Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 9 December 2022 – Zev Meredith

ID: RIB14645

Zev Meredith - Junior Driver

Mr S Mulcay – Stipendiary Steward

Mr N McCutcheon

Persons Present:
Mr Mulcay, Mr Meredith, Mr P Ferguson assisting Mr Meredith, Mr A Dooley – Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

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

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc

Race Location:
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Cambridge Raceway

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Zev Meredith is suspended for 7 days


On 13 October 2022 at the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Meeting, Stewards opened and adjourned an inquiry into an incident in Race 6.

On 11 November 2022 an Information was filed with the Adjudicative Committee charging Mr Meredith with Careless Driving.

Due to Mr Meredith, who is a Junior Driver, not being assisted by a Senior Driver or Employer, Mr Branch (Legal Counsel for Mr Meredith) wished to withdraw the “Admission” and proceed to a defended hearing.

Accordingly, leave was granted by the Adjudicative Committee to Mr Meredith to withdraw his admission and a denial to the charge was recorded.

A date for the hearing was set down for prior to racing on 1 December 2022 at the Cambridge Raceway.

Information No A11114 alleged as follows:

In that he (Mr Meredith) drove carelessly approaching the 1000m by persisting in strongly  restraining his runner which has caused the mare (SUPER SALLY) to choke down and fall into the sulky of “BAD MEDICINE” (T Mitchell) which lost all chance near the 900m, with resultant interference to all trailing runners.

Mr Meredith said that he understood the Rule and Charge.


Mr Mulcay said that he would be calling three witnesses; Mr Dooley, Mr T Mitchell and Mr J Teaz.

Mr Dooley, with the assistance of the films, said that “SUPER SALLY” began well from barrier 1 and in the early stages was firmly restrained.  He said that with 1600m to travel, “SUPER SALLY” was over-racing.  He said approaching the 1200m, Mr D Butcher (BROOKIES JAFFA) improved 3-wide around the field.

Mr Dooley said that Mr Meredith looked out, saw D Butcher improving on the outside and that Mr Meredith firmly restrained his horse and was lying back in the sulky.  He said D Butcher got to the front, and near the 900m “SUPER SALLY” choked down, shifted out and ran into “BAD MEDICINE” (T Mitchell) who was tipped out of the sulky with other horses interfered with.

Mr Dooley said that “SUPER SALLY” ran out of air by over-racing and going fiercely and choked down.

Mr Dooley said that Mr Meredith lost control of his destiny when handing up the lead.

In answer to questions from Mr Ferguson, who was assisting Mr Meredith, Mr Dooley said that early in the race “HESASHORETHING” was briefly over-racing and that there were possibly other ways a horse could choke down other than over-racing.

Mr Ferguson asked Mr Mulcay, does Mr Meredith drive with his hands too far back?

Mr Mulcay replied yes, he does.

Mr Ferguson went on to say that he has driven “SUPER SALLY” three times and she never looked like choking down.

Mr Mitchell, the Driver of “BAD MEDICINE”, said that he had a crack for the lead on two occasions but “SUPER SALLY” was racing fiercely so he backed off quickly.  He said at the 1200m, D Butcher came round in search of the lead.  He said Mr Meredith was pulling hard on his drive to let Mr Butcher go to the front.  He said he (Mr Meredith) pulled its head down and his drive choked down and caused carnage.

He said that he could see Mr Meredith’s horse “SUPER SALLY” get the wobbles and collapse.  Mr Mitchell said that you do not pull back to let another horse go to the front if you are already racing fiercely.  He said that you let the horse run along and relax.  He said that it was an error of judgement and lack of experience.  He said Mr Meredith should not have pulled back as he did to let another horse go.

In answer to Mr Ferguson, Mr Mitchell said Mr Meredith drove with his hands well back on the reins and had very little control.  He said that he should have had his hands further up the reins, he would have more control and be able to place more leverage on the reins.

In answer to a question from the Applicant, Mr Mitchell said that Mr Meredith should have let his horse run.

Mr J Teaz, the Trainer of “SUPER SALLY” said that it was not a pleasant race to watch.  He said that his instruction was to give up the lead early.  He said at the 1200m, his horse was racing quite keenly.  He said that when Mr Butcher came round, he turned the whip and went on to the front.  At that time, Mr Meredith was hanging out the back of his sulky trying to steady his horse.   He said that being heavily restrained caused her (SUPER SALLY) to fall.  He said that he attended his horse on the track where the fall happened and his horse still had the tongue strap on so it did not swallow its tongue.  He said that after viewing the films, he did not think that he (Mr Meredith) could hand up the lead.

In answer to Mr Ferguson’s questions, Mr Teaz said Mr Meredith did try to drive to instructions and was surprised that she fell, saying she has been keen before but has never choked down.  He said Mr Meredith did his best.

Mr Meredith said that “SUPER SALLY” ran the gate, said that he took a hold to let another horse take the lead, but this Driver bailed out.  He said that Mr Mitchell had a go but he restrained quickly also.  He said that his horse then relaxed a little.  Mr Meredith said that when Mr Butcher came round he (Mr Butcher), pulled  the stick and removed the hood and went on to the front.  He said he then intended to trail and find a helmet to follow.  He said that his horse did not show that she was going to choke as there was not any gurgling noise.  He said that he knew something was wrong 20 metres before she went down.

Mr Mulcay did not have questions of Mr Meredith.


To summarise, Mr Mulcay said that Mr Meredith erred by over-restraining his horse from the 1200m when letting another runner take the lead.  He said that Mr Meredith over-restrained for approximately 250m and that his horse choked down and caused severe interference.  He believed that he (Mr Meredith) should have let his horse run along.

Mr Ferguson said that he has driven “SUPER SALLY” three times on raceday and she never indicated she would choke down.  He said that Mr Meredith drives with his hands well back and restrained severely.  He said that it was harsh to charge a Junior Driver for something out of his control.  He added that it was the first time he had heard of someone being charged with choking down a horse.


The Adjudicative Committee found that “SUPER SALLY” over-raced in the early part of the race and more so when briefly challenged for the lead.

Near the 1200m, Mr Butcher “BROOKIES JAFFA” challenged hard for the lead, with Mr Meredith severely restraining his horse to allow Mr Butcher to cross over to the lead near the 1000m.

“SUPER SALLY” had been under severe restraint from the 1200m and near the 950m choked down, fell outwards into Mr Mitchell’s sulky, which resulted in Mr Mitchell being tipped from his sulky with substantial interference to several trailing runners who were put out of the race.

It was the Adjudicative Committee’s firm belief that the reason for “SUPER SALLY” choking down was due to being restrained so severely for approximately 250m.


The charge was proved.


Mr Mulcay said that Mr Meredith has had 216 drives for 22 wins with three suspensions.

He said there were aggravating factors in that several runners were put out of the race.

He said at the recent Addington Cup Meeting a more Senior Driver was suspended for one month for causing a fall.

He said taking into account of Mr Meredith’s Junior status, he recommended a one month suspension be imposed.  This would be 9 driving days.

Mr Meredith asked for a deferment until after 8 December 2022.

Mr Ferguson said that there were mitigating factors in that “SUPER SALLY” is difficult to drive and that Mr Meredith is a Junior Driver.


The Adjudicative Committee gave due consideration to all matters in relation to penalty and determined that a 7-driving day suspension was a condign penalty.


Mr Meredith’s Junior Driver’s Licence was suspended from 8 December 2022 to 4 January 2023 inclusive.

Decision Date: 09/12/2022

Publish Date: 18/01/2023