Day At The Track

George Schembri disqualified for kicking horse

06:08 PM 13 Aug 2015 NZST
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 Harness Racing Victoria
Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr George Schembri.

The charges arose from an incident that occurred at the Cranbourne harness meeting on Tuesday 21 July 2015.

After considering evidence from Mr Schembri and witness statements, Mr Schembri pleaded guilty to a charge under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 213(a) which reads:

A person shall not:-

(a) by use of harness, gear, equipment, device, substance or any other thing inflict suffering on a horse

The particulars of the charge being that at the Cranbourne harness meeting on 21 July 2015, that in the stabling area after the completion of Race 6, Mr Schembri kicked the horse This Is Your Life in the abdomen or barrel region.

Mr Schembri also pleaded guilty to a charge under ARHR 243 which reads:

A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry.

The particulars of the charge being that Mr Schembri’s conduct in kicking the horse This Is Your Life, was behavior and an action considered to be detrimental to the harness racing industry.

After considering submissions regarding penalty from HRV Stewards and Mr Lance Justice, representative for Mr Schembri, the HRV RAD Board imposed a penalty in totality of a suspension of Mr Schembri’s trainers and drivers licence for a period of 3 months to commence midnight 15 August 2015 and a fine of $1000.

In imposing this penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Schembris’ previous offence record in relation to conduct matters, the financial impact of the penalties imposed against Mr Schembri in view of his personal circumstances, as well as the need to protect the integrity of the harness racing industry, whilst ensuring a penalty for such actions provided a specific and general deterrent.

HRV RAD Board Panel - Brian Collis QC, Paul Connolly

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