian Anderson, submitted that the administration of an anabolic steroid was at the high end of offending and must be viewed and treated differently to presenting a horse for a race whilst not free of prohibited substances. Mr Anderson made reference to a number of cases which supported his submission and highlighted the importance of a meaningful deterrent for administration of prohibited substances such as testosterone. Mr Anderson submitted that the penalty for the administration should be two years (the higher end of the penalty sought before the RADB board) and submitted that a total penalty of three years disqualification would be appropriate by making the two six-month disqualification periods cumulative. Mr Anderson relied upon Judge Nixon’s judgment in the 2012 Mifsud VCAT review and the related case of Quinlan in highlighting the importance of general deterrence for an administration offence such as this. Senior Member Butcher endorsed these submissions and referred to Mifsud and the importance of protecting the integrity of the industry at length during his findings on penalty. Senior Member Butcher provided a lengthy deliberation with respect to Mr Kilduff’s history in the harness racing industry, his personal circumstances, and his good character. Mr Butcher was very clear in sending a message to the racing industry that the administration of prohibited substances struck at the integrity of the industry and undermined the principles of a level playing field as well as diminishing the faith of the wagering public. In arriving at a penalty, Senior Member Butcher set aside the decision of the HRV RAD Board on charge 3, to disqualify Mr Kilduff for a period of 18 months and increased the penalty to a period of two years disqualification which was to commence immediately - less the short period of disqualification prior to the stay of the penalty commencing on 1 September 2016. The written reasons from VCAT will be posted when available. Harness Racing Victoria

ON Thursday November 30, 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards concluded an inquiry, which commenced on July 6, 2017, in relation to the betting activities of licensed driver Mr Brendan Barnes. Mr Barnes appeared at a Stewards inquiry and presented evidence on July 6, 2017, and again on August 15, 2017, at which time the driver was charged pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 173(1) and (6) in relation to 29 betting transactions regarding races in which he had participated. HRR 173. states; “(1)  A driver shall not bet in a race in which the driver participates.  (2)  A driver engaged to drive at a meeting shall not enter the betting area of the racecourse during the period commencing 60 minutes before the time fixed for the first race and finishing at the completion of the driver’s engagements at the meeting. (3)  For the purposes of this rule, betting area means those areas of a racecourse where betting with an approved wagering operator is conducted. (4)  A driver or the trainer of a horse shall not authorise, enable, permit or allow another person to place a bet on a betting account of the driver or the trainer. (5)  A driver or trainer shall not place or have an interest in a bet on any betting account other than an account registered in their own name. (6)  Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this rule is guilty of an offence. Mr Barnes pleaded guilty to the charges and provided submissions on penalty before Stewards adjourned to consider the matter of penalty. In determining penalty, Stewards considered that 22 of the total bets were placed by Mr Barnes on the horse that he drove in the respective races. On a further eight occasions bets were made on the same day at the same race meeting and having regard to all the circumstances, Stewards ordered the penalties in regard to these bets be served concurrently. In addition, Stewards considered that a further two bets were placed by Mr Barnes on horses in addition to his own drives in legs of an exotic bet, namely Quadrella bets, and that a further five  bets were placed by Mr Barnes on horses other than those driven by him in various legs of multi-bets. In relation to the charges involving the 22 bets relating to Mr Barnes betting on the horse that he drove in the respective races, he was fined a total of $2100. In relation to the charges involving horses that he had not driven being included in two bets relating to Mr Barnes in legs of Quadrella bets, Mr Barnes was disqualified for a period of two months in respect of each charge which Stewards ordered be served concurrently. In relation to the charges of Mr Barnes betting on horses other than those driven by him in five multi-bets, Mr Barnes was disqualified for a period of three months in respect of each charge and ordered to be served concurrently. Having considered the nature of the betting and to all subjective facts, in particular that the offending occurred over a short period of time, the driver’s age at the time of the offences and his cooperation before the Stewards, as well as considering the totality principles in sentencing, Stewards determined that the periods of disqualification be served concurrently.   Consequently, the full effect of the penalty being that Mr Barnes is disqualified for a period of three months, to take immediate effect. In determining penalty, Stewards were mindful of the following; The serious nature of these offences; Mr Barnes’ guilty plea; Mr Barnes’ licence history; The Driver’s cooperation before the Stewards and other personal subjective factors. Mr Barnes was advised of his right to appeal this decision. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

