NZ Metro TC 14 November 2023 – R11 (heard 17 November 2023 at Addington) – Cameron Hart
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Driver Cameron Hart is suspended for 5 days and fined $2500
Following the running of Race 11, the 2023 Group 1 NZ Cup, Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Nigel McIntyre presented an Information alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) by Open Driver Mr Cameron Hart.
This Information was opened and adjourned on Raceday and heard 17 November at the Show Day Races.
Mr Hart stated he was conversant with the Rule, the charge and confirmed he admitted the breach.
Mr McIntyre played the final 400m of the race video to identify Mr Hart (SWAYZEE) racing in the lead position. Mr McIntyre pointed to Mr Hart strike his horse once at the 200m, a strike which was non-compliant.
Mr Hart said he was unlucky as his whip got entangled in a back carrier strap and he pulled it back clear with force, but continued forward with his whip from the wrong angle.
The Respondent having admitted the breach, the charge was deemed to be proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr McIntyre said Mr Hart has an exemplary record in Australia under their Whip Regulations. Mr McIntyre said this breach is obviously at the lower level, however the race is the premier event on the racing calendar and the Guidelines show a 7-day suspension starting point for a low-level breach. In addition, the Guidelines provide a 12.5% of the Driver’s stake monies to be added to the penalty as a fine.
Mr Hart said he has driven 6000 times and only been fined once under the Whip Rule. He said it was a muscle memory thing and difficult to come to New Zealand and adapt to different Regulations.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The Penalty Guidelines provide a 7-day suspension for a first breach at low-level (Group 1), which this breach is. In addition, a fine equal to 12.5 % of the Driver’s stake monies is to be imposed.
The Adjudicative Committee has some sympathy for Mr Hart, but there must be consistency in the penalty regime. The addition of a fine is set at precise numbers and the Adjudicative Committee’s position is unwavering. However, the Adjudicative Committee can credit Mr Hart a discount from the suspension Guidelines starting point for his extraordinary record. This discount it sets at 2 days.
Driver Cameron Hart is suspended for 5 days, from 20 November 2023 to 24 November 2023 inclusive.
The days of suspension are as follows:
In addition to this suspension, Mr Hart is fined $2500.
Decision Date: 17/11/2023
Publish Date: 17/11/2023