Auckland TC 5 November 2021 – R5 – James Stormont

ID: RIB5799

Respondent(s):
James Stormont - Driver

Applicant:
Adrian John Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Bryan Scott

Information Number:
A16359

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Using Whip free of the Reins and then using the Whip with more than a Wrist Flicking Motion in the run home

Rule(s):
869(2) and Whip and Rein Regulations

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
FOREVER A DANCER

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
05/11/2021

Race Club:
Auckland Trotting Club

Race Location:
Alexandra Park - Cnr Greenlane West & Manukau Road Greenlane, Auckland, 1051

Race Number:
R5

Hearing Date:
05/11/2021

Hearing Location:
Alexandra Park Auckland

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver James Stormont was fined $450.00

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Driver James Stormont used his whip free of the reins passing the 150 metres mark and used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.

EVIDENCE:

Mr Dooley demonstrated the incident using the available race films. He showed where Mr Stormont had his horse down on the inside in the run home and he showed where Mr Stormont gave his horse 2 or 3 “backhanders” and for the remainder of the run home he showed where Mr Stormont used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion.

Mr Stormont in reply said that he got excited and he thought he was going to win the race and he said that it had been a long time since he won a $20,000.00 race. He did however agree with Mr Dooley’s evidence and accordingly has admitted the charge.

REASON FOR DECISION:

The charge is admitted

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Dooley said that Mr Stormont had a good record under this Rule. He also said that the Starting Point penalty was either 2 day suspension or a $500.00 fine.

Mr Stormont said he preferred a fine because he needed to keep driving to earn an income and also he had 3 horses in work who would be starting in the next week or two. He also said he thought that the starting point fine was too harsh.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The Adjudicator pointed out to Mr Stormont that there were essentially 2 different elements to the charge but despite this he was only facing one charge.

The Adjudicator also pointed out to Mr Stormont that excessive use of the whip is essentially an Animal Welfare matter and Drivers must be very careful to comply with the Rules.

The Adjudicator further advised him that as Adjudicators we have the benefit of Penalty Schedules which give details of penalties imposed on other Drivers around the country. The Adjudicator advised him that they needed to be consistent with other penalties.

Finally in reaching their decision as to penalty the Adjudicator was concerned at not only Mr Stormont’s action in his use of the whip but also the number of strikes which they considered to be excessive.

AGGRAVATING FACTORS:

Mr Stormont’s whip action and the number of strikes.

MITIGATING FACTORS:

Mr Stormont has a good record.

CONCLUSIONS:

After weighing up the aggravating and mitigating factors the Adjudicator has decided to impose a fine on Mr Stormont but will give him a small discount.

The Adjudicator therefore imposes a fine of $450.00 on Mr Stormont.

Decision Date: 05/11/2021

Publish Date: 16/11/2021