GWIC Move On Bathurst Incident
GWIC has opened an inquiry into an incident that’s alleged to have occurred at Bathurst’s TAB Million Dollar Chase meeting last Saturday night.
13 September 2019
THE Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) has opened an inquiry into an incident that’s alleged to have occurred at Bathurst’s TAB Million Dollar Chase meeting last Saturday night.
On a huge night of racing for the central west track, where the regional final of the TAB Million Dollar Chase was won by Good Odds Harada in brilliant fashion, things are alleged to have turned unsavoury following race seven on the program which was declared a ‘No Race’ by stewards.
Following the running of the event, it became apparent that a metal grate had fallen off the drag during the track preparation at the turn into the back straight.
The metal grate was noticed on the track once the greyhounds commenced the race, leaving stewards with the belief that they had no other choice but to take the decisive action they did.
Following the ‘no-race’ declaration by stewards, it’s alleged that the partner of a trainer with a greyhound in the event began hurling abuse at officials, before it’s further alleged that an altercation broke out with a fellow patron.
It’s understood the participant became upset given the significant animal welfare issue the incident posed.
On Friday, Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission CEO Judy Lind told the Recorder that disciplinary processes have commenced on the individual in question.
“The Commission takes a strong stance on misconduct and, if appropriate, will take disciplinary action against participants who fail to display respectful behaviour towards officials and other participants in breach of the rules of racing,” Lind explained.
“As you can appreciate the process needs to take its course in the appropriate manner, which is well underway.”
Investigation outcome: Bathurst ‘No race’ on Saturday 7 September
An investigation into the circumstances that led to Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission stewards declaring a ‘no race’ at Bathurst on Saturday 7 September has been finalised.
It is the process of the Bathurst Greyhound Racing Club to complete two laps of the track before each race using their tractor. This is done to minimise footprints and track marks from the previous race.
The Commission has worked closely with the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) to determine how equipment from the tractor ended up on the track ahead of Race 7 and why this was not visible to stewards before the race commenced.
Due to time constraints following the Million Dollar Chase final in Race 6 and on-track presentations, the preparation of the track for Race 7 was carried out with less time than normal. The gate (with tyres affixed to add weight) that is used to level the track became detached from the tractor and remained unnoticed on the track near the catching pen.
GBOTA has reviewed current practices and has now implemented measures that will in future ensure all tractor equipment is secured ahead of track preparations between races. The tractor will also complete its first lap ahead of any on-track presentations and the lure driver will assist in checking the track prior to each race.
As a result of this investigation a new procedure will be implemented at Bathurst which requires a Commission steward to be present at the back straight for all race starts where visibility is restricted. The Commission has also commenced a review of other tracks for the same potential issue.
Both the Commission and GBOTA appreciate the disappointment of owners and trainers participating in Race 7 at Bathurst on Saturday night and understand the potential risk this incident posed to the welfare of greyhounds. We will continue to work closely together to prevent the possibility of any reoccurrence.