Monday, 7 July 2014
Thoroughbred – Conclusion of Stewards Inquiry – Trainer Shane Edwards
On Monday 30 June 2014, the inquiry involving Mr Shane Edwards was resumed in order to hear submissions on the matter of penalty following the Stewards decision of 15 May 2014 to find him guilty to all charges issued on 21 January 2014.
This inquiry having initially commenced in July 2013, after investigations by RWWA Principal Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly regarding the export from Western Australia to Singapore, transfer of ownership and bonafides of a number of horses formerly trained by Mr Shane Edwards between 2008 and 2013. Mr O’Reilly had as part of his investigation travelled overseas at the outset to interview both Mr Shane Edwards and Singapore Trainer Mr Desmond Koh.
The inquiry was conducted over 8 prior sittings since commencement and heard evidence from multiple persons through the course of proceedings. As was stated in the Stewards reasons for conviction ”
The Stewards have carefully considered and taken into account all of the evidence and materials that have come to be produced through this extensive investigation and inquiry. This has been a complex and comprehensive process that has enabled all matters to be fully explored, ventilated and tested.”
The Stewards have now completed their deliberations and have imposed the following penalties to each charge effective immediately. In assessing penalty in each instance the Stewards took into account, amongst other things;
The seriousness of the matters.
Mr Edwards’ personal circumstances, level of current involvement in the racing industry in an international jurisdiction, and overall record in racing.
The prejudice to the image and interest of racing as it related to Charge 1.
The degree of gravamen with respect to each charge, including in relation to Charge 1, the number of horses and people involved and the full circumstances that applied.
The need to send a clear message that such actions in each instance are not acceptable or to be tolerated by the Stewards.
It was also recognised in the Stewards written decision with respect to penalty that;
The industry cannot afford to be cast publically into the light as one that is lacking in proper regulation and order in matters of ownership of racehorses or that it is unable to properly self regulate these areas. The owners of race horses are the lifeblood of the industry as it is through their often not inconsiderable investment in stock that the industry has the animals by which to race. The industry must actively and manifestly maintain their confidence at all times. It would be catastrophic to the industry to lose the trust and faith of owners as there would be significant potential for them to remove or reduce their level of investment in racehorses. It is easy to imagine how if the industry was perceived to allow or not respond appropriately to conduct such as yours (Mr Edwards), how that would potentially discourage new entrants to the industry.”
CHARGE 1 :
AR175A with the charge relating to Mr Shane Edwards, being a licensed trainer, in the period of time outlined, engaged in conduct prejudicial to the image and interests of racing in his dealings with clients and others and failed to act honestly and openly in relation to financial and other aspects of those dealings.
Three (3) year disqualification
AR175(gg) with the charge relating to during an interview conducted by RWWA Principal Investigator Mr P. O’Reilly on 22 February 2013 Mr Edwards denied knowledge of the other shareholder in SPLITSVILLE, which was a misleading statement in respect of a matter in connection with the control of racing.
Six (6) month disqualification
AR175 (g) with the charge relating to that during the Stewards inquiry conducted on 20 November 2013 Mr Edwards did in the opinion of the Stewards, give evidence that was misleading by denying any knowledge, consent or issue of authority for the transfers of BORN GENIUS (ALL ANIMAL), REGAL RASCAL, STAR BORONIA (RORY’S STAR) [Exhibits 18, 21,22].
Three (3) year disqualification
AR175(a) relating to the nomination of SPLITSVILLE for race meetings on 17 November 2007 and 24 November 2007 with no intention for it to start with such action being for the purposes of ensuring sufficient numbers for the race to proceed which in the opinion of the Stewards is an improper practice in connection with racing.
Stewards will be making application to all international jurisdictions seeking reciprocation of these penalties forthwith.
The Stewards inquiry is now completed.
Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity Ph: 9445 5427 firstname.lastname@example.org