Amberley TC 6 February 2024 – R5 – Sam Thornley

ID: RIB38645

Samuel James Thornley - Junior Driver

Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Stewart Ching (Chair)

Persons Present:
Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward, Sam Thornley - Junior Driver

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Amberley Trotting Club

Race Location:
Rangiora Racecourse - 312 Lehmans Road, Fernside, Rangiora, 7440

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Sam Thornley is fined $250

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 5, the Respondent, Junior Driver Sam Thornley admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that when driving GEM N EM, he drove carelessly when striking the wheel of KAWATIRI CREEK, which punctured near the 700m.

The Respondent, Mr Thornley, endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule, his admission of the breach and the nature of the charge. Mr Thornley advised the Adjudicative Committee, that he did not require assistance at the hearing.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, identified the horses involved in the incident namely, GEM N EM, driven by Mr Thornley, racing on the pylons and in the trail of KAWATIRI CREEK, driven by Ricky May, as they approached the 700m. Mr Williams pointed out Mr Thornley, when attempting to shift to the outside of Mr May, strike the off side sulky wheel of KAWATIRI CREEK, which then punctured and deflated.

Mr Thornley stated that GEM N EM was racing keenly at the time and that he just got too close to Mr May’s sulky with the move. He added that the tyre on KAWATIRI CREEK, although deflated, did not come off the rim and make matters worse.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward Mr Williams produced the Respondent’s record, which indicated a clear record.

Mr Williams said that the Penalty Guide provided a starting point of a $300 fine for a breach of this Rule when striking a wheel.

In mitigation, Mr Williams said that the Respondent freely admitted the breach and combined with his status as a Junior Driver, should be given credit. He added that in two recent penalties of Junior Drivers, fines of $250 were imposed and submitted that a similar level of penalty be considered for Mr Thornley.

The Respondent elected to make no submissions on penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $300 fine for a breach of this Rule where a wheel is struck.

This Adjudicative Committee determined that there were no aggravating factors to consider, therefore no uplift in penalty was warranted.

The Respondent was given credit for his good record, frank admission of the breach and status as a Junior Driver, resulting in a combined discount of $50.

It was determined that a fine of $250 was an appropriate penalty in this case.


Mr Thornley is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 06/02/2024

Publish Date: 07/02/2024