On 19 March 2019, licensed driver Steven Matson and licensed trainer Vince Vallelonga each lodged an application with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals & Disciplinary (RAD) Board from 5 March 2019 where Mr Matson incurred concurrent penalties totalling a 12-month disqualification for breaches of Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 241 (Charge 1), 216 (Charges 3 and 4) and 91(1)(a) (Charge 5), and Mr Vallelonga incurred concurrent penalties totalling a six-month disqualification for breaches of AHRR 241 (Charge 1) and 216 (Charges 3 and 4).
HRV also lodged applications with VCAT for a review of the decision of the HRV RAD Board to impose concurrent penalties of 14-day disqualifications on Mr Matson for charges under AHRR 216 (Charges 3 and 4) and 91(1)(a) (Charge 5), and concurrent penalties of six-day disqualifications on Mr Vallelonga for two of his charges under AHRR 216 (Charges 3 and 4).
The details of the HRV RAD Board hearing can be viewed here.
The VCAT hearing, before Senior Member Wentworth, spanned four days, being 2 and 3 December 2019 and 27 and 28 October 2020.
On 27 October 2020, the third day of the hearing, Mr Vallelonga withdrew his application for review.
On 27 April 2021, Senior Member Wentworth handed down her decision in relation to the matter of Steven Matson. Senior Member Wentworth determined that HRV had not met the requisite standard of proof, setting aside the decision of the HRV RAD Board and dismissing the charges. As a consequence, on 7 May 2021, VCAT ordered that HRV's application for review of the HRV RAD Board penalties be struck out.
The full decision of VCAT can be viewed here.