A Midura harness racing trainer who continued to be involved in the industry despite being banned over a post-race blood sample taken from one of his horses will now have to serve another year’s disqualification after VCAT overturned a decision to let him off with a fine. Harness Racing Victoria began an investigation late last year, finding evidence Mr Andrew Vozlic continued to conduct activities, which relate to equine hooves care, for a number of trainers in the Mildura and Ouyen regions. He was serving a five-year disqualification at the time after a post-race blood sample from his horse Our Girl Dolly in 2011 showed a plasma total carbon dioxide concentration higher than allowed. The HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board in October found that although it was a serious offence, unusual circumstances meant a $2000 fine was appropriate. HRV RAD Board chairman Tony Burns at the time said Mr Vozlic was a “fine practitioner” and there was very limited opportunity for local horse people in the Mildura region to find quality farrier services. But HRV stewards asked VCAT to review the decision. VCAT acting president Judge Felicity Hampel this week set aside the fine and ordered Mr Vozlic serve another 12 month period of disqualification. She noted the importance of deterrence for him and the wider community, along with the significance of integrity to the harness racing industry. Judge Hampel ordered that the 12-month period of disqualification start in December, which is at the completion of his current period of disqualification. For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 25/03/2017.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here By Daniella White Reprinted with permission of The Sunraysia Daily
John Dickie, trainer of Speeding Spur NZ, has advised Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards that the horse has suffered swelling in a hind fetlock ahead of its engagement in Race 7 the ‘Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix (Group 1)’ to be conducted on Saturday 11 March 2017. Given this information HRV Stewards advise that a veterinary examination will be conducted on Speeding Spur NZ by an official HRV Veterinary Consultant on Friday (tomorrow) morning with the result of such examination to be released as soon as possible. Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 11 March 2017 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 11 March 2017
Tabanan broke through for his first victory since 2015 to cap Harness Racing Victoria’s first supplementary race, an initiative to increase racing opportunities. Monday’s sixth race at Kilmore, the All Day Café Menu @ Trackside Pace, was the first supplementary race to be held, featuring a C3 to C8 class pace for $5000. The Alison Alford-trained six-year-old, who was classed as a C7 prior to the race, won by a neck from $2.60 favourite Love Ina Chevy (C7) and 3.1m clear of Ymbro Toto (C7). Pole marker Twoforsixty, a C3, was a close fourth, just 4.8m off the leader, with all eight runners finishing within 16.6m. Monday marked the beginning of a one-month trial of supplementary races, in which connections who want to enter a Victorian race meeting but don’t believe there is a suitable race can nominate for a supplementary race. Open to any class or gait, if HRV handicappers believe they can compile a competitive race from nominations received a supplementary race will be included on the race fixture. HRV CEO David Martin said it was pleasing the format had already created racing opportunities. “It’s great to see trainers entering into and benefitting from the supplementary races,” Mr Martin said. “We are keen to run more and if trainers don’t believe there is an appropriate race for their horse at a meeting, then they should nominate for the supplementary race.” Click here to view the conditions for the supplementary races. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)
The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regard to two charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 218 against Mr Geoff Crilly (Former Licensed Trainer) AHRR 218 reads as follows; A person having responsibility for the welfare of a horse shall not fail to care for it properly. The first charge under AHRR 218 against Mr Crilly related to his failure to provide the necessary veterinary care and attention to an unnamed two-year-old colt, which was identified by HRV Stewards at the property of Mr Crilly on 8 September 2016. The second charge under AHRR 218 related to Mr Crilly’s failure to care for his horses properly between 8 May 2015 and 8 September 2016, by not providing adequate feed, water, stabling, fencing, veterinary and farrier attention. The HRV RAD Board determined that Mr Crilly, despite being unlicensed for a small part of the relevant period (following the completion of the 2015-2016 racing season), was carrying on activities that related to the harness racing industry through his breeding and ownership activities and therefore was bound by the rules for the entirety of the period. Mr Crilly did not appear at today’s HRV RAD Board hearing, however after considering submissions from HRV Stewards relating to recent communication with Mr Crilly and acting under Victorian Local Rule 50 (1)(a) the hearing proceeded in his absence. The HRV RAD Board, after hearing evidence from Stewards and after taking into consideration all relevant material including all interviews, statements and exhibits found Mr Crilly guilty of the both charges issued under