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Auckland TC 11 October 2019 - R1 - Chair, Mr A Smith

Created on 14 October 2019

ASmith (chair)
Mr McKendry - Licensed Open Horseman
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Incorrect position at start

Following the running of Race 1, 25 years is a valiant effort Val Hart HCP trot 2200m, an information was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr J Muirhead, alleging that Mr McKendry permitted his drive REIGN to start from an incorrect barrier position.

Mr McKendry endorsed the information “I do admit the breach of the rule”.

Rule 862(2) provides:

(2) No horseman shall permit a horse to start and no horse shall start other than from its correct barrier position or in advance of its correct barrier position (either at a standing or mobile start), unless directed by the Starter in accordance with rule 860(8)

Using the available video footage Mr Muirhead demonstrated the incident. He told the Judicial Committee that the starter had instructed the drivers that there were to be 8 horses across the front line, and 2 horses would start from the second line, one of which would be on the unruly mark. He said Mr McKendry’s drive REIGN was to start from number 1 on the 2nd line. Instead Mr McKendry positioned his horse on the very outside of the front line and was in the wrong place.

In response Mr McKendry said he had clearly made a mistake and accepted his error.


The breach is admitted and is therefore proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Muirhead submitted that the JCA guidelines provides for a $400 fine or 8 drive suspension as a starting point for a breach of this rule. Mr Muirhead said that Mr McKendry gained no advantage and indeed his drive was probably disadvantaged as a result of the error. Mr Muirhead assessed the breach as mid range. He said Mr McKendry is a senior horseman, he has a good record and should be given credit for his admission of the breach, he suggested a fine of $250 would be appropriate.

When asked for his submission Mr McKendry said “I’m easy as to what happens”.

Reasons For Penalty:

In assessing penalty the Committee has taken into account the Steward's submissions and we have also considered the Penalty Guidelines for Committees as well as recent penalties for similar breaches.

Those breaches have provided fines ranging from $75 to $350.

In our assessment, this is a mid-range breach. Although we accept that REIGN was not advantaged by Mr McKendry’s error, we do note that he finished in 5th placing and had he started from number 1 on the second line, may well have finished in a better place.

Having taken all matters into account including Mr McKendry’s good record, his frank admission of the breach the Committee have determined that a $300 fine is appropriate in the circumstances.


The Committee have imposed a fine of $300.

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