A Pig an a Poke - Harness - Racehorse TALK
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Offline Arsenal

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O.P. « 2017-Jun-17, 08:57 AM »
Harness racing driver cops three-month suspension for pig prank

NATHAN EXELBY, The Courier-Mail
June 16, 2017 6:01pm
A HARNESS racing driver has been slapped with a ham-fisted three-month suspension because of a fundraising pig whose name “boar” similarities to that of a racing official.

Dannielle McMullen was suspended for three months for “misconduct” after her prank at the recent BOTRA Charity race day in a penalty that left harness racing participants with disbelief.

McMullen did not drive at the meeting, preferring to help raise funds for the charity, being a full-time employee of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

One of the fundraisers on the day was a pig race, where participants could “buy” a pig. McMullen took up an offer to race one of the contestants, before deciding to give it a name that had a striking resemblance to deputy chief harness steward Kwan Wolsey.

The pig, officially named Qualm, won the race and McMullen even took the winning ribbon to show Wolsey. Nothing further was said on the day.

The “incident” took a turn for the worse two days later when McMullen was issued with a misconduct charge by stewards.




Harness racing driver Dannielle McMullen. Pictu Dan Costello

At a subsequent inquiry presided over by Joseph Elliott, Kerry Lathopolous and Robyn McCrae from the QRIC Integrity Regulatory Unit, McMullen was suspended and fined $500.

The driver estimates the suspension could cost as much as $10,000. As she’s also a trainer, she has already relinquished horses in her care to other stables.

Albion Park Harness Racing Club chairman David Fowler said the penalty was “over the top”.

“Maybe Dannielle should have been more mindful, but the penalty is way out of kilter for a somewhat innocent mistake,” he said.

“In her employ at Albion Park, I have never once had reason to question her respect or manners.”

Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett vigorously defended the sentence on Friday and said he expected QRIC staff to be “treated with a high level of respect”.


“This action was inappropriate and showed a lack of respect and disregard for common decency in relation to a QRIC staff member. Ms Wolsey felt disrespected by this regrettable incident,” Barnett said.

McMullen is now awaiting the result of an internal review of the penalty before deciding if she will appeal the verdict to QCAT.ENDS

IMO pretty stupid thing to do taking the ribbon up to the steward .....rubbing her nose init so to speak....... intention apparently to show the steward what she thinks of her ....no words spoken according to the report ..you would think the steward would have responded to this if she took it personally....which subsequent events show she did....obviously has strong self control in the face of provocation which is beneficial when faced with confrontation from angry licensees.

Inquiry held and penalty decided by QRIC Integrity Regulatory Unit...not stewards ....which seems to be a departure from normal practice ...McMullen now has right of appeal to QRIC Internal Reviewer.......and QCAT if unsuccessful internally.....might be lucky to have penalty reduced to a fine and suspension lifted that would be the best she could hope for IMO......hard to define it as "an innocent mistake" as opined by Davie Fowler although the penalty does seem "over the top"


Giddy Up :beer:



 

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2017-Jun-17, 09:00 AM Reply #1 »
You gotta be kidding me. 3 months  :what:

Misplaced humour at best. Disrespect at worst.

Fine (maybe) and a warning not to do it again surely  :no:

Offline JWesleyHarding

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« 2017-Jun-17, 09:26 AM Reply #2 »
Agree PP

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2017-Jun-17, 09:47 AM Reply #3 »
Stewards  :lol:
Is anyone really surprised

Offline Arsenal

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« 2017-Jun-17, 10:41 AM Reply #4 »
I need to correct the record the QRIC stewards report on the incident identifies the panel as stewards wheras relying on the CM I presumed the panel was comprised of persons from the QRIC Regulatory Unit as not  being race day stewards...my excuse is I'm  not  familiar with their names. :shy:

 https://www.qric.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017_6_June_Stewards_Report_Dannielle-McMullen.pdf

McMullen has previous form

Stewards’ Report – Dannielle McMullen Date – 03/04/2017 Panel – Ian Brown, Daniel Aurisch, Joshua Elliott Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into conduct exhibited by Dannielle McMullen (licensed harness driver) following a Stewards Inquiry at the Albion Park race meeting on Saturday, 11 March 2017. After taking initial evidence from Ms McMullen, Stewards issued her a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHR) 247, which reads: A person attending before the Controlling Body its members or employees, the Stewards, officials, or at any proceeding under these rules, shall not speak or behave in a malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper manner.
The specifics being: That on 11 March 2017 when attending before the Stewards, Ms McMullen, did speak in an improper manner. Ms McMullen pleaded guilty to the charge. In assessing penalty, Stewards were mindful of Ms McMullen’s personal circumstances and her guilty plea.
 Stewards were also mindful of similar precedents and considered this her first breach under AHR 247 given that a similar conduct related penalty handed down on 11 March 2017 was still subject to an Internal Review.
Stewards also considered the requirement that a penalty serve as an adequate deterrent to ensure that licensees conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