AHRR 218. After considering submissions from the HRV Stewards in relation to the importance of animal welfare and taking into account specific and general deterrence and to protect the harness racing industry, the HRV RAD Board formally imposed the following penalties against Mr Crilly: Charge 1 – Disqualification of 3 years; Charge 2 – Disqualification of 2 years. The HRV RAD Board ordered that these penalties be served cumulatively; therefore Mr Crilly is disqualified for a period of 5 years, to commence immediately. The HRV RAD Board further ordered, under the provisions of AHRR 258, that the remaining horses be removed from the care, control and management of Mr Crilly forthwith. HRV would like to remind all industry participants of their duty of care to adequately protect the welfare of all horses in their care and the serious approach taken by HRV to any breaches of that duty. HRV RAD BOARD – Geoff Crilly Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board
The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 241 against Mr Alan David Eric Hutchings (Unlicensed participant) AHRR 241 reads as follows; A person shall not in connection with any part of the harness racing industry do anything which is fraudulent or corrupt. The charge under AHRR 241 against Mr Hutchings related to an advertisement in August 2016 where he advertised in the harness racing publication National Trotguide (Harness Racing Weekly) for horses and ponies wanted for reeducation. As a result of this advertisement, Mr Hutchings attended a registered harness racing property of an industry participant in Victoria where he collected 4 standardbred horses. These horses were given to Mr Hutchings for free on the proviso these four would be rehomed. Hutchings assured the industry participant at the time of collecting these horses that they would be re-educated and rehomed and not sold to Echuca horse sales. These horses were later identified at the Echuca horse sales. At the HRV RAD Board today, they considered whether AHRR Rule 299 applied to Mr Hutchings as he is an unlicensed person. The RAD Board determined that Mr Hutchings, despite being unlicensed and not being a registered owner was carrying on activities that related to the harness racing industry and therefore was bound by the rules. AHRR 299 reads as follows; All person (a) licensed under these rules; (b) carrying on or purporting to carry on activities related to the harness racing industry; or (c) who in some other way are affected by the rules; are deemed to have knowledge of and be bound by them and of all the things done under them. Mr Hutchings did not appear today, however after considering submissions from HRV Stewards relating to recent communication with Mr Hutchings and acting under Victorian Local Rule 50 (1) (a) proceeded in his absence. The RAD Board, after hearing evidence from Stewards and after taking into consideration all relevant material including all interviews, statements and exhibits found Mr Hutchings guilty of the charge issued under AHRR 241. After considering submissions from the HRV Stewards in relation to the importance of animal welfare and taking into account specific and general deterrence and to protect the harness racing industry, the HRV RAD Board formally imposed a disqualification period of 18 months against Mr Hutchings which is effective immediately. HRV RAD BOARD – Alan David Eric Hutchings Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 6 March, 2017
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has amended its racing calendar to make Sunday, April 2, a racing-free day, enabling the industry to focus on the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale and Australian Pacing Gold Autumn Yearling Sale on that day. The Kilmore meeting set down for that date has been moved to Tuesday, April 4, and will remain a daytime fixture. "HRV has made this change in the interests of those important sales," HRV Interim General Manager Operations Shane Gloury said. "We want to give everyone the opportunity to attend and consider a purchase at the APTS and APG sales and having a racing-free day allows for this to happen." Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
On 13 February 2017 the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered four (4) charges issued against unlicensed person Daryl Douglas under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 187(3), 187(2), 231(1)(d) and 91(1)(a) which provides: 187(3) 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. 231(1) A person shall not:- (d) abuse anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it. 91(1) Subject to sub-rule (4) a person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence – (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence. The charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Douglas related to a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards at the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Ms Emma Stewart on 9 November 2016 and Mr Douglas’s conduct during this stable inspection. Mr Douglas pleaded not guilty to all charges. Following the hearing on 13 February 2017, Mr Douglas and the HRV Stewards were invited to provide further submissions, if required, in regards to any relevant matters. These submissions were due by 3pm Thursday 16 February 2017. No further submissions were provided by either party. The HRV RAD Board found Mr Douglas guilty of charges 1, 2 and 4 and imposed a penalty of a 12 month disqualification commencing 4pm 16 February 2017.