A 69-year-old Brisbane man has been charged over allegations of harness racing match-fixing. Police say the man rigged the outcome of harness races at Albion Park in Brisbane and Globe Derby Park in Adelaide, and fraudulently purchased harness racing horses while disqualified from any involvement in racing. The Redcliffe man was charged on Wednesday with match-fixing, fraud and receiving tainted property, and will appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on January 8. He is the fourth person to be charged with match-fixing offences as part of a joint investigation by the Queensland Racing Crime Squad and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

RWWA Stewards have been advised by the ChemCentre in Perth, that cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre, being the threshold prescribed in the Harness Rules of Racing, has been detected in a urine sample taken from ARTURUS NZ at Gloucester Park on 15 November 2017 prior to it completing and finishing fourth in Race 9. This finding has been verified by the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory (RASL) in Victoria. Accordingly, the Stewards will inquire into these reports on a date to be fixed which the Trainer of ARTURUS NZ, Mr Gary Elson has been requested to attend. Acting under the provisions of Harness Rule of Racing 183(d) Stewards have directed that Mr Elson’s licence to train be suspended forthwith pending the outcome of the Stewards inquiry to the extent that he is not permitted to nominate or present any horses to race. Harness – Stewards Inquiry – Trainer Mr Gary Elson – ARTURUS NZ Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity Ph: 9445 5427

