Methven TC 10 September 2023 – R1 – John Versteeg
Methven Trotting Club
Methven Racecourse - 47 Mount Hutt Station Road, Methven, 7782
Penalty: Driver John Versteeg - 2 Day Suspension
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 3, the Respondent John Versteeg, admitted a breach of Whip Rule 869(2) and the Whip & Rein Regulations.
The particulars of the charge are that when driving PENELOPE HALL, 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.
Regulation 3.1 reads as follows;
- USE OF THE WHIP
3.1 A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.
Stipendiary Steward Matthew Sole, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward Shane Renault, used available video footage to demonstrate the alleged breach. Mr Renault pointed out Mr Butt use his whip in more than a wrist flicking motion on 4 occasions in the home run, before reverting back to a more compliant style over the concluding stages of the race.
The Respondent elected to make no submissions in regard to the breach.
As Mr Versteeg has admitted the breach, it is therefore found proved.
Submissions for Penalty:
Mr Sole stated that Mr Versteeg was warned regarding use of his whip at Addington on 13 July 2023, for more than a wrist flicking motion. He stated that this breach was low-level and with the Penalty Guide providing a 2-day suspension or $300 fine starting point for a low-range initial breach, he submitted that a $300 fine or 2 day suspension be considered as penalty.
The Respondent submitted that a suspension was his preferred penalty, with any suspension beginning as soon as possible.
Reasons for Penalty:
After consideration of the evidence from all parties concerned and viewing the race films of the concluding stages of the race, the Adjudicative Committee agreed with the Stewards and assessed the breach as low-level.
The Penalty Guide provides a 2-day suspension or $300 fine as a starting point for an initial breach of this Rule.
With consideration that this was Mr Versteeg’s first offence, that the breach was low level and there were no aggravating factors to consider, it was determined that a suspension as per the Penalty Guide was an appropriate penalty in this case.
The Respondent is suspended for 2 days from the conclusion of racing today, 10 September, up to and including 17 September 2023. Relevant meetings encompassed in this period are Addington – 15 September and Oamaru – 17 September 2023.
Decision Date: 10/09/2023
Publish Date: 11/09/2023