Long-serving Ballarat administrator Dennis Foley has announced his retirement. Ballarat and District Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse paid tribute to the harness racing club’s long-time treasurer – Mr Foley has been in the role continuously since 1982 – and wished him well for the future. “Dennis wants to spend more time with his family, being a first-time grandfather, and pursue other areas of his life he has enjoyed more in in recent times including world travel and building his racing empire,” Mr Rowse said. “Dennis has been an integral part of the success of the Ballarat club for a long period of time. His business acumen and huge network of contacts accrued over 35 years with the club will be a big void to fill in the future. He should be immensely proud of the condition he’s leaving the club in. “On a personal note, Dennis has been a great role model in my professional and personal life. His attention to detail is second to none. “For those who were lucky enough to have been on tour with him to the feature race carnivals in Australia and New Zealand, we will all remember those trips fondly as the reason we love this sport so much. The community feeling that is harness racing.” Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin also paid tribute to Mr Foley and acknowledged his long service to the industry. “Harness Racing Victoria takes this opportunity to thank Dennis for his long and dedicated period of service to the Ballarat and District Trotting Club and the industry more broadly," Mr Martin said. “It takes passionate and devoted people to drive the country clubs and Dennis ticks both of those boxes. HRV wishes him all the best for the future.” Ballarat club president David Young said Mr Foley had played a huge role in Ballarat’s many achievements over the years. “On behalf of the BDTC committee we would like to congratulate Dennis on what is an amazing stint in serving the BDTC as treasurer. He has for 35 years taken ownership and shown such passion for our club and business,” Mr Young said. “He has been a great assistance to our management team on a daily basis. There have been many achievements at the club in which Dennis has played a major role. He is a life member and received club legend status last year. Our club is indebted to Dennis for his contribution.” Country Clubs Association CEO David Brick also took the opportunity to wish Mr Foley well. “Dennis has been a strong supporter of the club network and a leading advocate for maintaining on-course patronage and atmosphere,” Mr Brick said. “The Association of Country Clubs congratulates Dennis on his significant contribution to the Ballarat club and broader club community for close to four decades. We wish Dennis all the best for the future.” At a special committee meeting Ballarat appointed Leon Underwood, previous assistant treasurer, to the position of treasurer. Mr Underwood works for the City Of Ballarat as a Socio Economic Development Officer and has been mentored by Mr Foley over the last 12 months in line with the club's succession plan. Rob Kerr was appointed to the position of assistant treasurer. Mr Kerr, who is the Ballarat Branch Manager for the Bank Of Melbourne, has been on the club committee for over 15 years including time as the vice-president. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
In addition to the dedicated telephone number (03) 9214 0651 and email address email@example.com, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Integrity Department has added a web-based form to its Integrity Hotline that allows industry participants, punters or concerned members of the community to report matters of industry integrity. The HRV website, including the link to ‘Report Suspicious Activity’, is located here or the form can be accessed directly here. All information provided will go directly to the HRV Integrity Department. Reports can be anonymous or people can leave their contact details. All information is treated confidentially and acted on accordingly. Information can also be passed on to the Racing Integrity Commissioner via the Racing Integrity Hotline on 1300 227 225.
