Manawatu RC 26 December, 2021 – R7 – Request for a Ruling – HA’PENNY BRIDGE

ID: RIB6612


N Goodwin Stipendiary Steward

N Moffatt

Persons Present:
Mr K Coppins Stipendiary Steward, Ms K Hercock Rider of HA'PENNY BRIDGE, Mr Gary Philips, Starter

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

632(1) - Riding/driving infringement - Fair start ruling

Request for Ruling:
Did HA'PENNY BRIDGE receive a fair start

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Manawatu Race Club

Race Location:
Awapuni Racing Centre - 67 Racecourse Road, Awapuni, Palmerston North, 4412

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Awapuni racecourse

Outcome: Not Proved

Penalty: HA'PENNY BRIDGE was declare a starter


Following the running of Race 7, Stipendiary Steward, Mr Goodwin lodged an Information requesting a Ruling pursuant to Rules 918(1) and 632(1) to establish whether HA’PENNY BRIDGE received a fair start.

HA’PENNY BRIDGE did not finish in the first four placings.

The basis for the request was due to HA’PENNY BRIDGE being slow to leave its barrier and consequently it lost considerable ground at the start.

Rule 632(1) provides “If, in the opinion of the Judicial Committee, a horse which does not finish in the first four placing’s was prevented from taking an effective part in a race owing to the mechanical failure of starting stalls, or is denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse (but not where the horse is slow away of its own accord), the Judicial Committee may declare such horse to be a non-starter.”

Submission for Decision:

Using the head-on race film, Mr Goodwin demonstrated the start of the race. He said despite the barrier attendant being up with HA’PENNY BRIDGE and holding its ear it was clearly the horse’s fault it was slow away.

The Rider, Ms K Hercock said that her horse had tried to flip over in the gates and she had asked the barrier attendant to hold its ear in an effort to get it to settle. It then reared immediately before the gates opened.

The Starter, Mr Gary Philips said the attendant was only there because the horse was playing up and his job was to assist with settling the horse.

Reasons for Decision:

The Adjudicator carefully considered the submissions presented and reviewed the  camera angle of the Race start.

HA’PENNY BRIDGE was slow to leave the barrier and lost significant ground. There was no evidence of a mechanical fault to do with the starting gates but rather the horse was slow to leave of its own accord because it reared up just prior to the gates opening. While an attendant was holding the horse’s ear at the time, he was only doing so because HA’PENNY BRIDGE had been behaving in an agitated manner and he was attempting to settle the horse. The Adjudicator was satisfied that the Starting Attendant’s actions were not the cause of the horse being slow away.


Accordingly, under the provisions of the Rule the Adjudicative Committee was of the opinion that  although HA’PENNY BRIDGE began slowly it was the fault of the horse and its behaviour issues in the starting gates. The horse was declared a runner and the payment of dividends was authorised.



Decision Date: 26/12/2021

Publish Date: 27/12/2021