REEFTON based greyhound trainer Anthony Kent is in more hot water over his implosion at Bendigo on August 27 and his actions have been slammed by the Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association of Victoria.
At a Greyhound Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing on Tuesday, December 9, Kent was banned for 10 years and fined $2000 for punching Bendigo Racing Club manager Troy Harley in the face, threatening steward Christine Gent, refusing to have his dog vetted and using repetitive indecent language on three occasions.
And now he can add another five years on top of that after a separate Greyhound Racing Victoria stewards inquiry, on Friday, December 19, found him guilty of removing a greyhound from the kennel area of the Bendigo track by throwing it over a fence – at the same meeting.
GOTBA Victoria president Phil Micallef told Australian Racing Greyhound: “We don’t condone any behaviour that’s going to be detrimental to any greyhound and certainly don’t condone any violence either, no matter what the reason.”
He said 99.9 per cent of people in the greyhound racing industry did the right thing, “we just get one or two that do things like this and wreck it for the people who do the right thing”.
He said he wasn’t concerned Kent’s actions could tarnish the industry’s name and, quite the contrary, those involved in the industry would band together to decry his actions.
“Look, I think it’s so few and far between that it doesn’t have an impact because it doesn’t happen often at all,” Micallef said.
“This is so unique that everybody would agree this is not a good thing and if anything, it might unite everyone in that this type of behaviour isn’t acceptable.
“I wouldn’t have thought it’s holding the industry back, because it’s an isolated incident, I’m not aware of it happening often at all, I wouldn’t know when the last time something like this happened.
“But it’s not unique to our sport, whether it’s football or racing, these things happen because people get emotional.”
Kent did not attend either hearing, but a plea of ‘not guilty’ was entered on his behalf and both went ahead.
During the second investigation, stewards received evidence from Harley, Gent, stewards Kim Meredith and Ian Taylor, trainers Graham Carr and Barry Hiscock and racing club employees Daniel Pell and Michael Cole.
A GRV press release stated: “After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr Kent with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 86(q) in that he did engage in conduct that was detrimental and or prejudicial to the interest, welfare and image of greyhound racing.”
Upon hearing the evidence from the witnesses, GRV chief steward Glenn Fish and fellow steward Ron Matthews found Kent guilty as charged and disqualified his licence for a period of five years, “to begin at the expiration of the disqualification periods as determined by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on December 9, 2014.”
That means the five years is tacked on top of the 10 he is already serving.
At the December 9 inquiry, the appeals board heard Kent punched Harley in the face “with a clenched fist”.
He then threatened Gent by saying “I’m coming back to see you”.
An appeals board press release stated “This statement was delivered in an intimidating manner and transpired shortly after Mr Anthony Kent had assaulted Mr Troy Harley.”
Kent then disobeyed the lawful direction of GRV Steward Ian Taylor, by refusing to have his dog, Pirate Arcade, vetted, before leaving the track.
He was also charged with misconduct over three foul mouthed tirades, behind the starting boxes, around the kennel block and in the stewards room, following race two.
GRV stewards laid the charges against Kent and the inquiry was heard in front of Fish and Matthews.
Evidence was tabled from witnesses Carr, Hiscock, Pell and Cole and found him guilty of all six charges.
He was banned for five years for each of the assault and threat to the steward, to be served cumulatively, and slapped with $500 fines for each of the other four charges.
The appeals board press release stated: “In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:
(a) Mr Kent’s failure to attend the hearing;
(b) Mr Kent’s appalling behaviour involving physical and verbal assaults;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences and particularly Mr Kent’s previous offences
which involved improper language and disregard of the rules as to compliance with
direction from the Stewards;
(e) Mr Kent’s complete disregard for the rules of the industry and inappropriate
behaviour including putting his greyhound at risk of significant injury; and
(f) The lack of any evidence of remorse and as to the prospects of rehabilitation.”
“The board noted that the police may take action against Mr Kent but, nonetheless, determined to proceed to hear the charges as the issues raised went to industry participation and not criminal liability.”
Micallef said the GOBTA Victoria “provides a lot of support to any owner, trainer or breeder in any shape or form and sometimes that includes financial support.”
“If people are having problems, we help them, but we need to know about them.
“We’ve had people who have had issues with nothing to do with greyhound racing that impact on them – for example, a partner might be terminally ill, so we help people find temporary homes for their dogs.
“Or we represent people if they’re up on any charge which they feel us unjust. A dog might have fought and been charged with marring and the trainer disputes that. We can help represent them at the appeal at the GRV.
“So we provide quite extensive support in really any facet of ownership or training or breeding.”
Need help? Visit gotbav.org.au phone secretary Patti Ladd on 0411 148 008 or email [email protected]