Punishments handed down for Canberra racing participants involved in private social gathering
Racing NSW Stewards today concluded inquiries into the alleged conduct of several ACT based licensed persons in relation to their presence during a private social gathering at a residence in the ACT suburb of HARRISON on the evening of Saturday 28 August 2021.
The Stewards yesterday issued a charge under AR 228(a) of conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing to the following licensed person: jockey Billy Own, apprentice jockey Miss Teaghan Martin and stablehands Mr Talan Hill, Miss Vicky Scott, Miss Meg Maguire and Miss Skye Stollery and a former Canberra Racing Club Committee Member/registered owner.
At separate inquiries concluded today, each of the licensed parties including jockey Billy Owen, apprentice jockey Miss Teaghan Martin, and stablehands Mr Talan Hill, Miss Vicky Scott, Miss Meg Maguire and Miss Skye Stollery pleaded guilty to the charge of conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing under AR 228(a) which states:
AR 228 Conduct detrimental to the interests of racing
A person must not engage in:
- conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, integrity, or welfare of racing, whether or not that conduct takes place within a racecourse or elsewhere;
The particulars of the charge issued to each of the persons are summarised below:
- On the evening of Saturday 28 August 2021 jockey Billy Owen, apprentice jockey Teaghan Martin, stablehands Mr Talan Hill, Miss Vicky Scott, Miss Meg Maguire and Miss Skye Stollery, and a former Canberra Racing Club Committee Member/registered owner were all present in a private gathering at HARRISON ACT.
- This conduct was in breach of ACT Government COVID-19 restrictions, (namely Stay At Home orders & Private Gatherings at Home orders), which prohibit private gatherings for persons not otherwise living together, except for approved reasons.
- The conduct detailed above, by being present at the social gathering at the private residence at HARRISON ACT on the evening of 28 August 2021, was conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing in that those actions:
a) increased the risk of endangering the health and safety of ACT and NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry participants that they came into contact with on that day, and in the days subsequent in respect to the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
b) has the potential of compromising the continuance of thoroughbred racing in the ACT and NSW.
It was established during the inquiry that jockey Billy Owen, Mr Talan Hill and Miss Vicky Scott were each the residents of the HARRISON, ACT property and the remaining persons including Miss Teaghan Martin, Miss Meg Maguire and Miss Skye Stollery and a former Canberra Racing Club Committee Member/registered owner were visitors to the property on the evening in question.
In assessing penalty Stewards took submissions from each of the licensed persons. They also gave consideration to the need for the penalty to reflect an individual and general deterrence and the seriousness of the conduct in that the conduct had increased the risk of endangering the health and safety of racing participants and has compromised the continuance of Thoroughbred racing in the ACT and NSW.
Stewards determined that the appropriate penalty be three months suspension of license in full for each of the licensed persons: jockey Billy Owen, apprentice jockey Miss Teaghan Martin and stablehands Mr Talan Hill, Miss Vicky Scott, Miss Meg Maguire and Miss Skye Stollery.
All suspensions were backdated to Monday 30 August 2021 being the day they were stood down following initial interviews with Stewards and therefore to expire on 30 November 2021.
The hearing into a charge issued by Stewards on 2 September 2021 to a former Canberra Racing Club Committee Member/registered owner has been adjourned until Monday 6 September 2021.
ACT Health and ACT Police have been informed of the alleged social gathering with ACT Police enquiries ongoing.
The alleged actions of these individuals are strongly condemned by the Club and overwhelming majority of the industry whose strong compliance with relevant COVID-19 mandates have ensured the continuance of racing throughout the pandemic across Australia.
Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Andrew Clark said “I am extremely disappointed in the decision made by these individuals to gather socially at a private residence at this time. This is not the appropriate behavior of participants within our Industry and I am thankful that Stewards have handed down these punishments.”