Queensland apprentice jockey Zoe White has been disqualified for six months for refusing a steward’s direction to stand down from riding while she self-quarantined.
White was the leading rider in central Queensland for several years but in recent times has been competing in both southern and northern parts of the state.
She has ridden 175 winners in a career which has been stalled on occasions by injury.
Stewards opened an inquiry, which was held by telephone on Thursday, when White was alleged to have attended trackwork in Rockhampton on Wednesday despite being directed to stand down from riding and to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The injury heard White rode trackwork and nominated to ride in Central Zone 6 earlier this week in contravention to the new Covid-19 zoning rules requiring her to ride in Brisbane Metro South West Zone 2.
That zone is the same region as her master.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the actions of the apprentice jockey to place the industry and the community at risk were serious and would not be tolerated.
“The zoning rules have been put in place to protect the health and safety of racing industry participants and the public in unprecedented times,” he said.
“The adoption of designated racing regions to further support the Queensland Government’s direction to stay local, reduce non-essential travel and to limit the spread of COVID-19 are non-negotiable.
“These new rules are currently protecting the livelihoods of thousands of people in the racing industry, to flout them shows a total disregard for the difficult situation everyone is currently facing.
“Six months disqualification is an appropriate penalty and a lesson for every racing participant to abide by these directions at all times.”
White’s disqualification will end October 2.