On 24 February 2021, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered 3 charges issued by the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed driver Matthew Walsh under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR).
These charges emanated from Mr Walsh’s conduct at the Cobram race meeting on 19 February 2021.
Charge 1 was issued under the provisions of AHRR 231(2) which states:
231. (2) A person shall not misconduct himself in any way.
This charge related to Mr Walsh’s conduct towards an official upon arrival at the ‘COVID Checkpoint’ at the Cobram racecourse on 19 February 2021.
Charge 2 was issued under the provisions of AHRR 187(5) which states:
187. (5) A person shall not abuse, intimidate or be deliberately obstructive of the Stewards.
This charge related to Mr Walsh abusing a HRV Investigative Steward at Cobram on 19 February 2021.
Charge 3 was issued under the provisions of AHRR 247 which states:
247. A person attending before the Controlling Body its members or employees, the Stewards, officials, or at any proceeding under these rules, shall not speak or behave in a malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper manner.
This charge related to Mr Walsh’s conduct when attending before the HRV Stewards at Cobram on 19 February 2021.
Mr Walsh pleaded guilty to the charges before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr Walsh.
The VRT imposed a 12 month suspension of Mr Walsh’s licence to drive in races, which was ordered to commence at midnight on 19 February 2021, the date on which he was first stood down by the HRV Stewards.
A $500 fine previously suspended for an offence under AHRR 231(2) was also imposed.
VRT Panel: Judge John Bowman (Chairman)
The written decisions of the VRT can be found here.
(Please note that VRT Decisions will generally be published within 7-10 days of the date of hearing)