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Discrimination – Or Simply Taking Control?

Fortune suspension raises eyebrows

The unprecedented suspension of a licenced Stable Employee and Colour holder from attending racemeetings, based on prima facie evidence after an incident at Turffontein on Saturday, has raised the question as to whether the individual has effectively been found guilty in advance of an opportunity to be heard?

And why this particular matter warranted such extraordinary immediate action?

In a  media release the NHRA state that after carefully considering the prima facie evidence, the provisions of Rule 91.2 have been enforced and an interim suspension has been imposed on Mr Andrew Fortune, a licenced Stable Employee and Colour Holder.

The sweeping rule states:

Pending the determination of an inquiry or any appeal arising from any inquiry in terms of the rules, the National Board, or in exceptional cases where in the opinion of the Chief Executive or Racing Control Executive, urgent intervention is required the Chief Executive or Racing Control Executive, may impose such interim suspension or suspensions on any person or in respect of any horse as they in their sole discretion deem fit.

Prima facie evidence is broadly defined as that which is based on the first impression.

While we are not appraised of the full facts, it is arguable that Fortune, a former SA Champion Jockey, finds himself subjected to commendable decisive action by the NHRA’s executive management of the level that does not appear to have been imposed in similar incidents in the recent past.

A senior racing man, who chooses to remain anonymous by virtue of his position, expressed the opinion on Monday that the NHRA could just as well have requested Mr Fortune to make a written undertaking, without prejudice, that he will not act in similar fashion, pending the inquiry.

“If he had declined this, then the NHRA may have had grounds to exercise caution and to implement their interim measures under 91.2 in the interests of protecting both parties. At arm’s length, it may seem drastic, given the status of some of our past offenders, that Fortune – who is not a serial offender to my knowledge – has been singled out for this apparent ‘special’ treatment,” he added.

The parties allegedly involved in Saturday’s incident inevitably cross each other’s paths in the course of a raceday and, on the flipside, no action by the NHRA could just as well also have been questioned.

So whichever way one looks at it, due process can be a fragile ornament.

But at least Mr Fortune gets the opportunity to perform his duties at the Fortune Racing Vaal base.

It is hoped that the inquiry will be heard in the next two or three weeks.

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17 comments on “Discrimination – Or Simply Taking Control?

  1. Eric Fordred says:

    Mr Editor
    Do some fact checking yourself please.

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Eric
      That’s a very vague request!

  2. Eroll Green says:

    The talk is that Andrew may have started the altercation but the other person, a jockey ended up the victor. I would like to know:
    -why Andrew got this special treatment and the jockey did not?
    -is this rule for real?
    -don’t we all have rights to face charges before losing our rights?

    I posted my support for Lawrence Wernars when he resigned from the NHRA board. They should not have stopped him from giving evidence for Chase. What is going on with the NHRA? Has it lost the plot? It feels that I am back in the days before the Constitution became the law of the land and the National Party did as it wished.

  3. Horse (Johan vd M) says:

    Mr Fortune has always been very approachable and good horse man. Have we got to the point where we need Big brother to fight for us. Do the NHR not have better issues to keep. them occupied

  4. Chris Evans says:

    I think what Eric is alluding to is that SP is taking a stance without knowing exactly what happened.I have seen pictures of the injuries sustained and without also knowing all the facts would support suspension.These are not normal times and attacking someone when you should be social distancing should not be tolerated.

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Chris

      We were approached yesterday by various readers with a request to try and fathom out how it came about that Mr Fortune was suspended.
      Is it fair to Mr Fortune? Why have previous cases not reulted in an immediate suspension?
      But the rules allow for it and we do acknowledge that the NHRA may have taken the action in what they believe is the best interests of both parties.
      They are, after all, likely to cross paths in the course of their raceday duties again.

  5. Eric says:

    Mr Editor
    Simply look at Mr Fortunes record of offences as a Jockey, and then you will understand my meaning.

  6. Donald Bradshaw says:

    This must be a very serious matter to warrant an immediate suspension from race courses pending the outcome of an inquiry into the incident by the N.H.R.A. !

    Strange how life works out sometimes , one minute Mr. Fortune is panning a jockey on a winning ride and the next Mr. Fortune appears to have a case to answer for himself ?

  7. Shanil Singh says:

    Unfair to comment without the facts . Racing is a sport that is fed on adranalin and emotions and i trust that the NHRAs outcome will take this into account.

  8. Anton says:

    Mr Fortune’s knowledge, experience and sharing attitude is an asset to racing in SA. Honest as can be!

  9. Pieta Louw. says:

    Mr Ed,

    Not often that I will side with the NHRA…..but for this guy to enter their premises and what happened he obviously posses a security risk……can anyone get access?…..I don’t think so….should be by appointment only and the reason should be recorded….

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Pieta
      The incident happened at races on Saturday.

  10. George McDonald says:

    Do tell. What happened ? Did he shoot,throttle,karate kick,hug someone?
    What os the story?

  11. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Discussions (what is right)are always better than Arguments (who is right).. But boys are hot blooded and sometimes ” Die gemoedere loop hoog ”

    Albert 37° Greetings – yippee Greyville Poly today ?

  12. Dave McGillewie says:

    Can someone not publish the facts of the incident …..FFS, we are not children to be treated with kid gloves ……let us then make up our own minds

  13. Pieta Louw. says:

    Mr Ed,

    Yes I know….maybe I should have said “weighing room” and “jockey room”
    Not sure that everyone should have access to it as I observed over the last couple of years and until I stopped going to the course…….last time I looked it was like a Cairo railway station….no control or protection…..

  14. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Ai Pieta, gepraat van stasies. Hier in SA het helfte glo g’n krag meer nie. Nee kyk ons Manne maak droog en weigh mekaar verkeerd op. Maar moet se ou Manne het darem baie mooi om verskoning gevra.

    Ek hoop jy, Beeno, en die res van die familie is OK ??

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