NZ Metro TC 15 July 2021 – R4 – Zev Meredith

ID: RIB3420

Respondent(s):
Zev Meredith - Junior Driver

Applicant:
S P Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
J W Cox, Licensed Open Driver

Information Number:
A16107

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Careless Driving

Rule(s):
869 (3) (b)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Vesnina

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:
R4

Hearing Date:
15/07/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Zev Meredith is fined $250

FACTS:

Following the running of Race 4, McMillan Equine Feeds – 2021 NZ Junior Driver Champs (Heat 2) Handicap Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Junior Driver, Mr Zev Meredith, alleging that, as the Driver of VESNINA in the race, he “drove carelessly near the 500 metres when making contact with the sulky wheel of SKIDADDLE (Kerryn Tomlinson) which punctured”.

Mr Meredith had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that he admitted the breach and he confirmed this at the hearing, at which he was present. He was assisted at the hearing by Licensed Open Driver, Mr J W Cox.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(3   No driver shall in any race drive:-

     (b   carelessly

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Renault showed a video replay of the incident with approximately 500 metres to run. He pointed out the two runners – VESNINA, driven by Mr Meredith, racing one out in second-to-last position in the 11-horse field, and SKIDADDLE, driven by Miss Tomlinson, following VESNINA. He showed that SKIDADDLE then improved 3-wide past VESNINA. Mr Meredith attempted to get onto the back of that runner, but got too close to the wheel of SKIDADDLE and made contact with the sulky wheel of that runner, the tyre immediately puncturing. Mr Renault pointed out Miss Tomlinson look down at the point of contact.

It was a slight misjudgment by Mr Meredith – when he came out, he had not been quite clear, and made contact, Mr Renault said.

Mr Meredith said that he agreed with everything that Mr Renault had said. Mr Cox had nothing to add.

DECISION:

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

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Renault said that the starting point for a breach of the Rule (careless driving striking a wheel) is a fine of $300 or a 6-drives suspension.

Mr Meredith has had 65 drives this season, 30 drives last season, Mr Renault said. This is his second season of driving. This is his first breach of the Careless Driving Rule. The consequences of the breach were that SKIDADDLE did sustain a punctured tyre – an aggravating factor, Mr Renault submitted.

Mitigating factors are Mr Meredith’s good record, his admission of the breach and his Junior Driver status. There should be an uplift to the starting point for the aggravating factor referred  to, but a discount applied for the mitigating factors. A fine of between $250-300 would be appropriate, Mr Renault submitted.

Mr Meredith said that his preference was for a fine rather than a suspension.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

In arriving at penalty, the Committee took the Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine (a suspension was not necessary). An uplift of $50 was applied for the consequences to SKIDADDLE. The mitigating factors were quite compelling in this case, in particular Mr Meredith’s record of 95 drives as a Junior Driver without a breach of the Careless Driving Rule. The breach was low-end, involving only a slight misjudgment on Mr Meredith’s part. In addition, Mr Meredith had admitted the breach and is a Junior Driver, competing in the NZ Junior Drivers Championship. Those factors justify a significant discount from the uplifted starting point – $100, the Committee decided.

 CONCLUSIONS:

Mr Meredith is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 15/07/2021

Publish Date: 19/07/2021