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide notice to participants in the Victorian Harness Racing Industry of additions to the 'Victorian Licensing Policy' and the implementation of the 'Transfer of Horses from Suspended or Disqualified Trainer Policy', to be effective from 1 December 2017. Victorian Licensing Policy Additions Background The HRV Licensing Policy has been amended to formally document the current practices that are undertaken. The majority of the policy remains unchanged and the amendments are provided below. Purpose Trial Driver and Re-Instated Driver Requirements: The requirement for a driver obtaining a licence to drive in races to complete a satisfactory number of trials is imperative for a variety of reasons. Most significantly to ensure the driver displays the required skill competencies and to also establish awareness and a level of understanding of rule and policy obligations upon a driver. Trainer Financial Requirements: The financial requirements upon a trainer within the licensing policy are necessary to address the potential risk to the reputation of the industry of a person who cannot meet industry debts. This measure also addresses the potential animal welfare risk of a trainer who does not have the financial means to adequately care for horses under their supervision. Re-Applying After Disqualification: Ordinarily through the Show-Cause process for a disqualified person re-applying for a licensee, the participant is usually granted the lowest class of licence in the applicable category. This formalises the current process and it is intended by requiring persons who have been disqualified for a significant period to re-commence the licensing process, it emphasises that a licence is a privilege and the licence status attained ought to be valued and therefore not jeopardised in any way. Amendments include: 1. Trial driver and re-instated driver requirements: • Trial drives shall be completed at the following venues: Ballarat, Bendigo, Cranbourne, Geelong, Kilmore, Mildura, Maryborough, Shepparton, Tabcorp Park Melton, Terang, Swan Hill or another venue previously arranged with HRV Stewards. 2. B Grade Trainer requirements and Trainers re-applying after a period of 6 months or more: Lodged a completed application form together with: - Provide a minimum of two (2) work references attesting to your horse handling ability.  References from licensed trainers must include – the period they have knowledge of you working with Standardbred horses and the duties undertaken. Provide a minimum of two (2) credit references (Vet, Farrier, Feed Suppliers etc.) stating that your accounts are paid promptly OR a credit report by contacting a credit reporting body.  You can obtain a copy of your credit report free of charge from a CRB within ten (10) days of them receiving your request. To request a copy of your credit report, contact these national CRB’s: CRB                             WEBSITE                                             PHONE Veda                             My (Equifax)           1300 762 207 D & B                            D & B CheckYourCredit                       1300 734 806 Experian                       Experian Credit Services                     1300 783 684 Bank account statements in your name for the preceding six (6) month period (to the date your application is submitted to Harness Racing Victoria). Note - These bank account statements should also be submitted to your chosen Accountant/Bank Manager/Officer to form part of the Accountant Reference declaration accompanying the application form. Certified Extract of Birth OR Driver Licence. A certificate of completion of a practical assessment from the Bendigo Harness Racing Training Centre or the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre and evidence of enrolment with either training centre for commencement of mandatory training modules. 3. Financial requirements for A grade trainer applications: Lodged a completed application form together with: - •       Two (2) references from Licensed trainers. •       Provide a minimum of two (2) credit references (Vet, Farrier, Feed Suppliers etc.) stating that your accounts are paid promptly. •       Bank account statements in your name for the preceding six (6) month period (to the date your application is submitted to Harness Racing Victoria). •       Note - These bank account statements should also be submitted to your chosen Accountant/Bank Manager to form part of the Accountant Reference declaration accompanying the application form. 4. Disqualified person re-applying for licence: •   A person who has been disqualified for a period of 12 months or more, and is granted a licence, shall automatically only be granted the highest licence of a Grade C Driver and/or Grade B Trainer and shall meet the relevant requirements detailed above prior to any further upgrade of licence being considered. 5. Driver Relicensing: • A driver who has previously been licensed to drive in races, but who has not been licensed as a driver, for the below periods shall complete the specified number of satisfactory trials prior to driving in a race:           Not licensed for 12 months: 10 satisfactory trials           Not licensed for greater than 2 years: 15 satisfactory trials Transfer of Horses from Suspended or Disqualified Trainer Policy There have been multiple circumstances identified whereby a trainer has been disqualified or suspended under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR), only for horses previously trained by that person, to be transferred to an immediate family member or a trainer who trains from the same registered training address. This gives rise to the perception that the trainer subject to penalty remains involved in the training, or influencing the training of the horses previously trained by them. This policy intends to outline to all industry stakeholders that this practice will no longer be permitted, except with the approval of the HRV Stewards. Approval will only be given should the HRV Stewards be appropriately satisfied of separation between the trainer subject to penalty and the trainer seeking to train a horse covered by the policy. The HRV Board, HRV Integrity Council and Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) have given support to and recommended the implementation of these changes proposed by HRV Stewards. Links: Victorian Licensing Policy Transfer of Horses from Suspended or Disqualified Trainer Policy Australian Harness Racing Rules For further information contact the HRV Integrity Department on 8378 0222. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing South Australia Stewards today conducted a hearing into an adverse test result returned by GENUINE EXCUSE following a pre-race blood test taken from the mare prior to her racing in Race 5 at Globe Derby Park on Monday 18th September 2017 The particulars being that the sample taken from GENUINE EXCUSE revealed the presence of TC02 at a level greater than 36mmol/L. Mr Massey denied a breach of Rule (AHHR) 190(1) which states “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” After consideration the Stewards found the charge proved, and after receiving submissions on penalty put by Mr Christopher Massey, and his advocate Mr John Halliday, the Stewards determination was that Mr Massey be disqualified for a period of nine (9) months, with the activation of the penalty to be delayed seven (7) so that Mr Massey may get his affairs in order. Furthermore, acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, GENUINE EXCUSE was disqualified from second placing in Race 5 at Globe Derby Park on 18th September 2017 and Stewards directed that the placing’s be amended accordingly. Mr Massey was advised of his rights of appeal. Ross Neal Chairman of Stewards HARNESS RACING SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

Harness Racing Victoria evidence, set to be a key piece in the prosecution case against four alleged race fixers, was thrown out in court yesterday. Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday for the second day of a hearing, accused of conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. It comes after an investigation into a race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, which Airbournemagic won. Lawyers for the accused objected to evidence Harness Racing Victoria gathered, including the downloading of phone data and certain answers given to racing stewards. ‘‘These pieces of evidence should be excluded,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘My focus is on (the) question of unfairness to the accused ... circumstances unfair to the defendant.’’ Mr Lewis said stewards met Mr Jack on his property, asked him questions and he was forced to answer them and was told if he did not — would have committed an offence. ‘‘If they don’t comply, they will be likely charged and their livelihoods at stake,’’ he said. ‘‘It is a compulsory, involuntary process ... they can refuse to answer or provide the phone, but they would only do so knowing disqualification would be inevitable. ‘‘If an admission is involuntary, then it’s inadmissible. Has the evidence been obtained by compulsion? If it has, it ought to be excluded.’’ Mr Lewis added the defendants complied with the stewards’ inquiry for the sole purpose of the stewards’ inquiry. ‘‘(They) never signed an agreement that they’re waiving their rights,’’ he said. ‘‘Never told the answers would be given to police, that’s not in the rules.’’ Prosecutor Gary Hevey disagreed, arguing the four voluntarily signed up to be involved with Harness Racing Victoria, to be bound by the rules, meaning they knew the consequences. ‘‘This was a voluntary association ... people can choose to be members or participate in the harness racing industry,’’ he told the court. ‘‘They chose to belong and in doing so they must submit to the rules of this voluntary association. ‘‘At the interviews it was open for each of the persons being questioned to respond with I don’t want to play any more ... it was open for them to say no.’’ Magistrate John Murphy said while the consequences of refusing to comply with a steward’s request did not include jail time, the consequences certainly included the defendants’ racing licence and as a consequence their professional livelihood. ‘‘One of the basis of our rule of law is that a person has the right to remain silent,’’ he said. ‘‘The accused has a fundamental right to remain silent and they can’t under HRV unless they wish to suffer penalties outlined. ‘‘It would be unfair to an accused to use the evidence ... and a denial of natural justice. ‘‘My ruling is I do not intend to allow the evidence to be given.’’ On Monday, the court heard about the alleged tactics adopted during the race, with prosecution outlining allegations Mr Jack, on Tooram Lad, allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, who Mr Pitt drove, to win the race. Representatives from different betting agencies including Bet365, Ladbrokes and Victoria Police are set to give evidence, with the prosecution saying ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ were allegedly returned from profits. The hearing continues. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

