NZ Metro TC 13 August 2021 – R5 – John Dunn

ID: RIB4124

Respondent(s):
John Dunn - Driver

Applicant:
Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Information Number:
A16113

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Unapproved Use of Whip

Rule(s):
869 (2) and Whip and Rein Regulation

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
American Sniper

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
13/08/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R5

Hearing Date:
13/08/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver John Dunn is fined $200

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Mr Dunn was charged that, as the Driver of AMERICAN SNIPER in Race 5, Hanley Formula Mobile Pace, he used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the home straight.

EVIDENCE:

Mr Renault showed a video replay of the final 200 metres of the race. He pointed out AMERICAN SNIPER, racing outside the leader as the field turned into the final straight. He said that the Stewards had no concerns about Mr Dunn’s whip use in the early stages of the run home but, in the middle stages, there were four or five strikes with the whip that involved more than a wrist only flicking motion but engaged the elbow in a striking motion. Mr Dunn then returned to using the whip in a compliant manner, Mr Renault said.

Mr Dunn said that he accepted Mr Renault’s description of what happened.

REASONS FOR DECISION:

Mr Dunn having admitted the charge it is found proved.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr Renault told the Committee that Mr Dunn has had 868 drives this season (the season having been extended to 31 December 2021) and has a clear record.

The starting point for a low-level breach is a $200-400 fine, Mr Renault said. He submitted that the appropriate fine in this case is $200 which includes mitigating factors.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

A low-level breach is defined in the HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide as “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”.

The Adjudicator is satisfied that Mr Dunn’s whip use on this occasion fits within that definition. His whip use in the home straight was initially compliant, before he used his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion for several strikes and then returning to a compliant style.

The Guide suggests a starting point for penalty of a fine in the range of $200-400 for a first offence which this is. A fine at the lower end of that range is appropriate in this instance, having regard to the minor nature of the breach and Mr Dunn’s excellent  record.

CONCLUSIONS:

Driver John Dunn is fined the sum of $200.

Decision Date: 13/08/2021

Publish Date: 16/08/2021