Invercargill HRC 2 September 2021 – R4 – Craig Ferguson

ID: RIB4394

Respondent(s):
Craig Ferguson - Driver

Applicant:
Mr V Munro (Stipendiary Steward)

Adjudicators:
Mr Nigel Skelt

Persons Present:
Mr V Munro, Miss R Hayley (Stipendiary Steward), Mr M Davidson

Information Number:
A16002

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Careless Driving

Rule(s):
869(3)(b)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Over The Odds

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
02/09/2021

Race Club:
Invercargill Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Ascot Park Raceway - 29 Findlay Road, Ascot, Invercargill, 9810

Race Number:
R4

Hearing Date:
02/09/2021

Hearing Location:
Ascot Park

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Craig Ferguson was suspended for 2 days

EVIDENCE:

At the conclusion of Race 4 the Nevele R Stud Mobile Pace 2200m an Information (A16002) was lodged by Stipendiary Steward Mr V Munro alleging that Mr Craig Ferguson (Over The Odds) drove carelessly when shifting ground outwards checking the outside runner Black Jack Road (Mr A Beck).

Mr Ferguson admitted the breach and stated that he understood the Rule and was present at the hearing.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Munro used several video clips to demonstrate the incident highlighting Miss Barclay (Boo) moving outwards pushing Mr Beck (Black Jack Road) outwards slightly and in turn Miss Barron (Fleeting Major). Mr Ferguson has attempted to come out when there was insufficient room checking Black Jack Road who then broke and lost all chance.

Mr Ferguson confirmed Mr Munro’s summation of the events and stated that he had made an error of judgement and that he should have moved sooner which would have avoided the situation that occurred.

REASON FOR DECISION:

As Mr Ferguson has admitted the breach the charge was found proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Munro stated that Mr Ferguson had an excellent record over the past 12 months, his current lifetime drives are 2743 and last season 260 and currently this season 2. Mr Munro stated that the Penalty Guide suggests a starting point of a 10 drive suspension, Mr Munro acknowledged that Mr Ferguson had admitted the breach, however an aggravating factor was that Black Jack Road has had his chances extinguished.

Mr Ferguson stated that he had 15 horses in work as a Trainer and that many of them were getting ready for race day appearances. He confirmed that over the last 2 meetings he had had 8 drives at the Gore Harness meeting on 12th August 2021 and at today’s meeting he had 4 drives.

Mr Munro accepted that it was reasonable to assume that Mr Ferguson would have up to 4-5 drives per race day.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

After considering the submissions the Committee took into account Mr Ferguson’s excellent record and early admission of the charge and gave him credit for this, however Black Jack Road had its chances extinguished from the event which was a considerable aggravating factor in fixing penalty.

CONCLUSIONS:

A suspension at the middle end of the scale is appropriate. Mr Ferguson is suspended from the conclusion of racing on Thursday 2nd September 2021 up to including the Invercargill Harness meeting (2 days).

Decision Date: 02/09/2021

Publish Date: 06/09/2021