Geraldine TC 9 December 2023 – R11 – Sheree Tomlinson

ID: RIB30529

Sheree Tomlinson - Driver

Stipendiary Steward - Mr Shane Renault

Dave Anderson

Persons Present:
Stipendiary Steward - Mr Shane Renault and Ms Tomlinson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Starting in advance of her correct barrier position

859(2) - Riding/driving infringement - Start Regulations

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Geraldine Trotting Club

Race Location:
Orari Racecourse - Orari Station Road, Orari, 7992

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Orari Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Sheree Tomlinson is suspended for 2 days


Following the running of Race 11, Stipendiary Steward Mr Shane Renault presented an Information alleging a breach of Rule 859(2) by Driver Ms Sheree Tomlinson.

Ms Tomlinson stated she was conversant with the Rule and the Charge and confirmed she did not admit the breach.

Rule 859(2) provides:

(2) No driver shall permit a horse to start, and no horse shall start other than from its correct barrier position or in advance of its correct barrier position (either at a standing, mobile, or moving start), unless directed by the Starter.

Mr Renault played the videos of the start of the race to show ZSA ZOE approximately 1 length in front of its correct barrier position on the front line as the race started. Mr Renault reminded the hearing, ZSA ZOE had been disqualified and subsequently late scratched from the race because of this fact. He said it was a matter of strict liability for any Driver to ensure they didn’t start in advance of their correct position.

Ms Tomlinson said she was unsure when or whether this Rule would be applied. She said her horse had become agitated and thought as she had taken the barrier strand with her for a distance, it may have been a false start.


The Adjudicative Committee carefully considered all the evidence and viewed the videos many times.  Ms Tomlinson was a victim of the circumstances with most Drivers trying to anticipate the start. Ms Tomlinson had drawn one on the front line and much of her opposition were in various states of misbehaviour. As the Starter called the field forward, several charged the barrier including Ms Tomlinson’s. Unfortunately for Ms Tomlinson, her drive was disqualified and as such, it was ultimately up to her, not to allow her horse to walk or jog forward of its starting position, “strict liability”.


The Charge was found to be proved.


Mr Renault said this is a very rare charge and obviously Mr Tomlinson has a clear record. He said the Penalty Guidelines have a 3-day suspension starting point for a breach of this Rule.

Ms Tomlinson made no submissions, but asked to have any proposed suspension start immediately.


The Penalty Guidelines provide a 3-day suspension for a breach of this Rule.

Ms Tomlinson has misjudged the start; however, the video shows clearly, at the juncture of the start, Ms Tomlinson has tried to restrain ZSA ZOE as her horse pushed into the barrier, which the Adjudicative Committee acknowledges. However, the Rule is very clear, it is in the Driver’s hands, as are the reins.

There are no aggravating factors to consider but in mitigation, the Adjudicative Committee can afford Ms Tomlinson a day’s discount for the circumstances she found herself in.


Driver Ms Sheree Tomlinson’s Licence to drive in races is suspended from the conclusion of racing on 10 December 2023, up to and including racing on 15 December 2023.

Decision Date: 09/12/2023

Publish Date: 11/12/2023