Four alleged race fixers are pleading not guilty to all charges relating to a harness racing event at Cobram in 2015. Champion driver Nathan Jack, his partner Amanda Turnbull and Avenel pair Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The four accused have been charged with conduct that corrupts a betting outcome among other offences, after an investigation into the tactics adopted during a race on June 22, 2015 — which Airbournemagic won. Separate lawyers represented each defendant, as prosecutor Gary Hevey read out a case summary to a packed courtroom. ‘‘This case alleges corruption,’’ he told the court. ‘‘Using corrupt information for betting purposes ... it relates to the stabling, training and racing of a horse known as Airbournemagic and its winning of race four in Cobram. ‘‘In particular, allegations relate to information in possession of defendants ... the likely performance of Airbournemagic and failing to provide that information to Harness Racing Victoria.’’ Mr Hevey briefly outlined details of the charges to Magistrate John Murphy and outlined the role Harness Racing Victoria played in the sport. Court documents The News obtained told how Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Ms Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Mr Jack, an experienced driver. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria said Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person in Congupna. Due to the incorrect information allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds betting agencies set. ‘‘There are numerous messages which have been seized and downloaded in relation to the case,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. Prosecution is set to bring forward numerous witnesses from different betting agencies to give evidence, including representatives from Bet365, Ladbrokes and a Victoria Police financial analyst. The court heard how based on Airbournemagic being stabled at the Congupna address, Bet365 opened the betting ahead of the June 22, 2015 race at $35. Airbournemagic eventually jumped at just $4.80 with ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ returned from profits, Mr Hevey will allege. When Mr Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. During the race, it is alleged Mr Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which Mr Pitt drove, for much of the race. Footage is set to be tendered to the court this week, with the trial estimated to run for more than a week. ‘‘The third section of the race was run at 27 seconds — the fastest time recorded in the last 10 years ... Mr Jack ran Tooram Lad ragged so he could not win the race,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. ‘‘When you combine that (footage) with the text messages in relation to betting ahead of the race and on the day and thereafter ... it is inescapable.’’ Ms Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Ms Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Mr Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Lawyers for the accused are set to object to a number of pieces of evidence, including the downloading of phone data seized, certain answers given to racing stewards and subsequent material Victoria Police obtained during a search warrant. ‘‘There is a question of unfairness of the accused,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘(We have) similar issues ... challenge the interview with stewards ... use of phone material downloaded and a challenge to the seizing of the mobile phone,’’ Ms Bartley’s defence lawyer Rohan Laurence said. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. The hearing continues today. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News  

