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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v J McInerney - Written Decision dated 14 October 2019 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 15 October 2019

AN NRI BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY

UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

IN THE MATTER of the Rules of NZ Greyhound Racing

BETWEEN Mr K Coppins, RIU

Informant

AND Mr John McInerney, Licenced Trainer

Respondent

Judicial Committee: Mr N McCutcheon (Chairman)

Mr T Utikere (Member)

Parties: Mr M Austin (Stipendiary Steward-RIU)

Information No. A11013

Plea: Admitted

Hearing: 9 October 2019 at Hatrick Raceway, Wanganui

WRITTEN DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED 14 OCTOBER 2019

Facts:

1) Information No. A11013 was filed with the JCA. It was alleged that at the Wanganui Greyhound Meeting on 25 September 2019, the Greyhound JETLAG JAG was presented to race in Race 10, up 1.7kg from its previous start on 2 September 2019. The Information stated that it was the McInerney Kennels fourth offence within the preceding 120 days.

2) The Information was signed by Ms Sandy Stone the Kennel’s representative, with the breach of Rule 45.11 being admitted.

3) The Committee was satisfied that there was proof of service for the Respondent Mr John McInerney and that he had been advised of the hearing. Whilst he has elected not to appear, we proceeded in his absence as is provided for under the provisions of Rule 66.6 of the NZ Greyhound Rules of Racing.

4) Rule 45.11 states: Where the weight of a Greyhound recorded at a meeting varies by more than one and a half (1.5) kilograms from the weight recorded in a race in which it last performed that Greyhound shall be permitted to compete in the current race but the Trainer of the Greyhound shall be guilty of an offence unless permission has been granted under Rule 45.12.

5) Mr Austin appearing for Mr Coppins said that at the Meeting of 25 September 2019 JETLAG JAG had been weighed twice prior to its race, and had recorded the same weight (1.7kg over) on both occasions. He said that the dog had been weighed in the presence of a Security Guard.

6) Mr Austin advised the Committee that the scales had been checked and certified and that the dog had been vetted and passed fit to race.

7) He said that as this was the fourth offence within 120 days, it was a requirement to file an Information with the Judicial Control Authority.

8) Decision

Due to the charge being admitted it was deemed to be proved.

9) Penalty Submissions

Mr Austin for the RIU said that there are other large kennels in New Zealand and that none of those kennels have the same number of infringements that the McInerney’s have under Rule 45.11. He added that the punters are affected, as on occasions they would have invested on a dog prior to becoming aware of any weight discrepancy.

10) In answer to a question from Mr Utikere, Mr Austin said that most of the breaches by the McInerney Kennels had been at Wanganui and Palmerston North Race meetings. Mr Austin said that it had been of concern to the Stipendiary Stewards for some time and that Mr McInerney had been made aware of their concern on a number of occasions.

11) Mr Austin said that he had been instructed by the Chief Stipendiary Steward for Greyhound Racing to recommend that a penalty of not less than $300 be imposed.

12) Reasons for Penalty

The Committee had regard for the penalty submissions of the RIU. They believed that the punters’ interests are paramount and that greyhounds should be presented to race within the weight allowance provided for under the provisions of Rule 45.11.

The record shows that the current breach is the sixth offence in 12 months that has been dealt with by way of an NRI. Mr McInerney’s previous breaches demonstrate that he has the worst record in the country in so far as weight infringements are concerned. Clearly the previous penalties of $100 - $300 have not served as a deterrent and the Committee determined that a significant increase is appropriate.

13) Penalty

Mr McInerney was fined $550.00.

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