NZ Metro TC 15 July 2021 – R 1 – Ross Cameron

ID: RIB3402

Respondent(s):
Ross Cameron

Applicant:
Mr S P Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Mr R G McKenzie - Chair

Persons Present:
Mr Ross Cameron - Licensed Graduation Driver, Mr S P Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:
A16106

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Breach of Whip and Rein Regulations

Rule(s):
869(2)

Plea:
Admitted

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
15/07/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R1

Hearing Date:
15/07/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Licensed Graduation Driver Ross Cameron is suspended for 5 days

EVIDENCE:

Following the running of Race 1, IRT. Your Horse. Our Passion Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Graduation Driver, Mr Ross Cameron, alleging that, as the Driver of SAGINAW in the race, he “used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the home straight”.

Mr Cameron had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that he admitted the breach. He confirmed this at the hearing at which he was present.

The Whip and Rein Regulations provide as follows:

3.1         A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.

3.2      For the purposes of clause 3.1, “wrist only flicking motion” means:

                        3.2.1    Ensuring no force is generated by the use of the elbow or shoulder when applying the whip.

                        3.2.2    The forearm is not raised beyond forty-five degrees relative to the racing surface.

                        3.2.3    Not applying the whip with overt force.

3.3     A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.

3.4     For the purposes of Clause 3.3 a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:

                       3.4.1    If the whip is applied other than as permitted in clause 3.1.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Renault showed a video replay of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out SAGINAW, driven by Mr Cameron, racing in 5th position as the field entered the home straight. Mr Cameron then drew that runner to the outside and commenced using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion, but rather in a striking motion, for most of the length of the straight, until the final 50 metres, Mr Renault said. The Committee observed that SAGINAW finished in 6th placing.

Mr Cameron said that the horse was pacing roughly (Mr Renault agreed) but he had used his whip more than he should have, and he offered no excuse.

The parties agreed with the observation of the Committee that there had been 15 non-compliant strikes.

REASON FOR DECISION:

Mr Cameron having admitted the charge, it was found proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Renault told the hearing that Mr Cameron has had 48 drives this season and, last season, 43 drives. He was fined $500 for using the whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion on 20 June (at Addington), which was only two drives ago, Mr Renault said.

The Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach is a 3-5 days suspension, Mr Renault said. Stewards saw this breach as being mid-range, for which they were seeking a 3-4 days suspension.

Mr Cameron said that he accepted that a suspension was an inevitable penalty.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide (effective 1 October 2020) provides as follows:

Mid-level offending is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) and continues to drive in this manner for some distance (50 metres) before taking corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving.

 Mr Renault submitted that the breach in this case was mid-level in terms of that definition. However, 15 agreed non-compliant strikes in this case lifts the breach, the Committee believes, above “mid-level” but just short of high-level for the reason that Mr Cameron, to his credit, did revert to a compliant style of driving before the finishing line.

Mr Cameron has averaged one drive per week this season. For this mid-to-high level breach, the Committee considers that the term of suspension should be at the top of the range for a second breach, of a 3-5 days suspension.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mr Cameron’s Graduation Driver’s Licence is suspended from 16 July to 6 August 2021, both dates inclusive – 5 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are the meetings of NZ Metropolitan TC on 23, 25 and 29 July and 1 and 6 August.

Decision Date: 15/07/2021

Publish Date: 19/07/2021