Forbury Park TC 21 March 2022 – R3 – Sam Thornley

ID: RIB8159

Sam Thornley - Junior Driver

Mr McIntyre, Stipendiary Steward

Geoff Hall

Persons Present:
Mr Brent Barclay

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Excessive use of the whip

869(2) - Contravention whip rule



Race Date:

Race Club:
Forbury Park Trotting Club

Race Location:
Wingatui Racecourse - 285 Gladstone Road North, Mosgiel, Dunedin,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Sam Thornley fined $300

Mr McIntyre alleged that Mr Thornley used his whip in a continuous manner throughout the home straight in Race 3.

Summary of facts

Mr McIntyre identified the Respondent’s horse on the video and demonstrated that Mr Thornley commenced using the whip early in the run home and continued to use the whip for some 200 metres.

Mr Thornley explained that the length of the Wingatui straight had caught him out and had started using the whip too soon.

Mr Barclay emphasised that the Respondent was a Junior Driver and this was his first breach. At the time he used the whip Mr Thornley would have thought that he had a good chance of winning the race.


As Mr Thornley has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Penalty submissions

Mr McIntyre produced the Respondent’s record.  Mr Thornley had 258 drives last season and has had 70 this. He has never previously been charged under the Whip Rule. Mr McIntyre described the breach as mid-range and sought a penalty of around $300.

Mr Thornley said he was a Junior Driver with a good record and asked that this be taken into account.


The breach is mid-range in that the Respondent has used his whip in a continuous fashion for some 200 metres. While the strikes are not forceful, there are simply too many. The starting point in the Penalty Guide is a fine of $500.

Taking into account Mr Thornley’s status as a Junior Driver, his excellent record both under this Rule and generally, and his admission of the breach, he is fined the sum of $300 and reminded of his obligations with respect to the Whip Rule.

Decision Date: 21/03/2022

Publish Date: 22/03/2022