South African jockey Brandon Morgenrood. Photo: Supplied
South African jockey Brandon Morgenrood. Photo: Supplied

South African Jockey banned for life

By Time of article published Jun 13, 2020

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A jockey in New Zealand has been banned for life following charges relating to a conspiracy to harm another jockey during a race.

Former South African and Cape Town-based Brandon Morgenrood, who left for New Zealand in 2016, pleaded guilty to three charges for his plan to cause a fall to Tina Comignaghi during a race.

Comignaghi and Morgenrood were in a relationship until December 2019, at which point Morgenrood started sending inappropriate messages to his former partner.

He was charged for threatening to cause Comignaghi to fall, causing undue suffering to the horse Comignaghi would be riding and counselling another jockey to ride in a manner which would cause Comignaghi to fall.

All three charges were connected to a race at the Canterbury Jockey Club where Comignaghi would be riding the horse Vivace Lady.

On February 9, Morgenrood texted Cominaghi “I’m gonna f**K u over big time!”

She subsequently blocked his number and in response he sent her a one cent bank deposit with the description “F** u”.

It was learnt that Morgenrood had been riding Vivace Lady at trackwork for a week, pulling unnecessarily on the horse’s mouth knowing Comignaghi had been hired to ride it on February 21.

Stewards were told that on February 18 he approached another jockey, Brett Murray, asking him to cut in front of Comignaghi at the race. This would leave her unable to cross and vulnerable to Morgenrood.

On the day of the race, Morgenrood confronted Comignaghi in the female jockey’s room where he was told to “drop it, drop it.” He replied: “the only thing that’s going to drop is you in the race”.

This was witnessed by another jockey, who reported it to stewards, leading to two trials before the start of the meet.

He was stood down from riding on the day of the meet.

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