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‘No Contest’ After Race Confusion

Published: March 19, 2017 12:43 pm ET

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Presiding judges recently had to declare a harness race a ‘no contest’ after it became apparent that the drivers, judges and announcer did not have a firm grasp as to when the race was supposed to finish.

As an item by explains, stewards were forced to declare the Jenny & Moogie Sutton Appreciation Pace a no contest on Friday, March 17 after confusion reigned supreme at Broken Hill Race Course in New South Wales.

There was a bit of confusion right off the hop in the three and a half-lap event, as a horse made a break off the start and appeared to get loose along the backstretch. The horse was corralled in good order, but the occurrence could have been what threw some of the participants off, initially.

In the second lap of the race, driver Kylie Hughes, aboard Ruben Hall, made a big move and opened up quite a large lead, even though there was still another lap to go. Some of the following drivers scrambled to make moves to keep up, while others that were still preserving their charges either shut their horses down or seemed a bit confused with what was transpiring.

The confusion didn’t stop there. Hughes and Ruben Hall came through the stretch like wrapped-up winners. The race caller belted, "Ruben Hall, he'll come down and win it... have we got another lap to go here? I'm sure we do."

The confusion affected the judges as well. They were supposed to sound the bell to indicate that there would be one last lap to race. The bell never rang.

Hughes and Ruben Hill maintained their sizable lead in the last lap and came home winners before the race was declared a no contest.

(With files from

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