Many harness racing horseman are currently unhappy with the surface of the Alexandra Park track at the moment, with several going as far as to declare it unsafe in patches and not up to standard. Richard Brosnan the president of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Owners Association is adamant an accident is going to cause serious harm to horse or driver if the state of the Auckland track is not fixed in the near future. Richard says “the track is very inconsistent in some areas and it varies in depth especially on the bends. It needs a good overhaul to bring back to the condition it was in several years ago”, he said. >Harnesslink contacted the following Drivers and here are their comments; David Butcher For me I think they could do a far better job of preparing it for race day. The staff are just going through the motions the same way they have done for the last 30 years. They might need a trip to Australia and see what they do. Brent Mangos The surface is very inconsistent. Soft in places and hard in other places. It was very soft the other night. After race three I told them that they needed to put water on the track which they did and it was much better. Maurice McKendry The surface is not as good as it has been. Philip Butcher For a Metropolitan track the surface is a disgrace. Steven Reid The surface is deep in places and not that good although I only drive occasionally. Todd Mitchell The track is the worst it's ever been, just a disgrace for a leading track. The surface is deep in places and its a shame they didn't take notice of Dan Coon when he developed the track, they did not listen to him about the ongoing maintanence. Peter Ferguson The surface is like concrete underneath and marbles on top. The track is in bad shape for a top track. The Manawatu track is the same. They have a great club like Auckland and doing all the right things in the public arena but not looking after the track is probably the most important thing to have right to protect the horses from breakdown and to protect the drivers from accidents. Scott Phelan Went to a meeting and voiced my concerns once but nothing gets done. Jay Abernethy The track is very inconsistent, loose in places, hard in others. Not good. Todd MacFarlane - Drivers Association Representative The trainers and drivers association have been trying to sort it out. The Auckland Club has already had John Denton up from Christchurch and he is about to come back to help fix the track shortly. This all brings to mind the case in North America about the Anthony Coletta accident at Harrahs Chester Track.  Anthony Coletta was left paralyzed and permanently brain damaged after he was thrown from his sulky and trampled by a horse in a chain-reaction wreck his attorney blamed on poor track conditions. Horse trainers, harness drivers, and the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association had complained for years — before Coletta’s Nov. 17, 2013, crash — that the track was unsafe, said attorney Bob Mongeluzzi, who represents Coletta’s parents in a 2014 negligence lawsuit they filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. “The complaints included that it was like going from a hard surface, hard pack, to actually like being on the beach, and being in deep sand, and that the horses would lose their footing,” Mongeluzzi said. “These complaints came from many, many drivers over a period of years. These complaints were documented in emails [and] letters. And the tragic fact is that Harrah’s — rather than making the track safer, rather than taking the complaints seriously — ignored them and didn’t do anything about it.” Coletta, now 35, who was engaged to be married at the time of the crash, instead has been declared incapacitated and lives with his parents, Alfred and Rosemary Coletta, in Hammonton, New Jersey. “He’s in a wheelchair. He needs round-the-clock care. He will never be able to care for himself again,” Mongeluzzi said. “He has virtually no memory, very little comprehension of anything you would say to him … Unfortunately, I think where Anthony is [now] is where he will be for the rest of his life — in a wheelchair, brain damage.   Here is the Presidents report to the members of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Owners Association; Firstly I’d like to thank everyone here today. You are here because you care about our industry. This has been a very interesting year for the NZ Owners Association. We in Auckland are only one of three branches still actively operating. The National Body seems in free fall and is not getting up and running. This branch needs to keep up with what’s going on with the National Body. It needs a person with the time and the name who can go around NZ and sell the idea of the importance of Owner Issues and Representation. At last year’s AGM our HRNZ owners rep Trevor Beaton came up and spoke to the members. Unfortunately the promised communication has not eventuated and we don’t get a lot of information. Jess Smith has just taken up a new post with HRNZ on Owners Issues and we must be hopeful that her appointment will make a difference. She has our support. The present good financial position this branch is in can be initially attributed to Rosena Pyers because as our secretary she started operating the cafe at the workouts which we ran here on Saturdays. This has continued on with members of our committee who have run raffles, trophy days and collected our share of workout monies. This association had nothing when I started so we must thank our committees for all the work that has resulted in our healthy position today. Now that the ATC no longer runs Saturday workouts at the Park in favour of Franklin Park we rely mainly on the money that is allocated to us through the North Island Harness Awards. The Ladies running the awards have done an amazing job and we are very grateful to them. I’d like to thank our Secretary and members of our committee for their efforts throughout the year. It is only their dedication that keeps us going and we need to grow stronger with more interest from other owners. Our Owners website is still up and running and any contributions to it are very welcome. We have had a few articles written for us by Barry Lichter which created a lot of interest so we are looking to continue that . Many thanks to Gayleen Mackinnon for her time in uploading the material onto our website. While the ATC is doing many good things for harness racing in Auckland  there needs to be more done for the people who support them. The Board need to improve their PR skills and make themselves known within the industry here. At the moment the Alexandra Park racing surface is not up to standard and needs regular attention to make it fair to all horses. It is too deep on the bends and varies in depth all around. If not fixed it will cause a serious problem sooner or later. Thank you to everyone for all your help and support. May this branch grow stronger and make sure that the National Body gets up and running. If you think HRNZ are going to look after you then look back on the last 12 months and think again. A strong Owners Body and lobby group is imperative. Again thank you for attending and come back next year to a stronger and healthier and more enthusiastic Auckland Trotting Owners branch. Richard Brosnan.

