Trainer and Owner disqualfied for 6 months

08:47 PM 15 Apr 2014 NZST
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Glenn Douglas.jpg Eric Anderson.png Talk To The Hand.png
Glenn Douglas - has been disqualified for 6 months
Owner Eric Anderson - has been disqualified for 6 months.
Talk To The Hand & Glenn Douglas

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today handed down its decision with regard to the penalty review hearings of Mr Eric Anderson and Mr Glenn Douglas against the decision of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board to disqualify Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for 6 months for offences against the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) relating to an investigation concerning the horse Talk To The Hand.

Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas, through their legal representative Mr Sandy Robertson, argued the penalties imposed upon them were excessive.   These review hearings were held in conjunction with review applications of the HRV Stewards who argued through their legal counsel, Mr Neill Murdoch SC, that the penalties applied by the HRV RAD Board were inadequate.

His Honour Judge Nixon, in delivering his decision, announced that he considered the offence seriousness to be in the high category and that he considered the most critical principles requiring consideration in the case to be denunciation, general deterrence and the preservation of the integrity of the harness racing industry.  His Honour stated that public confidence in the harness racing industry is critical and that the giving of false evidence to Stewards could not be tolerated and must result in significant penalty being imposed.

His Honour remarked that the lies told by Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas surrounding the death and disposal of the horse Talk To The Hand were maintained until the bitter end and that such lies were told to deceive the Stewards.

His Honour indicated he gave consideration to the numerous references supplied in support of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas which described their extensive involvement and success in the harness racing industry over a lengthy period of time, references which were not before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014 when Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas appeared unrepresented.

His Honour found that in all of the circumstances of the case, the penalty of 6 months disqualification imposed by the HRV RAD Board upon Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for their respective conduct was a just and appropriate penalty.  His Honour confirmed the imposition of these penalties and taking into account time served (8 days), such periods of disqualification will expire as at 8 October 2014.

In arriving at this decision, His Honour noted that it should not be assumed in the harness racing industry that a period of 6 months disqualification is the ‘ceiling’ for penalties that may be handed down in circumstances where false evidence is provided to the Stewards or where persons frustrate or endeavour to frustrate investigations of the Stewards.  His Honour also noted that in addition to the powerful references supplied, His Honour was also required to consider the evidence of Dr Sarah Jalim, as a result of the position of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas that their conduct was in order to protect the interests of Dr Jalim.  His Honour indicated he considered the evidence of Dr Jalim, both before the HRV RAD Board and the VCAT, regarding her inactivity (in reporting matters to the HRV Stewards) at a relevant time on the evening of 21 August 2013 at the Bendigo harness racing meeting, which resulted in her pleading guilty to a charge before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014.

Glenn Douglas, Eric Anderson and Sarah Jalim

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas, licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson and veterinarian Dr Sarah Jalim.

The charges were issued in connection to the conduct of the relevant parties concerning the Glenn Douglas trained horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ which was scheduled to compete at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013.  After arriving at the racecourse, the horse became unwell and its health quickly deteriorated resulting in the horse being assisted onto a float by Mr Anderson, Mr Douglas and Dr Jalim before the horse was euthanized by Dr Jalim.  The fact that the horse was euthanized was not brought to the attention of the attending HRV Stewards on the night by Mr Douglas, Mr Anderson or Dr Jalim.

Mr Eric Anderson

Mr Eric Anderson pleaded guilty to 6 charges issued by HRV Stewards.

Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6)  
   
        A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation.

The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Anderson frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ and by arranging and conducting the burial of the horse in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse.

Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2)
    
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 Charge 2 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been alive when it was removed from the Bendigo racecourse and also alive when it arrived at the stables of Mr Glenn Douglas after being transported by Mr Anderson in a float.  


Charge 3 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 3 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, falsely advised that Mr Glenn Douglas whilst checking on the welfare of ‘Talk To The Hand’ in the night of 21 August 2013 had found the horse to be alive and that Mr Anderson had only discovered the horse to be deceased at the stables of Mr Douglas on the morning of 22 August 2013.

Charge 4 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 4 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by denying that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been euthanized in the vicinity of the Bendigo racecourse on 21 August 2013.

Charge 5 – ARHR 187(2)

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 Charge 5 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by advising that the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been burned at Boundary Bend, Victoria, when the horse had in fact been buried at this location.

Charge 6 – ARHR 105(5)

The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards

The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Anderson disposed of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ without the permission of the HRV Stewards.

After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Anderson in relation to charges 1-6 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately.

Harness Racing Australia

 

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