Methven TC 10 October 2021 – R8 (heard 5 November 2021 at Rangiora) – Stephen McNally

ID: RIB5529

Stephen McNally - Driver

Mr Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson

Persons Present:
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward and Mr McNally

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Without the permission of the Starter you turned CRANBOURNE out of line which caused a delay to the start.

857(7)(a) - Other - Delaying the Start.

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Methven Trotting Club

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Rangiora Raceway

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Stephen McNally is suspended for 2 days.


This Information arising from the running of the Methven Cup raced at the Orari Racecourse on 10th October 2021 was filed and adjourned sine die and heard at the Rangiora Racecourse 5th November 2021.


The Information was presented by Stipendiary Steward Mr Paul Williams alleging a breach of Rule 857(7)(a) by Driver Mr Stephen McNally which was denied.

Mr Williams with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward Mr Shane Renault identified Mr McNally driving CRANBOURNE who was drawn 5 on the front line of the race. He pointed to Mr McNally drive his horse up to the barrier and stand correctly. The videos from the side and front on showed several horses showing various traits of rearing, swinging sideways, or backing up. Mr Williams said the concern of the Stewards was Mr McNally has taken upon himself to turn his horse away from the barrier without any instruction from the Starter to do so.

Mr McNally described the start as a debacle with Drivers yelling at horses and the Starter. He said the horses misbehaving were to blame for the race to be delayed not him.

Mr McNally called Driver Mr John Dunn, who was drawn next to CRANBOURNE, to give evidence and was asked to give his assessment of the pre-start. Mr Dunn described the prestart as a shambles. He said it would have been prudent for the Starter to ask the Drivers to turn and go around again.

Mr McNally said it was impossible to hear the Starter with Drivers and Starter’s Assistants all yelling at once.


The Committee considered all the evidence, videos, and opinions and understand the reasons Mr McNally decided to turn his horse out of line. This decision, although in the best interest of CRANBOURNE, was not Mr McNally’s to make. Those decisions at the start of a race are completely in the hands of the Starter. Mr McNally’s actions have delayed the start and the charge was found proved.


Mr Williams stated the Penalty Guidelines for this Rule is a 6 drive suspension or a $300 fine. He said Mr McNally would prefer a suspension over a fine. He said Mr McNally is a busier Driver at this time of year and Stewards were seeking a suspension of not less than 2 days.

Mr McNally made no submissions on Penalty but asked for deferment of suspension until after Cup week.


The Committee agrees with the Stewards.  Mr McNally is in more demand at this time of the year and find a 2-day suspension is appropriate in this case.

Mr McNally’s request for deferment is granted pursuant to Rule 1304(b)(ii).


Mr McNally’s License is suspended from the 17 November to the 20 November 2021 inclusive. Meetings encompassed in the suspension are Rangiora 17th and Timaru 20th.

Decision Date: 05/11/2021

Publish Date: 08/11/2021