Nelson HRC 15 January 2023 – R5 – Don Morrison

ID: RIB14172

Don Morrison - Driver

Mr S Renault Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson

Persons Present:
RIB Stewards Mr Renault, Mr Williams and Mr Sole, and Mr Morrison.

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip free of the rein and with more than a wrist flicking motion.

869(2) - Contravention whip rule - Whip Regulations


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 Don Morrison is fined $400.


Following the running of Race 5, an Information was presented by RIB Steward Mr Shane Renault alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) by Driver Mr Don Morrison.

Mr Morrison confirmed he was conversant with the Rule, understood the charge, and admitted the breach.

Mr Renault played the video replay of the final straight and pointed to Mr Morrison driving his horse with the reins until approximately the 100m, where he drew his whip out of the dustsheet. Mr Renault said from this point, Mr Morrison has struck his horse three times with more than a wrist-flicking motion and driven to the finish with both reins in one hand.

Mr Morrison said in all the times he has driven this horse, he hasn’t used his whip. He said he just got too excited.


The Respondent has admitted the breach and the charge was deemed to be proved.

Submissions on Penalty:

Mr Renault said Mr Morrison has a clear record but this breach is at the least mid-range. He said a warning is not appropriate for this case nor is a suspension as Mr Morrison only drove 7 times last season and has had 2 drives this year.

Mr Renault said Stewards are seeking a fine which the Guidelines provide a starting point of $500.

Mr Morrison said he thought a warning would be sufficient and failing that, a suspension would suffice.

Reasons for Penalty:

Mr Morrison has breached two sections of the Regulations. The first, not using his whip in a wrist-flicking motion, the video clearly shows his whip hand raised above his helmet. Secondly, he has driven from the 100m to the finish with his reins in one hand, twice the allowable distance to consider this breach to be low level.

Mr Morrison has been honest, admitting he just gets too excited and pledged not to carry a whip for this horse again.

The Penalty Guide provides a 2-day suspension or a $500 fine as a starting point for a mid-range breach. The Adjudicative Committee agrees with Mr Renault that a suspension for Mr Morrison would be risible and a fine to be an appropriate penalty.

After considering all factors, a fine of $400 was considered fair and reasonable for Mr Morrison.


Driver Don Morrison is fined $400.

Decision Date: 15/01/2023

Publish Date: 16/01/2023