Queensland apprentice Stephanie Lacy has been cleared of a handling charge.
Apprentice Stephanie Lacy has had a one-month suspension on a handling charge quashed in another case highlighting delays in appeals in Queensland.
She has been riding on a stay since last August.
Lacy was outed after riding Kulaba in a race at the Sunshine Coast on July 23 last year.
Stewards alleged Lacy failed to pressure her mount from the 400m to the 300m and then from the 200m again failed to pressure Kulaba or show enough vigour to ensure he gained the best possible place.
Lacy argued she felt there was something wrong with the horse and had not wanted to injure him further.
Stewards found her guilty and suspended her for four weeks.
Lacy took her case to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking the conviction and sentence be overturned.
QCAT heard evidence from Lacy, her masters John Symons and Sheila Laxon, and steward James Williamson.
Symons and Laxon gave evidence Kulaba had a serious eye injury which could have been sustained only in the race.
Their evidence was backed up by a report from a vet.
In a written judgment QCAT Member David Paratz said he found Lacy a believable and straightforward witness and had also been impressed by evidence from Laxon.
“The next day the horse was found to have a serious eye injury. If the eye injury was caused during the race, the behaviour of the horse as described by Ms Lacy, and the course of the development of its eye injury, is entirely consistent with expert opinion (of a vet),” he said.
“I find it most likely the horse was struck on the right eye by a flying clod at some time in the last 600m.”
Paratz said Lacy had acted in a humane and appropriate manner and set aside the stewards’ decision.