Stewards reprimand driver

A harness racing driver has been left to face the public fallout after an apparently lame horse started in a harness race at Oamaru on July 28.

Invercargill pacer Kansas City Jim was examined before the race and deemed fit to start. He finished 10th of 11 runners in a 2600m race. He reportedly suffered a suspensory ligament injury.

Some people took to social media to voice their outrage that the horse was allowed to race after he had appeared to be lame in pre-race vision broadcast on Trackside television.

After the race, the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) launched an investigation into Kansas City Jim being cleared to start.

Of those people involved with the horse, including officials, driver Rory
McIlwrick is the only person to be reprimanded - for ''failing to demonstrate the standard required of a competent horseman''.

Stewards deemed Kansas City Jim's gait ''was so obviously uncomfortable that it should have been of sufficient concern to McIlwrick to warrant retiring [the horse] from the race''.

Kansas City Jim underwent a veterinary examination prior to racing and was cleared fit to start by Dr John Keenan.

The RIU findings about Dr Keenan's role are not known.

RIU chief harness racing steward Nick Ydgren said it was an employment matter between Dr Keenan and the RIU and it could not be made public.

Kansas City Jim's trainer, Steve Lock, was not reprimanded following the investigation.

Neither were RIU staff who officiated at the meeting.

Stipendiary stewards had the power to scratch Kansas City Jim from his race after he appeared to be lame, but did not.

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