Home Australia Ben Yole has 17 sled racehorses scheduled to race on Sunday, but the Supreme Court has dealt him a blow

Ben Yole has 17 sled racehorses scheduled to race on Sunday, but the Supreme Court has dealt him a blow

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A man adjusts a horse's bridle.

A Supreme Court decision in favor of Tasracing will allow it to ban harness trainer Ben Yole from its Tasmanian racetracks, after the peak body’s previous offer was overturned on appeal.

At a hearing in Hobart on Friday, Judge Robert Pearce dismissed an application by Yole’s lawyer for an injunction against Tasracing preventing it from issuing “warning” notices.

Judge Pearce told Yole’s lawyer, Damian Sheales, that the grounds for his application for an injunction had “not been established” and that, after deliberation, the original application had been dismissed.

It also ordered Mr. Yole to pay the costs to Tasracing.

Yole has lost a court order against TasRacing.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

When Tasracing attempted to issue a 28-day warning in February, it said Mr Yole’s attendance at its racecourses had a “real and substantial likelihood of damaging the integrity and reputation” of the industry.

The original “warning” notice was issued following the publication of Ray Murrihy’s report, which investigated allegations broadcast by the ABC against Yole in relation to team riding, animal welfare concerns and race fixing.

Mr Yole’s representatives had sought the injunction after successfully appealing Tasracing’s issuing of warning notices to Ben Yole, Tim Yole, Mitch Ford and Nathan Ford.

In upholding the appeal, the Tasmanian Racing Appeals Board determined that Tasracing did not have the legal authority to enforce racing rules by issuing a “warning” notice, and that the appellants had not been ” granted natural justice.”

However, Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court paves the way for Tasracing to issue new “warning” notices against Yole and the three others named in the appeal.

Tasracing considers next steps

In a statement, chief executive Andrew Jenkins said Tasracing would “immediately consider next steps” and “what options were available to it, for the good of the harness racing industry in the state”.

It is unclear when, or if, Tasracing will issue further “warning” notices against the quartet of entrants.

Ben Yole is the coach of 17 runners scheduled to compete in Hobart this Sunday, with another 28 to be coached by his father, Wayne.

Nathan Ford is also booked for four trips on Sunday.


Ray Murrihy, the former chief steward of Racing NSW who was tasked by the Tasmanian government with carrying out the investigation, determined there had been “breach of racing rules” in relation to several of the allegations.

An independent panel of stewards, consisting of Dayle Brown, Barry Delaney and Larry Wilson, is investigating 15 separate races that Murrihy determined may have involved “questionable racial tactics.”

Complaints related to the mistreatment of horses, as well as the administration of intra-articular or joint injections to horses outside the permitted periods, have also been referred for investigation.

The RSPCA is investigating a series of animal welfare complaints.

Yole will have two weeks to appeal Friday’s Supreme Court decision.

His attorney has been contacted for comment.

A horse in a coat standing under a shade cloth.

A “warning” notice prohibits a participant from entering TasRacing controlled tracks.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)


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