Ashburton TC 26 February 2022 – R3 – Blair Orange

ID: RIB7570

Blair Orange - Driver

Nigel McIntyre, Manager of Stewards

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Sulky protruding inside marker line

869(7A)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


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, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Blair Orange suspended 1 day.


Following the running of Race 3, Rural Business Accountants Mobile Pace, the Respondent Driver, Blair Orange, admitted a breach of Rule 869(7A)(b) – namely, that he allowed his runner, RUBY’S A DELIGHT, to protrude inside a track marker at the 250 metres point.

The Respondent endorsed the Information “I do admit the breach of the Rule” . Mr McIntyre requested, on the Respondent’s behalf, that the Respondent’s attendance at the hearing be dispensed with, as he had drives in all but one of the remaining races at the meeting.

Rule 869(7A)(b) provides:

Every driver who moves inwards shall ensure that any part of the sulky does not protrude inside the marker line.

Using available video footage, Manager of Stewards, Mr McIntyre, identified the horse involved in the incident, namely, RUBY’S A DELIGHT, racing 3-places back on the markers as the field approached the home turn. Mr McIntyre pointed out that, into the straight, Mr Orange shifted off the back of THE PEACEMAKER (Gavin Smith), which had been trailing the leader and shifted outwards, and had anticipated a run coming sooner than it did. The inside wheel of his sulky went well over a track marker, he said. This was clearly visible from the video replay.

Mr McIntyre said that Mr Orange’s runner had gained no advantage whatsoever and Stewards had elected not to lodge a protest. RUBY’S A DELIGHT finished in 3rd placing, 1 1/2 lengths in front of the 4th placed runner.


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


Mr McIntyre said that the Respondent had been fined $300 for a breach of the same Rule only the previous day at Invercargill, where his runner finished 2nd and was disqualified. He referred to the Penalty Guide starting point for a breach of the Rule of a 4-drives suspension or a $200 fine. Stewards were submitting for a suspension of 1 day, given the very recent previous breach, Mr McIntyre said. Mr Orange drives at every meeting, he said, so a suspension of 1 day could amount to an up to 10-drives suspension.

The Respondent had requested a deferment of any suspension until after Friday, 4 March next, Mr McIntyre said.


The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 4-drives suspension or a $200 fine. A suspension is appropriate, given that this is the Respondent’s second breach within a very short space of time. He is a very busy Driver and any period of suspension, on this occasion, cannot exceed one day. The breach is low-level.

After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 1-day suspension to be the appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.


The Respondent’s application for a deferment is granted. His licence is suspended from after the close of racing on Friday, 4 March next up to and including Sunday, 6 March. The 1-day suspension involved will be the meeting of Hororata TC at Methven on 6 March next.

Decision Date: 26/02/2022

Publish Date: 28/02/2022