Ashburton TC 23 December 2021 – R10 – Graeme Telfer

ID: RIB6604

Graeme Telfer - Driver

Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr P Williams, Mr G Telfer

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Using whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion

869 (2) and Whip and Rein Regulations

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Ashburton Trotting Club

Race Location:
Ashburton Racecourse - Racecourse Road, Ashburton, 7700

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ashburton Raceway, Ashburton

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, Graeme Telfer fined $300


Following Race 10, John Rollinson & Cash Register Memorial Trot, an Information was filed charging Driver, Graeme Telfer, that he used his whip with more than a wrist only flicking motion in the run home while driving HANOVER DA MOON.


Mr Williams said that Stewards were alleging that Mr Telfer had struck his horse several times in the home straight with more than a wrist only flicking motion.

In the early to middle stages of the run home Stewards believed Mr Telfer had struck his horse six times with more than a wrist only flicking motion, before reverting to a compliant style, Mr Williams said. He showed a video replay to demonstrate the allegation. Without a doubt, Mr Williams alleged, Mr Telfer had engaged his elbow. He pointed out HANOVER DA MOON being  drawn out from the one-one position as the field entered the home straight, to lodge a challenge in the middle of the track. The horse improved to 3rd, when Mr Telfer activated the removable deafeners and commenced using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion. The video replay confirmed the alleged count of six.

Mr Telfer said that he did not think that his whip use had been excessive. The Committee explained to him that the wording of the charge was not that he had used his whip excessively (and there is no longer such an offence) but, rather, that he had used it in more than a wrist only flicking motion. Mr Telfer suggested that “three or four other drivers” had used a similar whip action.

Mr Telfer said that he had a hold of the reins and knew what he was doing and repeated that he did not consider his whip use to have been excessive.

The Committee noted that HANOVER  DA MOON  had finished in 8th placing, 3.7 lengths from the winner.


The charge was found proved.


The Committee  was comfortably satisfied that Mr Telfer’s whip use in the home straight involved more than a wrist only flicking motion as alleged. There were six clear non-compliant strikes over a distance in excess of 50 metres. The defence put forward by Mr Telfer suggested that he did not have a proper appreciation of the Rule and Regulations.


Mr Williams said that Mr Telfer had a clear record of whip use. Stewards believed that the breach was at the “higher end of low level”. The Penalty Guidelines suggested a starting point of a fine of between $200-400 for a low level breach and Stewards were submitting that a fine of not less than $250 was an appropriate penalty.

The strikes had taken place over approximately 150 metres, Mr Williams said.

Mr Telfer had no submission to make as to penalty.


Largely because of Mr Williams’ penalty submission that the breach should be treated as low-level, the Committee is prepared to deal with the offence by way of a fine. Mr Telfer’s whip use has come close to being categorised as medium-level, for which a term of suspension is the starting point.

There are no relevant aggravating or mitigating factors to be considered. A fine in the middle of the Penalty Guidelines suggested range for a low-level breach is appropriate.


Mr Telfer is fined the sum of $300.

Decision Date: 23/12/2021

Publish Date: 28/12/2021