Racing: Move to challenge race meeting bans
13 Sep, 2018 5:00am
3 minutes to read
Harness racing returns to Addington tomorrow night despite a crisis in the industry. Photo / Supplied
High profile harness horsepeople banned from going to the races look set to challenge that today.
All of the industry participants charged under Operation Inca last week, which saw several horsepeople arrested in Canterbury, were issued with race meeting bans.
Although their notice of exclusion from race meetings is overseen by the Racing Integrity Unit, that role was actually secondary because most were banned from attending racing meetings under their bail conditions.
But those conditions were lifted by the courts when many of those charged had their first hearings on Tuesday, meaning they are free to apply to the Racing Integrity Unit to have their exclusion notices withdrawn and be able to attend the feature Addington meeting tomorrow night.
Herald sources suggest at least some of the lawyers acting on their behalf may seek for the RIU to allow them to work at race meetings until their cases are heard.
New Zealand racing has little precedent for these cases.
With most of those charged denying the allegations in court and the consensus being at least some are going to defend them, the cases are certain to drag into next year and potentially much longer.
Some could be asking if it is fair the horsepeople involved can have a major source of income taken away while still presumed innocent but there will also be those suggesting they must stay banned for the good of the industry.
That decision appears to lie with the RIU and they would not comment yesterday on the exact process to have the exclusions lifted.
Often serious RIU matters go before a Judicial Control Authority panel but that looks unlikely here.
The ban doesn't just apply to race meetings but to trials and workouts.