Methven TC 29 January 2023 – R1 – John Morrison

ID: RIB15028

John Morrison - Driver

Chief RIB Steward - Mr Steve Mulcay

Dave Anderson

Persons Present:
Mr Mulcay, Mr Paul Williams - RIB Steward and Mr Morrison

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving shifting ground outwards

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement - Careless Driving


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Methven Trotting Club

Race Location:
Methven Racecourse - 47 Mount Hutt Station Road, Methven, 7782

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Mt Harding Racecourse, Methven.

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver John Morrison is suspended for 2 days

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 1, the Respondent Mr John Morrison admitted a breach of Rule 869 (3)(b); namely that he allowed his horse to shift outwards over the final stages causing interference to an outside runner.

The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Mulcay identified the horses involved in the incident namely, MIGHTY LOGAN driven by John Morrison, and VIRGINIA CLOWERS driven by Robbie Close.   He said that in the final 200m, Mr Morrison hasn’t done enough to maintain a straight line which resulted in interference with VIRGINIA CLOWERS. Mr Mulcay estimated MIGHTY LOGAN has shifted at least 2 sulky widths in the final furlong.

In explanation, the Respondent stated his horse was running away from a rein burr and despite his efforts to correct it, he conceded he had breached the Rule.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.

Submission for Penalty:

Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Mulcay produced the Respondent’s record which indicated a clear record.  The Respondent has had 72 drives in the current season, which Mr Mulcay said shows Mr Morrison is a very busy Driver.

In mitigation, Mr Mulcay said that the Respondent freely admitted the breach and combined with his excellent driving record, should be afforded credit.

Mr Mulcay added that Stewards assessed the breach as low level and a suspension of 2 days would be an appropriate penalty.

The Respondent submitted a 2-day suspension would cost him at least $2000. He said he didn’t require deferment of penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 10-drive suspension or $500 fine.

After taking into account the submissions of both the Applicant and Respondent; noting the race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as low level, however, the consequences of the breach have resulted in a protest against his horse being upheld and a 3-day suspension is taken as the starting point.

The Respondent was given credit for his good record and admission of the breach, resulting in a 1-day reduction from the starting point.

After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 2-day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.


The Respondent, Mr John Morrison’s licence to drive in races is suspended from the conclusion of racing today, up to and including racing on the 3rd of February 2023.

Decision Date: 29/01/2023

Publish Date: 30/01/2023