Weir Will Not Contest Electrical Shocking Device Charges; Stewards Seek Four-Year Penalty - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Weir Will Not Contest Electrical Shocking Device Charges; Stewards Seek Four-Year Penalty

Trainer Darren Weir (from Darren Weir Racing Facebook page)

On Monday, Racing Victoria (RV) stewards concluded their hearing into Show Cause Notices issued against licensed trainers Darren Weir and Jarrod McLean, which was initiated on Friday, Feb. 1. Weir and McLean were asked to show cause why the stewards ought not exercise their powers pending the hearing and determination of charges issued against them by RV stewards. The charges are to be heard on a date to be fixed by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

Weir will not contest the three charges issued against him for possession of an electric or electronic apparatus capable of affecting the performance of a horse, nor will he contest the charge issued against him for conduct prejudicial to the image, interests or welfare of racing.

McLean will be contesting the charge issued against him for possession of an electric or electronic apparatus capable of affecting the performance of a horse; and the charge issued against him conduct prejudicial to the image, interests or welfare of racing.

The Racing Victoria stewards deliberated and determined the following:

Darren Weir

Stewards will now request that the RAD Board hear and determine the charges laid against Weir at the earliest opportunity. While the decision of penalty is ultimately that of the RAD Board, given the severity of the charges stewards will be seeking disqualification for a period of four years. Weir was informed that this was the stewards' position before he determined not to contest the charges.

Until such time as the hearing and determination of these charges by the RAD Board, the following conditions have been imposed on Mr Weir with effect from midnight on Monday, Feb. 4:

• that Weir not be permitted to nominate horses for any races or official trials;
• that any horses trained by Weir that have accepted to race be withdrawn by order of the stewards;
• that Weir not be permitted to accept with any horses that he has nominated;
• that any horse currently nominated for a race, but not accepted, must be transferred from Weir to another trainer with the approval of the stewards prior to acceptance time should the owners wish it to compete in the nominated race; and
• that Weir must divest himself of any registered ownership interest in a registered horse, prior to that horse being permitted to accept for any race.

Jarrod McLean

On the basis that Mr McLean will contest the charges, significant conditions have been imposed on his operation until such time as the charges have been heard and determined by the RAD Board including that Mr McLean not be permitted to receive any horses to train that were in the care of Mr Weir as on Jan. 30.

Subject to the condition stated above, McLean will be permitted to continue to nominate and accept horses for races and official trials.

Tyson Kermond

In light of the communications between RV stewards and the legal representatives of licensed foreperson Tyson Kermond, Weir and McLean, and the information provided on their behalf since charges were issued on Feb. 1, stewards have determined that the charges for failing to assist the stewards need not be pursued.

“This is a complex matter and the stewards were determined to be thorough and give due consideration to the submissions made, their legal advice and the ongoing investigations,” said RV Executive General Manager – Integrity, Jamie Stier.

“Darren Weir is facing serious charges of possessing three electrical apparatus and conduct prejudicial to the interests or image of racing. He has advised the stewards that he will not contest those charges which have drawn considerable negative publicity to the sport.

“To that end, stewards have requested that the RAD Board expedite the hearing of Mr Weir's charges at which point they will be seeking a four-year disqualification.

“Until such time as the RAD Board convenes to hear and determine Mr Weir's charges, the stewards have imposed strict conditions on his licence that ensure he is not permitted to enter or race any horses as a trainer or owner.

“On the basis that Mr McLean advised the stewards that he will contest the charges against him, significant conditions have also been imposed on his operation until such time as the charges have been heard and determined by the RAD Board.

“In reaching these positions on the Show Cause Notices, the stewards note that investigations remain ongoing and that they reserve the right to act upon any new evidence that comes to hand during the course of those investigations.”

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