Most people would have read or become aware of the incident in New Zealand that occurred earlier this year and has just hid the headlines, the one in which a grub of a jockey named Morgenrood tried to ‘drop’ his ex-missus during a race by making her fall.
Morgenrood was outed for life, and so he should be.
So why did Western Australian trot trainer/driver Peter Anderson only get 12 months for almost exactly the same offence?
I have no idea what Anderson’s relationship with driver Deni Roberts relationship was, other than as employer and employee. There probably was none. But what Anderson did to Roberts is just as bad as what Morgenrood did to his ex-partner, and deserved exactly the same punishment.
Anderson deliberately and intentionally allowed a horse he was driving to run up the Byford training track and make contact with a horse driven by Roberts.
She wasn’t injured, but neither was Morgenrood’s target, and Roberts very easily could have been, and was lucky that she wasn’t.
When you are driving a horse up quick at another horse and clip its sulky at speed on purpose, there is every chance that the driver of the other one is going to get tipped or thrown, and fall flat on their face on the track.
Harness racing tracks are hard.
Human’s brains and necks are soft.
It didn’t happen thank God, but it could have.
On the same day the much heavier, older and stronger Anderson put his paw bang in the chest of the lightweight young woman driver, and sent her flying.
In the world outside of racing, that’s called criminal assault.
We do things differently here than in New Zealand.
Peter Anderson was only fined $500 for crashing into Demi Roberts on the track with foresight, planning and intent.
He copped a 12 months disqualification for assaulting her.
The Stewards found that the standards of behaviour indicated by the charges were not in keeping with that expected of licenced persons.
No shit Sherlock’s.
It’s not in keeping with society’s.
They found that Anderson’s role in a position of authority or trust as Miss
Roberts’ employer was an aggravating factor.
It sure was.
Do you expect to go to work today and get physically assaulted by your boss?
The Stewards didn’t mention anything about the bunch of other aggravating circumstances, things such as man assaults woman, or the lack or provocation, or the disparity in age, weight and strength.
Shame on them.
They said that they needed to send a clear message that such conduct would not be tolerated.
And then they gave Anderson just a $500 fine and 12 months.
Demi Roberts was not physically injured in the incidents they said, as if that somehow made it all okay.
What would have happened if she’d been flung from the cart, landed head first and died?
What would have happened if she’d fallen backwards when Anderson pushed her, and cracked her head and ended up a vege?
What’s going to happen when the next violent lunatic in WA harness racing does what Anderson did, and the result ends up a whole lot different?
This is disgraceful.
The WA Racing Minister should intervene.