NZ Metro TC 10 December 2021 – R3 – David McCormick

ID: RIB6272

Respondent(s):
David McCormick - Driver

Applicant:
Nigel McIntyre, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Information Number:
A13328

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Using whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion

Rule(s):
869 (2) and Whip and Rein Regulations - Whip Rules

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Maui

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
10/12/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Race Number:
R3

Hearing Date:
10/12/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, David McCormick, suspended 3 days.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Driver, David McCormick, was charged following Race 3, Johnnie Walker Three-Year-Old Trot, that as the Driver for MAUI in the race, he used his whip in the run home with more than a wrist only flicking motion.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr McIntyre showed a video replay of the final 200 metres of the race. He pointed out MAUI, driven by Mr McCormick, racing in the trail behind the leader, ROYAL PRIDE, as the field turned into the home straight. Mr McCormick then took the passing lane and, shortly thereafter, commenced using his whip. Mr McIntyre pointed out four strikes which, he said, were “too big”.

Mr McCormick said that the breach was not intentional. He said, that after his last couple of drives, he was making sure that he did not use the whip free of the rein, as he had been fined for that recently, and ensuring that he did not do that again. While thinking about that, he had overlooked the other requirements of the Whip Rules, he said.

The Committee noted that MAUI finished in 6th placing in the 7-horse field, 6 1/2 lengths from the winner.

REASON FOR DECISION:

Mr McCormick has admitted the charge, which is found proved accordingly.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr McIntyre said that Mr McCormick had been fined on 20 November 2021 (at Timaru HRC, fined $200) for using his whip free of the rein. The present breach was, therefore, a second offence for which the Penalty Guidelines provided a starting point of a 3-days suspension, Mr McIntyre said.

Mr McCormick said that he would take any suspension to commence immediately.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

This is a low-level breach – when a Driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style. This breach fits within that definition of a low-level breach. There were only four non-compliant strikes and none was delivered with any particular force. There are no relevant aggravating or mitigating factors. The 3-days suspension starting point is an appropriate penalty in this case.

The Committee noted that Mr McCormick has had 27 drives in the current extended season.

CONCLUSIONS:

Driver, David McCormick is suspended for 3 days – from after racing on 10 December 2021 up to and including 23 December 2021. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are NZ Metropolitan TC on 17 December, Rangiora HRC on 19 December and Ashburton TC on 23 December.

Decision Date: 10/12/2021

Publish Date: 13/12/2021