Man accused of invading race track at Wellington Cup Day charged

Author
Melissa Nightingale, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 4 Feb 2021, 2:03PM
Justin Bergman has been charged over the incident. (Photo / Jack Crossland)
Justin Bergman has been charged over the incident. (Photo / Jack Crossland)

Man accused of invading race track at Wellington Cup Day charged

Author
Melissa Nightingale, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 4 Feb 2021, 2:03PM

A 24-year-old man has appeared in court for allegedly walking out on to the Trentham race track and standing amid the horses as they thundered past.

Justin Bergman briefly appeared in the Hutt Valley District Court this morning, where he is charged with creating a criminal nuisance by unreasonably disrupting a public meeting, knowing it would endanger the safety of the public.

He is also facing another charge of disrupting a meeting at Trentham racecourse.

Justin Bergman entering Hutt Valley District Court where he's being charged with disrupting a public meeting for Wellington Cup Day incident. Photo / Jack Crossland

Justin Bergman entering Hutt Valley District Court where he's being charged with disrupting a public meeting for Wellington Cup Day incident. Photo / Jack Crossland

Bergman was remanded without plea to reappear in court next month.

He is on bail at his Petone home, with conditions that he not enter the Trentham race track or attend any race meets around the country. He is also not allowed to contact police witnesses.

The charges he faces carry maximum penalties of a $200 fine, and one year in prison.

The man declined to speak to media outside court about the charges.

Punters and animal rights activists alike were outraged on the weekend after video emerged of a man jumping over the fencing at the Wellington Cup Day races and sauntering into the middle of the track as the racing horses galloped past.

The video shows horses and their jockeys flying closely past the man.

Wellington Race Group chairman Paul Humphries said close to 12,000 people were enjoying the Cup Day during the incident.

"The horses can shy, go through the running rail and when you've got jockeys on top of horses going 60km/h, it's just madness."

The jockeys had to quickly steer away and came just inches from trampling over the person who came on the track as he stood stationary in the middle of it.

A spectator ran onto the race track at Upper Hutt's Trentham Racecourse during Wellington Cup Day. Photo / Twitter A spectator ran onto the race track at Upper Hutt's Trentham Racecourse during Wellington Cup Day. Photo / Twitter