Jamie Kah, Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray have been suspended following a Racing Victoria stewardsâ€™ inquiry.
A remorseful Jamie Kah says she has let down all Victorians after being suspended for three months by stewards for a COVID breach.
Last season’s leading rider and first to top the 100-win mark in the Melbourne metropolitan area, Kah took to social media to issue a statement after Friday’s Racing Victoria stewards’ inquiry that also saw Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and apprentice Celine Gaudray suspended.
On top of their suspensions, Victoria Police has also issued the quartet fines of $5452 for breaking Victorian lockdown rules.
“I want to apologise for my recent behaviour in breaching the government and racing Covid rules,” Kah’s statement read.
“I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed with myself.
“There is no excuse for what I have done, and I have let myself down, my family and friends, the racing industry and all Victorians who are doing the right thing in this lockdown.
“I deserve the penalty handed down by the stewards and will take the time to reflect on my actions and its impact on so many people.”
Stewards opened an inquiry on Thursday following an alleged illegal gathering at an “Airnb” in Mornington that was attended by the four riders and two non-licenced people.
The riders were charged by stewards under Racing Victoria’s COVID Protocols that state any failure to comply with State Government Regulations will be deemed to be a failure, or refusal, to comply with an order, direction, or requirement of stewards or an official.
In addition to their suspensions, the riders must first fulfil RV’s Chief Medical Officer recommendation of a 14-day stand down from all licensed premises and provide negative COVID tests.
The riders will be permitted to participate in trackwork, jump-outs and official trials once that 14-day stand down ends on September 9, while the quartet will be able to resume race riding on November 26.
RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson was “gobsmacked” when he learned of the alleged transgression.
“The alleged behaviour of these four jockeys is a slap in the face to every member of the racing industry that has worked incredibly hard to protect the sport and the community while continuing to race since COVID restrictions were first introduced in March 2020,” Thompson said.
“These individuals could have put at risk the very continuance of our sport and also blatantly disregarded the broader community implications through their selfish and thoughtless actions.”