Nelson TC 13 January 2023 – R6 – Sam Thornley

ID: RIB14082

Sam Thornley - Junior Driver

Mr Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson

Persons Present:
RIB Stewards Mr Williams, Mr Renault and Mr Thornley

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Easing the pace abruptly.

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Nelson Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Nelson Racecourse - 358 Lower Queen Street, Nelson, 7020

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Richmond Park Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Sam Thornley is suspended for 3 days.


Following the running of Race 6, an Information was presented by RIB Steward Mr Paul Williams alleging a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) by Junior Driver Mr Sam Thornley.

The detail of the Information was Mr Thornley (PHONE TAP), eased the pace in an abrupt manner rounding the first bend and checking trailing runners.

Mr Williams had Mr Renault identify Mr Thornley in the parked position and pointed to him ease his horse from outside of the leader, ULTIMATE BIRD, in an attempt to slot in behind the trailing horse SPECIALE UNO. Mr Renault showed every horse in the outside line receive some sort of check and as usual in these cases, the concertina effect has a greater bearing on those further back in the field.

Mr Thornley said his horse wasn’t pacing kindly which didn’t help.


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

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Williams said Mr Thornley is now a busy and experienced Junior Driver with 378 drives last season. He said he has one previous breach under the Careless Driving Rule on 2nd January at Omakau where he was suspended for 2 days.

He said the Guideline of a 3-day suspension would be appropriate for Mr Thornley.

Mr Thornley had nothing to add but asked for deferment of any proposed suspension so he could drive at Ashburton on Tuesday.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty start point of a 3-day suspension for a second breach of the Rule within a 6-month period.

The Respondent was given credit for his admission and status as a Junior Driver, but no discount was afforded to Mr Thornley as the consequences of his misjudgment inconvenienced several runners and cost BUDDY REIGN its chance in the race.

Deferment is granted and the Adjudicative Committee, after considering all submissions, finds a 3 -day suspension appropriate in this case.


Accordingly, Mr Thornley’s licence to drive in races is suspended from the conclusion of racing on 17 January 2023 up to and including racing on 25 January 2023.

Decision Date: 13/01/2023

Publish Date: 16/01/2023