Toowoomba apprentice Rebecca Goldsbury has had a two month-suspension on a handling charge quashed on appeal.
It is the latest case to take nine months to resolve in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and also raises an issue about whether apprentices should be booked to ride certain types of horses.
Goldsbury rode Occhilupo at Toowoomba on December 2 and stewards believed she failed to give the horse every chance to get its best possible position.
She had only just returned from a one month’-suspension on a similar charge from another race.
At a resumed inquiry on December 17, Goldsbury was suspended for two months.
Goldsbury failed in an internal review and then appealed to QCAT which granted her a stay to continue riding.
In a written judgment handed down this week, her appeal was upheld and her conviction and suspension set aside with a not guilty verdict entered.
After hearing submissions from Goldsbury’s lawyer Jim Murdoch QC and stewards, QCAT Member Dr Allan Collier said he could not be comfortably satisfied that Goldsbury was culpable in her ride.
“Further, taking account that Occhilupo was the top-weight and second favourite in the race, that Occhilupo had not had a race start in 27 weeks, and that Occhilupo was a large stallion would suggest the choice of an apprentice jockey with a 1.5kg claim who was returning to race riding after a lay-off of four weeks was unwise,” he said.
“For these reasons any culpability, to the extent that it exists at all, is not that of Ms Goldsbury’s alone.”