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Steve shattered by latest ruling
Silks & Saddles with TERRY BUTTS - June 6th 2013
FIRST, I must tell you I don't know Steve Hogno from Adam. Never met the man and have had no association whatsoever, except over the telephone.
But Steve Hogno will go down in my estimation as the victim of one of the most unbelievable, if not outrageous,
acts ever perpetrated against a racing person. Talk about a miscarriage of justice.
In short, 15 years ago,Mr Hogno, then a Toowoomba studmaster with no requirement to hold a licence
under Queensland Racing rules, took a horse to a combined sports meeting at Kooralbyn. He said it
was a publicised event with a permit issued by the Government Office of Racing duly signed by the Police
Three months later,Mr Hogno was summoned to appear before Queensland stewards for taking
part in an unregistered race meeting while being a part-owner of a registered racehorse.
He was given life disqualification.
Yes, warned off racecourses worldwide for life because he was a partowner of a registered racehorse.
And for attending the fun day at Kooralbyn with his Quarter Horse that he owned and educated.
But the story gets worse.
Because he was dealing with and relying on licensed people at his stud and spelling farm,Mr Hogno
says he and his partner Debbie Lee were forced to sell up. Disqualified people cannot have a registered
horse under their care or control.
It was part of the penalty. Incensed by the stewards’ ruling, he decided to bypass the normal racing
channel of appeal and went straight to the Supreme Court, where three learned judges found that the action
by Queensland Racing had been unlawful.
Importantly, they also found the meeting WAS registered by the Queensland Government. So then Mr Hogno decided to sue
QR for expenses that had been incurred. It took 14 years to get to court.
On October 9 last year, Judge Glenn Martin overturned the unanimous Appeals Court decision made 14
years earlier and ordered costs against Mr Hogno.
A demand for $340,000 by Queensland Racing was promptly delivered. Mr Hogno, devastated by the ruling, appealed.
Last week,Mr Hogno lost again and was ordered to pay costs, which he says he simply doesn’t have.
Your columnist is a believer in the old adage of ‘do the crime, do the time’. But what crime did this bloke
What ‘heinous’ crime did he commit that has made his life for the past 15 years almost unbearable and is
forcing him into bankruptcy? What rule or law did Mr Hogno break that was deserving of such a penalty?
Unless someone can tell me differently, Mr Hogno’s crime was to simply take his Quarter Horse to a meeting for a bit of fun.
And as he didn't hold a QR licence, he felt he was quite within his rights to do so, which is precisely how the
first appeal judges found it. Actually, it should also be noted that in the two previous court cases, the
respective judges found that meeting at Kooralbyn was, in fact, a registered event, conducted under the
seal of the Queensland Government and with a permit issued by the Police Commissioner, who just
happens to be the current head of integrity at QR, Jim O'Sullivan.
But last week, the judges ruled that in fact it was an unregistered event. And because he was a part-owner of
a registered racehorse,Mr Hogno was bound by the Rules of Racing that prohibited him from participating
in an unregistered race meeting. Mr Hogno said if that ruling had been delivered initially, he would
have had to accept it and get on with life.
“Instead, it has been 15 years of costs, anxiety and now the insult of being ordered to pay costs of
Queensland Racing, which will plunge me into bankruptcy at 60 years of age.”
Incidentally, one of the judges on last week’s panel just happens to be the one appointed to head up the
much-publicised inquiry into the Queensland racing industry.
"This is the little poster that started over $2mil worth of carnage
plus whatever value you put on 15 years of stress and struggle for two Aussie
(CLICK HERE), and the evidence that
the QPC, (now Racing Queensland) had full knowledge, it presented no problems,(CLICK HERE) and had a permit issued
under the Act, signed by the Police Commissioner - now Racing Queensland
"Integrity Commissioner" (CLICKHERE) (CLICK HERE) (CLICK HERE)
Racing Minister confirms that Office of Racing is the
superior body and has authority to issue permits for events that don't meet
criteria to be a Registered Race Meeting, without Racing Queensland approval or
involvement (CLICK HERE).
Premiers Office confused - Kooralbyn could not be a Registered
Race Meeting due to not being a registered race club, not a registered track,
not licensed trainers, not registered horses. Total ignorance of the Act - S135
which provides for such events.(CLICK HERE)
Court of Appeal ruling - NOT an Unregistered Race Meeting, rules
of racing cannot be applied . Therefore we had committed no offence whatsoever
- took a quarter horse to a fun day -yet the punishment under racing's LR77
caused the loss of home, business and 100acre stud (CLICK HERE)
(CLICK HERE) (CLICK HERE).
Racing Queensland barrister continues to argue the rules of
racing, confusing Judges with blatant misinterpretations of the Act (CLICK HERE)
(CLICK HERE) and relying on rules AR197 and AR198 - total
immunity from liability or claim.
Court of Appeal 2013 findings - relying on Rules of Racing, in
contradiction of 1999 findings of the same Court. (CLICK HERE) (CLICK HERE) (CLICK HERE)"