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Methven TC 8 December 2019 - R 10 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 12 December 2019

Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
OJarvis
Name(s):
M J Anderson
Licensed Open Driver
Informant
C M Tibbs
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A11236
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 10, Greg & Nina Hope Fasttrack & 2.5K Green Mile (Mobile Trot), an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mrs C M Tibbs, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr M J Anderson, alleging that Mr Anderson, as the driver of RUTHLESS KAYLA in the race, “used his whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) the Use of the Whip Regulations ”.

Mr Anderson had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the charge. He confirmed this at the hearing, at which he was present.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(2) 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 Whip Regulations (effective from 30 November 2017) provide:

(b) No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than ten occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky.

Mrs Tibbs pointed out RUTHLESS KAYLA, driven by Mr Anderson, towards the rear and the widest runner on the track as the field turned into the home straight. Mr Anderson, after activating gear, commenced using his whip and used it on a total of 11 times to the finishing line. Mr Anderson agreed with the total count of 11, as did the Committee from its observation of the video replay, from which the strikes were very clear. RUTHLESS KAYLA finished in 5th placing.

Mr Anderson did not wish to say anything in relation to the breach. 

Decision:

Mr Anderson having admitted the charge, the charge is found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mrs Tibbs told the hearing that Mr Anderson has had 144 drives this season before today and 169 last season. He is a reasonably busy driver. Mr Anderson has a previous breach of the excessive use of the whip rule at the meeting of Marlborough HRC on 23 June 2019. The current breach is within the 6 months reset period, so it is a second breach.

She referred to the scale of penalties under the Use of the Whip Regulations. The prescribed penalty for a second breach of the rule is a 3-5 days suspension. Stewards considered the breach to be low-end and, accordingly, submitted that a 3-days suspension was an appropriate penalty.

Mr Anderson asked the Committee to bear in mind that this breach was only 2 weeks short of the 6 months reset period. To miss three meetings would, for him, involve hardship on his part, particularly at this time of year, as his only source of income at present is from driving fees. He submitted that he is in a different position from a lot of other drivers in this respect. He asked the Committee to consider that a “small fine” would be more appropriate.

Mr Anderson was asked by the Committee if he required a deferment of suspension. After being given time to consider the matter, Mr Anderson advised that he would like a deferment for 7 days.

The Committee then addressed the matter of the meetings at which Mr Anderson would likely to be driving.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee agrees with the submission of the Stewards that the breach is at the low end, based on the number of strikes and the force applied. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors to be considered. In the light of this, the appropriate penalty is a 3-days suspension, being the Penalty Guide starting point for a low-end breach.

Penalty:

Mr Anderson’s request for a deferment is granted. His Open Driver’s licence is suspended from 16 December 2019 to 22 December 2019 both days inclusive – 3 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Forbury Park TC on 18 December 2019, NZ Metropolitan TC on 20 December 2019 and Rangiora HRC on 22 December 2019.

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