Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 24 April 2023 – Paul Moseley

ID: RIB19062

Paul Moseley - Trainer

Ms G Murrow - RIB Investigator

Hon J W Gendall KC (Chair), Mr B Mainwaring

Persons Present:
Ms G Murrow, Mr P Moseley, Ms D Moseley - supporting Mr Moseley

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge


340 - Misconduct



Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Wanganui Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Trainer Paul Moseley is fined $1,500

1.  The Informant presented an Information charging Mr P Moseley, a Class B Licensed Trainer, with Misconduct, in breach of Rule 340 on 24 February 2023 at Hawera Racecourse.

2.  The misconduct alleged in the Information was that Mr Moseley “by assaulting fellow Trainer, Karen Buttimore … by grabbing her forcefully between the neck and shoulder area [behaved] in breach of Rule 340 and subject to the general penalties set down in Rule 803(1) of the Rules of Racing”.

3.  Mr Moseley admitted the charge.  He was assisted by his wife Ms D Moseley.

4.  Rule 340 provides:

“A Licensed Person, Owner, Lessee, Racing Manager, Official or other person bound by these Rules must not misconduct himself in any matter relating to the conduct of Races or Racing.”

5.  At the conclusion of the hearing, and after deliberating, the Adjudicative Committee imposed a fine of $1,500.  The Adjudicative Committee now sets out the reasons for their decision.

Essential Facts

6.  Mr P Moseley holds a Class B Trainer’s Licence, and as well as training at Hawera Racecourse, is the Caretaker of that facility.  On 24 February 2023 he was working at the premise attending to his horses.

7.  Ms Buttimore is also a Licensed Trainer, using Hawera Racecourse on which to work horses.  She was then riding a young horse of hers in an enclosure adjacent to the course proper.  Mr Moseley approached Ms Buttimore and told her that he was unhappy about her using this area as it might upset his horses.  Although Ms Buttimore explained that it was only a temporary measure as she was on a young horse and wanted to ensure her safety before moving on the Racecourse proper, Mr Moseley reiterated that he was unhappy for this to occur, so Ms Buttimore (who had been assisted by Trainer Mr B Clement) left the area.

8.  From such small beginnings, matters unfortunately escalated.

9.  Ms Buttimore felt somewhat aggrieved believing that she had been unfairly treated differently to other Licensees, and safety of her young horse was compromised.  So, later, when in the communal tearoom, an argument occurred between Ms Buttimore and Mr Moseley.  At its conclusion, she addressed him as a “yellow belly”.  He left the room, but returned 5 minutes later, then in an agitated and disturbed mood.  The Summary of Facts states that he grabbed Ms Buttimore by the “scruff” of the neck and shoulder.  When she complained that she was being assaulted, Mr Moseley released her and departed.  She was left shaken, but uninjured by what had occurred.  Mr Moseley said to the Adjudicative Committee that he only pushed Ms Buttimore in the upper body, but did not wish a “disputed facts” hearing to follow.  Ms Murrow confirmed that she had statements from Ms Buttimore and an independent bystander (who witnessed the event) which confirmed that Mr Moseley had grabbed her in the neck and shoulder area and forcefully pushed her backwards.  The Adjudicative Committee thinks Mr Moseley has, in retrospect, downplayed what he did.  In any event he has accepted he misconducted himself towards a fellow Licensee.

10.  “Misconduct” is unacceptable or improper behaviour, especially by a professional person.  Mr Moseley has admitted that he misconducted himself.  An application, or attempted application, or threatening to apply force (in certain circumstances) comprises assault.  It may not reach the highest level of seriousness but when it is behaviour by one Licensed Professional towards another similar professional it is wrongful and misconduct.  Mr Moseley, when questioned by the Investigator, said that he “had no intention to hurt her but had reached breaking point with her behaviour.”  He told the Adjudicative Committee that there had been ill feeling for some time, she “was like red rags to a bull and things came to a head … she winds you up.”  Whether or not that was the case, he clearly lost his self control and temper.

11.  Mr Moseley contended that he had “reached breaking point” in his dealings with Ms Buttimore but regretted his loss of control.  He continued to believe there had been improper provocation which led to his actions.


12.  The support provided to Mr Moseley by the letter of the Hawera Racecourse partnership, states somewhat benevolently that it “accepted some responsibility for the altercation by failing to provide adequate training to Mr Moseley around dealing with conflict management”.  We cannot see that that lessens Mr Moseley’s culpability as a Senior longstanding Licensed Professional.  The letter also makes some references, or suggestions of past differences and implies criticism of Ms Buttimore.  The Adjudicative Committee is not able to accept that any criticism of her – even if it were correct – in any way justified the use of force.  Nor does it minimise its seriousness of such use, in any form, by a Licence Holder to another Licensee.

13.  Mr Moseley’s claim – or perhaps it was just inappropriately worded by him – that he had been led to respond because of the past antagonism with Ms Buttimore and the way she spoke to him – is not accepted of excusing or downplaying his actions.  Any argument between them that morning had ended.

14.  It was only when Mr Moseley returned to the room 5 minutes later that he responded as he did.  He had time to “cool off” and it is a reasonable inference that he had worked himself into an angry state.  However Mr Moseley felt about Ms Buttimore – for these or other perceived grievances – may explain why he lost his temper and acted as he did, but it provides no justification for his actions.  As admitted, they were improper and unacceptable of a Licensed Professional Trainer towards another professional of similar status.

15.  Naturally, the outcome of every case of Misconduct will depend on the unique invariable facts.  Whilst this Misconduct of Mr Moseley does not, by far, reach the highest end of the scale, it cannot be regarded as minor.  Any sanction, whilst obviously penalising the offender, must in situations such as this, reflect the vital consideration of deterrence to other Licensed Trainers, who must realise that stern sanctions will follow for abusive Misconduct towards other Professional Trainers as well as those who participate in the Racing Industry.

16.  From a starting point fine of $2,000, the Adjudicative Committee has afforded Mr Moseley a generous discount of 25% to reflect his exemplary record and longstanding respected Licensee in the Code.  The Adjudicative Committee might have given him a small concession for genuine remorse, but (apart from being sorry for the predicament he fell into), his comments to the Adjudicative Committee did not meet that criteria.

17.  Accordingly, Mr Moseley is fined $1,500.  There are no orders as to costs, either to the RIB or the Adjudicative Committee.

Decision Date: 21/04/2023

Publish Date: 28/04/2023