Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Graham Potter | Sunday, February 15, 2015

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Aah ... social media!

This new age phenomenon can share archived information or bring you up to date with the news, even as it as it happens, on a global scale. It can allow you to re-engage with long lost friends putting them back in your life, and you in theirs, no matter how far individuals may be separated by time and distance. It can allow you to post and view photos and videos covering every subject known to man and those postings can make you laugh, cry, feel appalled or touch some soft spot in your heart.

It can also get you into trouble ... as racing licensees are starting to find out to their cost.

We are only half-way through February yet already this month two licensees have been charged and found guilty under the formal provision that, ‘The Principal Racing Authority or the Stewards may penalise any person who in their opinion is guilty of any misconduct, improper conduct or unseemly behaviour.’

In one case, a female apprentice jockey issued a complaint against a male jockey regarding a video posted on a social media website. After considering the evidence the jockey was charged on the basis that he ‘did conduct himself improperly by posting insulting and abusive comments’ towards his fellow rider.

The jockey then pleaded guilty to that charge.

The stewards report of the finding added, ‘When considering an appropriate penalty, stewards considered that this was a serious breach of the rule and recognised a need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent ... and to illustrate to the industry that this type of conduct will not be tolerated from any licensed person with RQ.’

The penalty stewards decided upon was a $1000 fine, with $500 to be suspended for twelve months, AND a suspension from riding in races from midnight 14 February 2015 to midnight 13 March 2015.

The second case saw a female apprentice jockey issue a complaint against a female stable-hand. Again the stewards heard all evidence before proceeding to charge the stable-hand on the basis that she had ‘conducted herself improperly by posting on social media and text messaging threatening comments towards a licensed person.’

The stable-hand then pleaded guilty to that charge.

The penalty stewards decided upon was a fine of $500 and the stable-hand’s licence was suspended for a period of 3 months. The suspension of the stable-hand’s licence was not imposed though with that part of the penalty itself being suspended for a period of twelve months on the condition that this stable-hand does not come before the stewards again on any behavioural matter.

I understand that the whole social media concept has itself become akin to a ‘good’ friend to so many. It is always available to them and enables them to have their say, to vent to the world, at any hour of the day or night whatever their mood or level of fatigue or sobriety.

For that very reason, it is a relationship which requires careful handling to avoid unhappy consequences, such as described above.

By their actions the stewards have posted a forceful message of their own.

The question now is, will licensees take heed of the warning?

More articles

Graham Potter
Graham Potter
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best