The National Horseracing Authority confirms that an appeal was held in Johannesburg on 15 November 2019, against the finding and the penalty relating to a contravention of Rule 72.1.11 imposed by an Inquiry Board on 8 August 2019.
At an inquiry held at its offices in Turffontein on 8 August 2019, Jockey Muzi Yeni was charged with a contravention of Rule 72.1.11, in that whilst riding the horse MR GREENLIGHT, he intimidated and interfered with Jockey Lyle Hewitson, when he took his hand off his left side rein and placed it on Jockey Hewitson’s arm, in the second race at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on 27 July 2019.
Mr Yeni pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Inquiry Board found Mr Yeni guilty of the charge.
In determining a suitable penalty, the Inquiry Board balanced Mr Yeni’s factors in mitigation with the need to protect the integrity of horseracing, the public’s perception regarding racing control and from circumstances which have the potential to cause danger to both horse and rider. Accordingly, the Inquiry Board imposed a suspension from riding in races for a period of 90 (ninety) days.
Mr Yeni was afforded the right of appeal against the finding and the penalty imposed.
The National Horseracing Authority and Mr Yeni were legally represented at the Appeal hearing.
The Appeal Board found as follows:
The Appeal Board dismissed the Appeal in respect of the guilty finding by the Inquiry Board as well as the penalty imposed by the Inquiry Board.
The Appeal Board noted that because of the seriousness of the contravention by Mr Yeni, if appropriate evidence in respect of aggravation of penalty had been led on behalf of The National Horseracing Authority, the Appeal Board would have been prepared to consider interfering with the penalty imposed, by increasing same. However, the Appeal Board elected not to interfere with the penalty imposed by the Inquiry Board of a suspension from riding in races for a period of 90 (ninety) days.
The Appeal Board ordered that the prescribed fee be forfeited in terms of rule 85.5.8.
The decision of the Appeal Board was unanimous. – NHA