Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have completed an inquiry into an incident involving Lance Justice, when the driver of Justice Served, during Race 2 at the Ballarat race meeting on 4 October 2019.
The inquiry was initially commenced on 4 October 2019 where after taking evidence from Mr Justice, HRV Steward John Packer, HRV Starter Jason Fino, Clerk of the Course Christine Douglas and Track Attendant Basil Dooley the matter was adjourned to allow Stewards the opportunity to consider the evidence tendered.
After hearing further evidence from Mr Justice at today’s reconvened inquiry he was issued with a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 168(1)(e) which states:
A person shall not before, during or after a race drive in a manner which is in the opinion of the Stewards:-
The particulars of the charge were that after Justice Served had broken gait and failed to be in contention with the remainder of the field Mr Justice drove in an improper manner by applying the whip with a free hand in a forceful manner on one occasion passing the 1200m.
Mr Justice pleaded guilty to the charge.
In assessing penalty Stewards were mindful of:
Stewards accordingly imposed a 3 week suspension of Mr Justice’s licence to drive in races and a $500 fine. This suspension was ordered to commence midnight 18 November 2019.
Mr Justice was advised of his right of appeal.