Manawatu HRC 21 November 2023 – R4 – Stephen Doody

ID: RIB29940

Stephen Doody - Driver

Mr Matt Sole - Stipendiary Steward

Mr Bruce Mainwaring

Persons Present:
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Doody

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Contravention of the Whip and Rein Regulations

869(2) - Riding/driving infringement - Whip and Rein Regulations


Animal Name:
Bettor Gruntor


Race Date:

Race Club:
Manawatu Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Manawatu Raceway - Pioneer Highway, Palmerston North,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Manawatu Raceway, Pioneer Highway Palmerston North

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Stephen Doody is suspended 2 days


Following the running of Race 4, the ‘Mad Butcher Wairarapa Cup Mobile Pace’, an Information was lodged alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) and the Whip and Rein Regulations. Details of the Information are as follow:

‘ in that he used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion early in the run home’

Mr Doody conveyed that he understood the Rule and admitted the breach.

Rule 869(2) provides ‘ No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Whip and Rein Regulations made by the Board’. The Regulations remain specific in respect of definition.


Using available film, Stewards identified the incident. Approaching the home turn, BETTOR GRUNTOR is parked 3-4 wide and is looking to improve. Mr Doody is seen to to strike his drive on 3 occasions with his elbow and shoulder raised. Mr Doody agreed with the Stewards’ interpretation.


As the charge was admitted, it was found proved.

Penalty Submissions:

Stewards outlined Mr Doody’s record as it relates to this Rule and related Regulations. He had received a warning in relation to whip use at the Manawatu HRC Meeting on 23rd October 2023. Stewards remained of the view that on this occasion, the breach was low level and referred the Adjudicative Committee to the current Penalty Guide. Mr Doody did not offer specific comment, but asked that if a suspension was imposed, it be deferred until after the Manawatu HRC Meeting on 23rd November 2023.

Reasons for Penalty:

Film provided clearly identifies the offence. The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the offence was low level given that following the strikes, Mr Doody corrected his actions and drove to the line in a compliant manner.  In this circumstance, current Guidelines provide for penalty of a $300 fine or 2 days suspension.  A suspension of 2 days is deemed appropriate.


Mr Doody’s Licence to drive is suspended from the close of racing on 23rd November 2023, up to and including 14th December 2023. Such suspension incorporates Manawatu HRC meetings on 12th December 2023 and 14th December 2023.

Decision Date: 21/11/2023

Publish Date: 22/11/2023