The 14-day suspension handed down to Lyle Hewitson by the National Horseracing Authority in South Africa in April will kick in this week. As a result, he will miss riding in the next four meetings in Hong Kong where he is currently based.
The suspension and Hewitson’s subsequent appeal, was the cause of some controversy during the battle for the SA Jockeys’ Championship title, which Hewitson won on the final day, to beat Muzi Yeni.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club put out the following statement yesterday.
“The Stewards have previously been notified by the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa that club jockey Lyle Hewitson was cleared to commence riding in Hong Kong pending the Inquiry Review Board deciding upon an outstanding Inquiry relating to his ride on Believethisbeauty at Fairview Racecourse, Port Elizabeth on 12 April 2019.
“Following his ride on Believethisbeauty, which finished fourth in the subject race Hewitson was found guilty of having failed to ride his mount out to the end of the race to the satisfaction of the Racing Stewards and was suspended for a period to cover 14 calendar days. Hewitson was subsequently permitted to continue riding on a stay of proceedings after lodging an appeal against the Stewards’ findings.
“The matter was determined by the Inquiry Review Board on Friday 6 September 2019. The Stewards have been advised that the Inquiry Review Board confirmed the original finding and penalty of 14 calendar days and has formally requested that this penalty commence after Jockey Hewitson’s fulfilled his riding engagements at yesterday’s Sha Tin race meeting.
“Accordingly, Hewitson’s period of suspension will commence on today and will expire on Monday 23 September, on which day he may resume race riding. During that time there are four racemeetings scheduled to be conducted in Hong Kong.”
Ironically, on the same day, National Horseracing Authority held an inquiry in which Yeni was charged with a contravention of Rule 62.2.7 in that as the rider of Snow I Seattle, he failed to ensure that he did not cause interference to Hot August in the concluding stages of Race 9 at Turffontein Racecourse on 20 August. Yeni pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty.
The Inquiry Board, after viewing the patrol films of the race, considering all the factors presented by Yeni and also taking into account his record with regard to this rule, suspended him from riding in races for a period of 10 days.
Yeni has the right of appeal against both the finding and the penalty imposed.
Yeni is in the process of appealing a 90-day ban imposed for an incident pertaining to a scrimmage at Greyville with Hewitson during July.