The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an Inquiry held on 10 November 2020, adjourned and resumed on 11 January 2021, Stable Employee Mr Andrew Fortune was charged with a contravention of Rules 72.1.25, 72.1.26 and 72.1.43.
Rule 72.1.25 – in that Mr Fortune misbehaved himself or conducted himself in an improper manner by physically assaulting Jockey Gavin Lerena in the weighing room after the running of Race 7 at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 24 October 2020.
Mr Fortune pleaded guilty to the charge.
The Inquiry Board found Mr Fortune guilty of the charge in terms of Rule 72.1.25 and after considering the mitigating factors presented, imposed a penalty of a fine of R20 000 (twenty thousand rand) of which R10 000 (ten thousand rand) is suspended for 24 months, provided that Mr Fortune is not found guilty of a similar offence during the 24-month period.
Mr Fortune has the Right of Appeal against the penalty imposed.
In terms of Rule 72.1.26, the Inquiry Board took no further action.
In terms of Rule 72.1.43 – in that Mr Fortune published, communicated or uttered words or statements or posted on any social media platform or channel material, content or comments, or conducted himself in a manner which could reasonably be construed to be either obscene, offensive, defamatory, racist, threatening, harassing, discriminating, sexist or abusive to any other person or entity involved in the racing industry, or bring the good name of any person or entity in the industry or the NHA into disrepute, after the running of Race 7, on 24 October 2020, at Turffontein Racecourse and during the occurrence of the physical assault on Jockey Gavin Lerena in the weighing room.
Mr Fortune pleaded not guilty to the charge and was found not guilty.
Furthermore, Mr Fortune’s suspension in respect of the attendance of race meetings, has been lifted.
- Media release by NHRA on Tuesday 12 January 2021