Trotting club faces removal of licence

Ernie Manning, ALBANY ADVERTISERAlbany Advertiser

The embattled Albany Harness Racing Club has been asked to show cause why its registration should not be cancelled by Racing and Wagering WA.

It is the first time in WA racing and trotting history that a club has been issued a show-cause notice and faced disbandment.

A no-confidence vote in the AHRC committee was passed when more than 30 club members met last Wednesday night.

The meeting was fiery, with claims some trainers had been barred from club membership.

The no-confidence vote in the six-person committee was reported to have been carried 28-4.

RWWA's Integrity Assurance Committee issued the notice on Monday and invited the AHRC to request a hearing within 14 days.

The Albany trotting season is due to begin on Boxing Day for a 12-meeting calendar.

IAC chairwoman Lianne Cretney-Barnes has also invited interested parties to provide written submissions on whether AHRC's registration should be cancelled.

"This is a highly significant issue and unique action is being taken," she said.

"The IAC has not previously issued a show-cause notice to a WA race club."

In a statement yesterday, the IAC said it had received a report from RWWA integrity general manager Denis Borovica.

"As a result of the report, the IAC will consider cancelling Albany Harness Racing Club's registration and its ability to conduct race meetings," the IAC statement said.

"A number of concerns have been brought to the IAC's attention in relation to the operations, management and conduct of the AHRC. This has resulted in a show-cause notice being issued.

"The IAC, established by the RWWA board, has functions to control, regulate and supervise racing, and to supervise racing clubs and their affairs.

"RWWA may, in accordance with the rules of racing, refuse to register a racing club."

It said the AHRC was entitled to be heard by the IAC before any decision to cancel the club's registration was made.

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