On 23 November 2017, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard an application from Daryl Douglas for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board of 11 October 2017 to issue a range of penalties relating to breaches of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). The details of that HRV RAD Board hearing can be found here Background Mr Douglas was issued with four charges under the AHRR, relating to his activities at the registered training establishment of Marnie Bibby on 27 February 2017. The four charges were as follows: Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows: A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them. The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  VCAT Review Hearing At the VCAT review hearing, on 23 November 2017 before Member Wentworth, HRV Stewards withdrew ‘Charge 1’, which related to Mr Douglas entering a registered training establishment whilst a disqualified person due to the provisions of section 51(3) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998(Vic). In relation to the remaining charges evidence was taken from HRV Steward John Packer, HRV Steward Russell Anderson and Daryl Douglas himself, along with submissions from the HRV Stewards and Andrew Peace on behalf of Mr Douglas. Upon consideration of the evidence Member Wentworth was not satisfied that ‘Charge 2’ was proven as it was not established that Mr Douglas was aware it was the HRV Stewards he was running from given they had not had the opportunity to identify themselves. The HRV RAD Board decision in relation to this charge was set aside. In relation to ‘Charge 3’, Member Wentworth found that Mr Douglas did refuse to answer the questions of the HRV Stewards. Member Wentworth highlighted that the role of the Stewards is well established and being able to questions parties is vital to their duties. In respect of penalty, following submissions from both parties, the fine imposed by the HRV RAD Board was set-aside and replaced with a fine of $200. Member Wentworth also found ‘Charge 4’ proven in that Mr Douglas knew there was an inquiry scheduled and the reasons for him not attending were insufficient in the circumstances. Member Wentworth set-aside the warning off imposed by the HRV RAD Board and determined that the appropriate penalty was a fine of $300, however also placed Mr Douglas on notice that he is required to attend an inquiry as required by the HRV Stewards. The written reasons from VCAT will be published when available.

MANALAPAN, NJ — November 22, 2017 — Governor-elect Phil Murphy has announced, the appointment of SBOANJ Director and CEO of Deo Volente Farms, Mike Gulotta to his Budget transition committee.  Gulotta will make recommendations on state policy, issues and initiatives as Murphy’s administration prepares to take office. The committees will meet over the next two months and then submit reports and recommendations to the governor-elect and his leadership team prior to inauguration. The SBOANJ congratulates Mike Gulotta on this amazing appointment and sees it as a positive for the New Jersey harness racing industry. Courtney Stafford

With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 14 November, 2017 where a 60-year-old male from the Bendigo area was interviewed and released without charge, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update. HRV advises in respect of this matter, they have spoken to the licensed participant allegedly involved and advised them to provide submissions addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). Any such submissions are to be provided by 10.00 am on Friday 24 November 2017 and will be given due consideration thereafter prior to any decision being made. With respect to the Victoria Police investigation, HRV is unable to make any comment. Harness Racing Victoria 

ON Wednesday 15 November 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry in relation to complaints reported to HRNSW Stewards at the Newcastle meeting on Saturday 5 August 2017. Licensed trainer Mr Robin Hosking (Snr), licensed stablehands Mrs Christine Hosking and Mr Rex Spencer attended and presented evidence to the inquiry. Additional evidence was also presented by the following persons: Ms Laura Spencer (licensed trainer/driver) Mr Peter Allen (licensed trainer) Mrs Pamela James (licensed stablehand) Mrs Sandra Smith                            After considering the evidence HRNSW Stewards issued two (2) charges against Mr Rex Spencer pursuant to the Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 231(1)(d): AHRR 231(1)(d) A person shall not (d)          abuse… anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it The details of the charges related to Mr Spencer abusing Mr Hosking (Snr) and Mrs Hosking at the Newcastle Harness Racing Club on Saturday 5 August 2017. Mr Spencer was found guilty of both offences and was disqualified for a period of three months to commence immediately. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: The nature of these offences; Mr Spencer’s not guilty plea; Previous offences of this nature; Mr Spencer’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Mr Spencer has appealed these decisions.    MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

