Methven TC 29 October 2021 – R6 – John Hay

ID: RIB5531

John Hay - Driver

Mr Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson

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

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

J Hay used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.

869(2) - Contravention whip rule - Whip and Rein Regulations

Not Admitted

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 Hay is suspended for 3 days.


Following the running of Race 6 Stipendiary Steward Mr Paul Williams presented an Information alleging a breach of the Whip Regulations by Driver John Hay, which was denied.

Mr Williams played the race video and identified Mr Hay driving BETTERTHANHOPE racing back in the field on the rail. He alleged from approximately the 350 metres Mr Hay has struck his horse on several occasions with more than a wrist flicking motion. He said the Stewards had no concern with Mr Hay’s drive for the last 200 metres but up until then he was outside of what is required in the Regulations.

Mr Hay stated he was being picked on by the Stewards. He pointed to several other Drivers on the race video which he said looked at least as bad as him. Mr Hay said on a recent trip down south he witnessed many Drivers using their whips outside the Guidelines without receiving penalties. He said his whip action was borderline and felt the charge was a sham.


The Committee after viewing the replay many times could not be convinced Mr Hay’s whip action was borderline. Mr Hay’s defence of the charge is based entirely on his observations of other Drivers which is unhelpful to him and irrelevant to this Information. Mr Hay has clearly engaged his elbow and shoulder into his whip action several times and therefore the charge is found proved.


Mr Williams stated Mr Hay had been suspended on 17th June for 4 days under this Rule. He said Mr Hay was warned on the 17th of this month for his whip action. Mr Williams said this is Mr Hay’s second breach within a six month period and requires a suspension of between 3-5 days. He said the Stewards assessed this breach closer to mid-range than low but recommended a 3-day suspension.

Mr Hay made no submissions on Penalty and no application for deferment.


The Penalty Guidelines provides for a second breach of the Whip Regulations, a suspension of 3 to 5 days, mitigation inclusive.  The Committee assessed this breach at mid-range and would ordinarily impose a 4-day suspension. Drivers were declared for the Kaikoura meeting on Monday so this day could not be included for Mr Hay. Any suspension from this juncture will, unfortunately, include NZ Cup day and the Committee considers a 3-day suspension an appropriate Penalty in this case.


Mr Hay’s Licence to drive is suspended from the 5th November to the 11th November 2021 inclusive.

Decision Date: 29/10/2021

Publish Date: 01/11/2021