Marlborough HRC 21 January 2024 – R4 – John Dunn

ID: RIB38006

John Robert Dunn - Driver

Matt Sole - Stipendiary Steward

Stewart Ching (Chair)

Persons Present:
Matt Sole - Stipendiary Steward, John Dunn - Open Driver

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Breach of Whip Rule

869(2) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Marlborough Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Waterlea Racecourse - Mclauchlan Street, Springlands, Blenheim, 7201

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver John Dunn is fined $300

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 4, the Respondent Open Driver John Dunn admitted a breach of Whip Rule 869(2).  The particulars of the charge are that when driving JUDINE, he used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home. 

Rule 869 provides that:

(2) No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board.

Stipendiary Steward Matt Sole used available video footage to demonstrate the breach. He pointed out Mr Dunn driving JUDINE racing midtrack after the field turned for home. Mr Sole showed that Mr Dunn drew his whip, using it on 4 to 5 occasions. He added that Mr Dunn promptly returned back to a compliant style of whip use for the remainder of the race.

Mr Dunn concurred with the Stewards’ evidence. 


The charge is admitted and therefore proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Sole produced the Respondent’s record which indicated a clear record. He stated that Mr Dunn was a busy Driver with 55 drives to date this season and 763 drives last season. Mr Sole said that Mr Dunn had received a warning for use of the whip with more than a flicking motion, on the first day of the Marlborough Meeting on 19 January 2024.

Mr Sole said that Stewards assessed the breach to be low-level and as per the Penalty Guide, submitted that a fine of $300 be considered as penalty.

Mr Dunn submitted that he would prefer a fine as penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

After consideration of the evidence and submissions from all parties concerned and viewing the race films of the concluding stages of the race, the Adjudicative Committee also assessed the breach as low-level.

The Penalty Guide provides a $300 fine or 2-day suspension starting point for a breach of this Rule as a first offence.

It was determined that there were no aggravating factors to consider, therefore no uplift was warranted.

After taking consideration of all factors, the Adjudicative Committee deemed a $300 fine to be an appropriate penalty.


The Respondent is fined the sum of $300.

Decision Date: 21/01/2024

Publish Date: 23/01/2024