ON Monday 13 November 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry in relation to the betting activities of licensed trainer/driver Mr Grimson. Mr Grimson appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence. Evidence including betting records and race results were also presented. Stewards issued two (2) charges pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 240(c) as follows: AHRR 240.  A person shall not, whether alone or in an association with others, do, permit or suffer anything before, during or after a race which in the opinion of the Stewards or Controlling Body:- (c)           is improper. The details of the charges issued against Mr Grimson are as follows: On 3 January 2017, Mr Grimson placed a five (5) leg multi bets via the wagering operator Tabcorp which included race 7 at Menangle on that date. In that leg, Mr Grimson placed a bet on SALTY ROBYN NZ when he was the trainer of WYDNBERG TERROR in that race. On 2 February 2017, Mr Grimson placed a win bet via the wagering operator Tabcorp on race 5 at Penrith on that date. Mr Grimson placed a bet on EASY LIGHTNING to win that race when he was the trainer of MACHIN OUT in that race. As Mr Grimson had placed bets on horses other than those trained by him to win the respective races, Stewards considered those actions improper. Mr Grimson pleaded guilty to both charges and he was disqualified for a period of three months in respect of each charge, effective immediately and to be served concurrently. In determining penalty, Stewards considered the actions of Mr Grimson, his licence history, his guilty plea as well as his personal and subjective factors Mr Grimson has appealed these decisions. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

A member of a prominent Tasmanian harness racing family who punched a horse in the head just before a race at Launceston has been stood down by TasRacing. The incident, involving harness racing driver Wade Rattray, was captured on a mobile phone camera while the attendant was handling the Angela Brakey-trained Century Arrow prior to the first race of Wednesday's Newmarket Handicap meeting, with the footage posted to Twitter. Mr Rattray was working as a barrier attendant at the race. He has been described in racing circles as a member of the Rattray "harness racing dynasty". In a statement on Thursday afternoon, TasRacing said Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) stewards had "concluded an inquiry into an incident that occurred at the barrier prior to Race 1 involving barrier attendant Mr Wade Rattray and Century Arrow" at the meeting, finding he had "struck that horse with a clenched fist in the vicinity of the head". "After taking initial evidence at the race meeting, Mr Rattray was stood down from his duties for the remainder of the meeting by the Stewards acting under the provisions of AR 8(r)," TasRacing said. Mr Rattray, who represented Tasmania at the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers' Championship in Perth, was found guilty of "conduct prejudicial to the image of racing". TasRacing said stewards took into account the nature of the offence, the detrimental effects to the image of racing, deterrent factor as well as "Mr Rattray's clean record" and his "personal circumstances". Mr Rattray was fined $1,500. A TasRacing spokesperson said Mr Rattray had been "stood down pending an internal review" which is expected next week and that Mr Rattray "won't be handling horses for TasRacing in the meantime". PHOTO: Wade Rattray's future as an employee with TasRacing is unclear. (Facebook: Wade Rattray) Racing officials 'don't condone cruelty' TasRacing said the ORI would "submit a report relation to this matter" and "work with TasRacing in developing appropriate standards and conduct for barrier staff". Earlier on Thursday, TasRacing CEO Vaughn Lynch said his organisation did not condone animal cruelty. "Animal welfare is a strong focus for TasRacing, and we do not condone what appears to have occurred in the incident in question in any way," he said. Mr Lynch said "training requirements are regularly reviewed and will be considered further following the conclusion of the stewards investigation". With Jason Maskiell aboard Century Arrow, the four-year-old gelding entered the race as favourite, but went on to finish second behind the Mick Burles-trained Clean Acheeva. Mr Rattray has been contacted for comment. Elio Celotto, from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, said the $1,500 penalty was "totally inadequate". "What happened in Tasmania is animal abuse, it's a breach of the prevention of cruelty to animals act and they need to be punished accordingly, perhaps a jail sentence." Mr Celotto said the incident was "just another example of the racing industry abusing their horses and forcing them to compete". Reprinted with permission of ABC News

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