Jockey accused of throwing race vindicated after long fight
A SUNSHINE Coast jockey who was accused of throwing a race has finally found vindication in a 10-month battle to save her racing career, after a tribunal found the horse was injured in the race.
Apprentice jockey Stephanie Lacy, 25, was accused of throwing a race at Corbould Park on July 23 last year, after placing fourth on Kulaba in Race 7.
A Stewards Inquiry initially found her guilty of the charge, as did an internal review of the decision by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.
But the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal handed down a decision this month that Miss Lacy did not make a breach, and in fact acted with "a firm but humane manner" after the horse was likely struck in the eye by a clod of dirt and began to shy to the left.
Tribunal member David Paratz delivered the decision, referring to evidence from a veterinarian that the only reasonable explanation for a serious ulcer later found in the Kulaba's right eye was that soil or sand hit the eye during the race.
"I find that it was most likely that the horse was struck on the right eye by a flying clod at some time in the last 600 metres of the race, and responded by moving to the left," Mr Paratz said.
"(Miss Lacy) expressed an acute and intuitive awareness of the behaviour of the horse, and a concern for the welfare of the horse that impressed me as genuine and admirable."
Miss Lacy told the Daily the final decision came as a "huge" relief.
"I probably wouldn't have been able to get a licence anywhere else; it's a pretty bad charge to have on your record."
Miss Lacy said the ongoing battle cost her more than $6000 in legal fees, with no guarantee the costs could be reimbursed.