ORI steps up with stewards conference

Friday 10 November 2017

TASMANIA’S Office of Racing Integrity staged a stewards conference in Launceston today that comprised a list of keynote speakers that would have sat comfortably at any national integrity conference.

Heading the list was former chief thoroughbred steward of NSW Ray Murrihy, top Sydney lawyer Hamish Cockburn, Harness Racing NSW integrity manager Michael Prentice and Tasracing CEO Vaughn Lynch.

The conference was hosted by ORI Director of Racing Reid Sanders who took on the role two months ago.

“One thing the industry was telling me when I first arrived in the state was that it believed ORI didn’t deliver and is a waste of the industry’s money,” Sanders said.

“It is my task to ensure that this is not the case and there are processes in place to correct the issues and there are cases we are working on at present that will make it clear that ORI is definitely not a waste of money.

“Holding this stewards’ conference with prominent key note speakers is one of the many steps we are taking to further develop the team within ORI.”

One of the keynote speakers at yesterday’s conference was highly respected Sydney lawyer Hamish Cockburn who specializes in commercial litigation and criminal law.

Cockburn, who in the past seven years has grown his private practice in racing matters across all three codes, delivered actual case scenarios that required interaction from the 20 stewards in attendance.

He discussed at length the need for stewards to place paramount importance of adhering to the letter of the law when dealing with an inquiry.

Another well-respected guest speaker was former top steward Ray Murrihy who before retiring in 2016 was general manager of integrity/chairman of stewards with Racing NSW.

Murrihy highlighted some of his experiences during his 20 years as a chief steward and delivered his interpretation of the challenges that stewards face in today’s ever-changing landscape where the latest technology is being used to secure a conviction.

Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch spoke openly on how the industry governing body functions as well as highlighting how the industry is funded and he closed with Tasracing’s views on turnover tracking.

“It is important that Tasracing and ORI work together for the betterment of the industry and it is Tasracing’s intention to ensure that happens,” Lynch said.