 Stewards fined Ms McMullen $500. Ms McMullen was advised of her right to an Internal Review.


https://www.qric.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/McMullen-Danni-elle-Internal-Review-Decision-05042017.pdf

Giddy Up :beer:

« Last Edit: 2017-Jun-17, 10:46 AM by Arsenal »

Offline mortdale

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« 2017-Jun-17, 01:46 PM Reply #5 »
Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett vigorously defended the sentence on Friday and said he expected QRIC staff to be “treated with a high level of respect”.

Respect is something that is earned and maybe Commissioner Ross Barnett needs to address just how some of his team address industry participants.

I have heard the "tone" of Stewards on many occasions that would lead you to believe that industry participants are nothing more than second class citizens.

Respect is mutually earned by both parties and I would applaud if Commissioner Ross Barnett took his rose coloured glasses off and addressed far bigger issues within his team.

I hope Danielle appeals and gets a fair hearing.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2017-Jul-13, 11:56 AM Reply #6 »
Unless my calculations are in error it seems that Ms McMullen's application for Internal review of the stewards decision giving her 3 months holiday plus a fine of $500 and some further $200 previously rebated which occurred on 6th June should have been concluded by now and the results made public....under QRIC rules McMullen had 14 days to lodge her application which takes her to 20th June at the latest and the independent Internal Reviewer normally Mr Kane Ashby is obliged to determine the matter with 20 days ...that has now expired and still no decision on QRIC website..usually the IR decisions take no more than 30 days from the date the penalty appealed against is imposed.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Thebigdog

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« 2017-Jul-16, 06:38 PM Reply #7 »
Not sure why it has not come up on the QRIC website yet but I can advise you that Dannielle has had her internal review and it has been reduced to a 1 month suspension but the fine remains.

I believe she will not take this any further as the cost of doing so will far outweigh any result she will possibly get.

I here another trainer recently got a $2000 reduction on his positive swab fines only to get a 5 figure bill from his legal representative.
« Last Edit: 2017-Jul-17, 01:34 PM by Thebigdog »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2017-Jul-20, 07:29 PM Reply #8 »
Not sure why it has not come up on the QRIC website yet but I can advise you that Dannielle has had her internal review and it has been reduced to a 1 month suspension but the fine remains.

I believe she will not take this any further as the cost of doing so will far outweigh any result she will possibly get.

I here another trainer recently got a $2000 reduction on his positive swab fines only to get a 5 figure bill from his legal representative.

Still no decision on the QRIC website which is very late coming even if McMullen waited until the last minute to lodge her application it should be up by this .....on the face of it the reduced penalty is more realistic than the original and in view of her antecedents IMO it's unlikely that she would win  any appeal to QCAT.......there's no obligation to be legally represented there and she could have put her case to the tribunal herself for the cost of filing her application ..still better to get on with her career and learn by this experience.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2017-Jul-20, 07:56 PM Reply #9 »


Why would anyone expect anything different in Queensland.

Quite apart from racing, there is frequent cause to think there is something rotten in the sunshine state, generally -- something akin to an authoritarian regime.

Coupling that with 'racing', where stewards, nationally, run obscenely 'lese majeste' regimes, any one in their authoritarian line of fire can be shot at their discretion.

Ordinary punters need to be wary lest speaking frankly be deemed a lese-majeste offense: i.e. --- an offense violating the dignity of a ruler as the representative of a sovereign power (RQL) and a detraction from, or affront to, dignity or importance of appointed superiors (its stewards).

........... this bastille should be stormed.... and cake force fed

Offline Arsenal

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« 2017-Jul-31, 07:19 PM Reply #10 »
Rather strange that this decision is dated 5th July but it didn't land on the QRIC website until today.......the outcome is that the three months suspension was found to be excessive and has been reduced to one month suspension with the balance suspended conditional on good behaviour the fine of $700 stands.

Remarkable IMO that the decision doesn't describe the conduct which led to the charge of misbehaviour you would think that further and better particulars would have been provided...not that I think McMullen didn't know what she was doing in approaching the steward on the day all we have to rely on are  the press reports  previously published which we  assume  are accurate. :o

https://www.qric.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/McMullen-Danni-elle-draft-internal-review-decision1.pdf
« Last Edit: 2017-Jul-31, 07:28 PM by Arsenal »


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