Result of the appeals held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 8 February 2017. Nathan Jack Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Jack. Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Jack. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota Brocq Robertson Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Robertson. Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Robertson. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota Amanda Turnbull Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Turnbull. Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Turnbull. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota Lisa Bartley Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Bartley. Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Bartley. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota Mark Pitt Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Pitt. Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Pitt. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD ANTHONY BURNS, Chairman BRIAN COLLIS, Member EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS NATHAN JACK BROCQ ROBERTSON AMANDA TURNBULL LISA BARTLEY MARK PITT DECISION WEDNESDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2017 MR P CZARNOTA appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MR D SHEALES appeared on behalf of MR JACK AND Mr ROBERTSON MR S TOVEY appeared on behalf of MS TURNBULL MR H COCKBURN appeared on behalf of MS BARTLEY AND MR PITT .......................................................................................................................................... This investigation commenced over 18 months ago and an earlier suspension and stay application was dealt with by this Board on 14 September 2016. Four of the five applicants were recently charged with criminal offences pursuant to the betting outcome provisions of the Crimes Act. These are to be dealt with in the indictable stream and assuming a contest will be through to a committal then trial in the County Court. It is reasonable to presume that the matters will not resolve at least until late in 2018 and possibly even well into 2019. The Stewards take the suspension action that they have taken in support of the integrity of the industry and its reputation in the eyes of the public. The integrity of the industry is however a two way street. To have integrity the system must honour the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice towards its participants. Criminal charges are now filed but must be weighed against the presumption of innocence. As said in September 2016, by this Board, the fact that charges of themselves carries little weight, it is the evidence underlying those charges which is relevant. The applicants have not been charged by the Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing. As to the evidence that has been provided the authorities are clear that cogent and compelling reasons would need to be present to justify any suspension from an industry that provides the livelihood for these applicants. This Board is not privy to the evidence in the police brief. The evidence provided is suggestive of a circumstantial case but one that is denied by the applicants. There are no certificates creating conclusive proofs here as there were in Demmler before VCAT, a citation of which is 2015 VCAT 648. That was a case against the Tribunal even in the face of conclusive proofs allowed a stay. Any suspension here approved will effectively ruin the livelihoods of the applicants. The need to ensure the integrity and reputation of harness racing is indeed a most important consideration. The public is sophisticated enough however to understand the difference between where charges are laid with the concomitant presumption of innocence and where charges are proven. Given the suspension here it may create unrecoverable consequences for the applicants. We are not satisfied that the need to protect the integrity of the industry outweighs the damage to the reputation and livelihood of these applicants. Indeed nor are we satisfied that the integrity of the industry will be harmed by the continued involvement of these applicants in the sport pending the outcome of charges. Accordingly, the decision of the Stewards to suspend all the applicants is stayed.
The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed Tasmanian trainer Mr Rohan Hillier. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Hillier related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Ryley Major’ after it had been presented to race at the Melton harness racing meeting on 7 July 2016 in Race 1, the ‘Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series (3YO Colts and Geldings) Bronze Pace. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold. During the investigation Mr Hillier explained he had not used any arsenic based product upon Ryley Major and that the only explanation he could provide for the finding was fence posts which had been chewed or some pine shavings which had been used as floor covering where the horse was stabled. Subsequent analysis of relevant samples revealed the fence posts contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber. As background, with the acquisition of a machine capable of testing for cobalt by RASL (preventing the need for samples to be sent interstate or overseas), in June 2015 the laboratory (RASL) were also able to commence the routine testing of all collected urine samples for other metals including arsenic. With a number of samples above the threshold becoming apparent in racing jurisdictions, and common explanations as to the cause of such irregularities provided, the University of Melbourne were engaged to conduct an administration trial by RASL, HRV and other racing authorities that had also been screening raceday samples for the presence of arsenic. At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust. The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber. Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic. Mr Hillier pleaded guilty to the charge issued under AHRR 190(1). The HRV RAD Board formally found Mr Hillier guilty though imposed no penalty in all the circumstances of the case. In making this order, the HRV RAD Board had regard to the nature of the substance in that arsenic based products have been suggested by manufacturers as tonics that are purported to improve appetite or the appearance of the coat of a horse. The RAD Board also considered that the arsenic threshold had been developed a number of decades ago in Hong Kong in response to the suggestion (at the time) that horses were being ‘stopped’ through the use or arsenic rather than any suggested enhancement of performance. The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne and the analysis of the fence posts from Mr Hillier’s property. The RAD Board also noted Mr Hillier’s guilty plea and his previous record. The RAD Board considered Mr Hillier’s lengthy involvement in the sport with a training career stretching over 25 years and involving more than 1,400 horses being presented to race. The RAD Board considered the principles of the High Court decision of Veen v the Queen when taking into account Mr Hillier’s prior matters. The RAD Board also considered other precedent cases involving the substance, including the matter of Rasmussen in Queensland in 2015 whereby no penalty was imposed for such an arsenic case. The HRV RAD Board ordered under AHRR 195 that ‘Ryley Major’ be disqualified from Race 1 at Melton on 7 July 2016, and that the placings be amended accordingly. Harness Racing Victoria
Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) Own the Moment (OTM) program is breaking down the walls that harness racing trainers have to scale to advertise syndicates legally. An OTM Marquee will be set up at Sunday’s Melbourne APG Sale, with HRV offering trainers the opportunity to legally syndicate horses through the correct channels and advertise on OTM website trotsownthemoment.com.au In an industry first, HRV will cover the associated costs involved in producing the documentation required by Victorian law to advertise syndicate opportunities legally. This gives trainers the opportunity to advertise and promote the sale of shares, greatly increasing their chances of securing new owners. “Harness Racing Victoria is committed to assisting trainers to legally promote syndication opportunities,” HRV Ownership Manager Tori Glenister said. “This new initiative will be a game-changer, with trainers able to actively and legally promote syndication on our Own the Moment website and through their own channels.” HRV will also be offering all owners of eligible yearlings the chance to save over $500 on their Futurities payments for Vicbred and Breeders Crown in a one-day-only opportunity. Click here for more details on that offer. For more information on ownership email Tori Glenister. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Former Mildura harness racing driver Nathan Weightman has taken a dispute with Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The Ballarat reinsman has applied to the VCAT for a review of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) board’s decision on January 16 to dismiss his appeal against a three-week driving suspension imposed by HRV stewards. Weightman was found guilty by the RAD board relating to a charge issued under Australian Harness Racing Rule 162(1)(r) for failing to activate gear that required activation in race 7 at Bendigo on December 30, 2016. During his January 16 hearing before the RAD board, Weightman also appealed against a three-week suspension imposed by the stewards under Rule 163(1)(a)(iii), which relates to causing or contributing interference, at Mildura on December 13, 2016. That appeal was also dismissed, with the penalty varied to 10 days. The VCAT review will be listed for a directions hearing at a date to be set. For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday's Sunraysia Daily 31/01/2017.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here Reprinted with permission of the Sunraysia Daily
The appeals of Nathan Jack, Lisa Bartley, Mark Pitt and Amanda Turnbull regarding the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards to suspend their licenses with immediate effect will be heard by the RAD Board on Wednesday 8 February 2017 at 2.00 pm. Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board
With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 11 January, 2017 involving the service of charges on four harness racing participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update: In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183, the HRV Stewards have today suspended the licences of Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Lisa Bartley, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Amanda Turnbull with immediate effect. In making this decision, the HRV stewards have considered all relevant information including the submissions provided on behalf of the participants as to why no action should be taken against the participants or their licences in the circumstances. The participants have been advised of their rights of appeal against this decision and any such appeal must be lodged with the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board Registrar by 5.00pm on 27 January, 2017. As these matters are now before the courts, HRV will not be commenting at this time.
24 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on January 11, 2017, where criminal charges were served on harness racing participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update: The HRV Integrity Department advises that it is in the process of reviewing submissions made by the legal representatives of licenced participants Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against their respective licences to participate in the industry. It is not anticipated a decision will be made today and HRV will update on this matter in due course. HRV is unable to make any further comment. Harness Racing Victoria