Stawell Harness Racing Club president and horse owner Geoff Sanderson has been backed by his committee after being charged by Harness Racing Victoria stewards last week.
Mr Sanderson, will face the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary board having been charged under Australian Harness Racing Rule 241 "relating to the lodgement of a transfer document".
“It is alleged that Mr Sanderson provided HRV with a document relating to the ‘Transfer of Ownership of Horse’ of which he entered information and signed under another person’s name,” a statement released by HRV on October 3 said.
Mr Sanderson tendered his resignation to the Stawell Harness Racing Club committee which was not accepted.
“I tendered my resignation and the committee who didn’t accept this and wanted me to continue in my role and I have their full support,” he said.
Mr Sanderson said he is “disappointed” in the investigation into the specific case.
“The matter revolves around the purchase of a horse some time ago and after paying for the horse the owner disappeared and cut off all communication and failed to return calls and letters to sign over the horse,” he said.
“I gave HRV Stewards all bank transfer records, phone records of conversations with the owner, emails and letters and cooperated with the HRV stewards once it was found the error on the ownership papers due to the frustration of the old owner failing to sign the horse over.
“Unfortunately the HRV stewards’ investigation only considered of tracking down after some time the old owner and having a brief telephone conversation and taking his side that he never knew me or knew of the sale of the horse even though I had bank transfer records, phone records and letters sent to him.
“I am disappointed with myself but I am even more disappointed that the investigation didn’t cover more people who could support my evidence.”
Mr Sanderson said the charge is “purely being dealt” with him in the capacity as an owner.
Mr Sanderson will face the disciplinary board at a date yet to be determined.
Harness Racing Victoria and Stawell Harness Racing Club declined to comment on the matter.