Australian Harness Racing Rules 181-187

Inquiries and Investigations


Please Note:   All forms mentioned in the Rules are available from State Controlling Bodies. 

Please Note:  On 1st March 2008 Harness Racing Australia Inc (HRA) replaced Australian Harness Racing Council Inc (AHRC) as the organisation's name.  All AHRC's formal structures, rules, regulations, policies, processes etc., now pertain to HRA, and any reference to Australian Harness Racing Council Inc, AHRC, Council or The Council shall mean Harness Racing Australia Inc or HRA.

Conduct and scope

181.  The Stewards may, and when directed by the Controlling Body shall, conduct inquiries or investigations in such manner as they think fit into any occurrence or matter at or arising out of or connected with a meeting, race or event, or into any aspect of the harness racing industry, or into anything concerning the administration or enforcement of these rules.

Legal representation and other matters

182.  At an inquiry conducted under these rules -

(a)  a person or body is not entitled to have a representative present in the room or place where the inquiry is being conducted but the Stewards may permit a representative to be present and to take such part in the inquiry as they consider appropriate;

(b)  a person under the age of 18 may be represented by an agent or parent;

(c)  a person with an english language disability may be assisted by an interpreter;

(d)  a club or other body may be represented by a member or official;

(e)  where scientific, medical or veterinary questions arise a person affected may have present an adviser in such a field to hear evidence and to assist in the framing of questions and submissions and at the discretion of the Stewards to question a witness;

(f)   written or oral evidence may be tendered;

(g)  a written or oral opinion on legal, scientific, medical or veterinary matters may be tendered in evidence;

(h)  unless the Stewards permit, a legal practitioner cannot represent or assist a person, club or other body pursuant to paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or paragraph (d) of this rule.

Action pending outcome

183.  Pending the outcome of an inquiry, investigation or objection, or where a person has been charged with an offence, the Stewards may direct one or more of the following -

(a)  that a horse shall not be nominated for or compete in a race;

(b)  that a driver shall not drive or otherwise take part in a race;

(c)  that the horses of certain connections shall not be nominated for or start in a race;

(d)  that a licence or any other type of authority or permission be suspended.

183A.  Upon receipt of a certificate in accordance with Rule 191(1) which establishes prima facie evidence of the presence of a prohibited substance, the Stewards may determine that the horse which is the subject of the certificate shall not be nominated for or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation by the Stewards into the presence of the prohibited substance. 


184.  On application by anyone affected adversely by a decision of the Stewards they may proceed to a rehearing if fresh evidence relevant to the matter is produced to them within 14 days of the decision.

185.  (1) The Stewards shall within a reasonable time before a rehearing give appropriate notice to affected persons.

(2)  On a rehearing the Stewards may depart from normal procedural arrangements to meet the convenience of parties or otherwise for purposes considered appropriate by the Stewards.

186.  The Stewards shall not have any power to commence or proceed with a rehearing once an appeal to an Appeals Tribunal or a proceeding in a Court of Law relating to the matter is initiated.


187.  (1)  A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them.

(2)  A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation.

(3)  A person shall comply with an order or direction given by the Stewards.

(4)  A person shall undergo any inspection, examination or test required by the Stewards.

(5)  A person shall not abuse, intimidate or be deliberately obstructive of the Stewards.

(6)  A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation.

(7)  A person who fails to comply with any provision of this rule is guilty of an offence.


Rules Effective from 1st September 1999 (State Controlling Bodies must adopt)
Rules Approved - 16th March 1999 (AHRC Meeting)

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