Top Lawyer Questions Jockey Betting

What message does this send out to the general public?

Legal question

A leading attorney has questioned the findings of an NHA Inquiry Board who took no further action against a Cape jockey who was found to have placed a bet on a race run at Salisbury in the UK.

The outcome of the hearing, where no further action was taken against jockey Brandon Morgenrood, centred on the interpretation and definition of the words ‘race’ and ‘rule’ in the NHA rules.

Morgenrood and his colleague Wayne Agrella were the subject of an investigation following allegations that they had taken bets at a Hollywood outlet in Port Elizabeth in early September this year.

While Agrella was handed a ninety day suspension, Morgenrood was not charged and walked free – basically on a technicality.

The difference between them was that, while both had been found to have placed bets, Morgenrood had not punted on a South African venue.

Having regard to the definition of the word ‘race’ within Rules 72.1.38 and 21.2, the Board took no further action against Morgenrood.

The definitions:

1.1.54    – RACE – a horse race held in terms of the RULES.

1.1.67 – RULES – the rules of The National Horseracing Authority made by The National Board in terms of the Constitution as amended from time to time.

The Board ruled that races bet on outside the jurisdiction of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa could not be deemed breaches of the NHA Rules.

Betting jockeysAn expert legal opinion canvassed by the Sporting Post, said that he was puzzled by the decision, but that legal counsel had no doubt been engaged for an interpretation.

“In order to fully interpret the meaning of a Rule one must look at what the INTENT was in respect of said Rule when it was drafted.

Clearly, the intent must have been to prohibit a jockey and/or apprentice from betting on ANY horse race, not just within the boundaries of our shores. We are certainly not exercising authority over any other racing jurisdictions by so doing.

Assuming the Board obtained legal opinion, I would suggest that opinion is devoid of logic and has basically given riders carte blanche to descend on all betting outlets and bet on Mauritius, Hong Kong and other overseas racing with impunity. What message does this send out to the general public?” he asked.

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