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Waikato BOP H 5 December 2019 - R 7 - Chair, Mr A Godsalve

Created on 09 December 2019

Rule 869(2)
AGodsalve (chair)
Mr L Whittaker - Junior Driver
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 7, the Black Dog Furniture Handicap Trot 2200m Mr Mulcay lodged an Information in which he alleged that Junior Driver Mr L Whittaker:

'used his whip on more occasions than permitted under clause (b) of the Use Of The Whip Regulations driving LUKYANOVA inside the final 400 metres'.

Mr Whittaker was present at the hearing. He acknowledged that he had earlier viewed the film of the incident in the company of Open Horseman Mr S Phelan, and confirmed that:

(a) He understood the Rule and Regulations, and

(b) He admitted the breach.

Rule 869(2) provides ; 'No horseman shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use Of The Whip Regulations made by the Board'.

The Use Of The Whip Regulations (b) state that 'No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than 10 occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of 'backhanders' and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky'.

Using the films Mr Mulcay identified the horse LUKYANOVA as the field entered the final straight. LUKYANOVA was mounting a challenge for the lead and initially Mr Mulcay pointed out that Mr Whittaker had 'flicked' the horse twice with his whip which Mr Mulcay said he did consider to be strikes. However further into the straight Mr Whittaker commenced striking the horse and hit it 13 times until the finish. LUKYANOVA eventually won the race.

Mr Whittaker agreed that he had struck the horse 13 times. He said that he was a ' bit excited' as he had not driven a winner for some time and also that he knew the elderly owners and was trying hard for them.


As Mr Whittaker has admitted the breach we find the charge established.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Mulcay referred to one prior breach of this Rule by Mr Whittaker, when on 5 September 2019 he was fined $200. He added that under the existing Guidelines, Mr Whittaker would be liable to a suspension of his drivers license.

Mr Whittaker advised the Committee that he had engagements at the upcoming Palmerston North meeting on 10 December and could commence a suspension after that meeting.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee established that the Guidelines provided a suspension where a driver had a prior breach of this Rule within the preceding 6 months. Mr Whittaker had breached the Rule on 5 September 2019, and was therefore liable to a suspension of between 3-5 days.

Given that the number of strikes (13) was at the lower end of the sliding scale we deemed that a suspension of 3 days was an appropriate penalty.


The Committee granted Mr Whittaker a deferment of his penalty until after racing on 10 December 2019.

We therefore suspended his driving license until after the completion of racing on 10 December until after the completion of racing on 14 December 2019, a 3 day suspension.

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