NZ Metro TC 15 May 2024 – R5 – Barry James Ford

ID: RIB42274

Barry James Ford - Other (Graduation Driver)

Shane Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement

Not Admitted

Animal Name:
Blink N Bones


Race Date:

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Graduation Driver, Barry Ford, fined $300


Following the running of Race 5, Lamb & Hayward Trot, Graduation Driver, Barry James Ford, as the Driver of BLINK N BONES in the race, denied that he drove carelessly near the 500 metres when allowing his horse to strike the sulky wheel of MURANO (Tim Williams) and break.

Rule 869 provides:

(3)  No driver in any race shall drive:- 

       (b) carelessly


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed video replays of the incident with approximately 500 metres to race. He pointed out BLINK N BONES, driven by the Respondent, racing five places back on the markers behind CAPPAHA (Robbie Holmes). MURANO was racing three places back in the one-out line, just ahead of BLINK N BONES.

Mr Renault showed that, racing down the back, CAPPAHA went into a break. The Respondent shifted wider on the track to avoid the breaking runner. The Respondent was then racing one-out. CAPPAHA then came back down trotting in its original position, four places back on the markers.

Mr Renault then showed on the back straight camera, that the Respondent was racing neither on the markers nor in the one-out line, but in between both lines.  He continued to race there, before galloping after striking the sulky wheel of MURANO. The Respondent had initially tried to push STARLIGHT GAZER (Kyle Cameron) out, but Mr Cameron was able to resist that movement and the Respondent was racing in “no man’s land”.

Stewards were alleging that when CAPPAHA settled back down in front of him, the Respondent should have restrained and gone back to the inside and behind CAPPAHA. Instead, he had continued to shift forward between Mr Holmes and MURANO, where there was insufficient room. Mr Renault showed the leg of the Respondent’s runner clearly contact the sulky wheel of MURANO. Mr Williams had not changed his line at any time.

Mr Renault conceded that the Respondent had been inconvenienced earlier by the breaking horse, but should have restrained to take up a position when that horse settled in front of him, but instead continued to drive his horse forward into a gap that did not exist.

The Respondent said that he felt that Mr Williams anticipated shifting out 3-wide. There was a little gap there and he pushed into it and Mr Williams then came back in and onto him. He did not have to go back to the markers and follow a breaking horse when there was, he claimed, a gap to his outside. He would not push into a gap that was not there, he maintained.


The breach was found proved.


The Respondent has been inconvenienced by the galloping horse that it had been trailing. He has looked to come out from behind that horse, but Mr Cameron held his position and Mr Williams was not able to be pushed out. Having shifted out from behind the galloping CAPPAHA, the Respondent found himself between the two lines. Instead of easing back to get back in behind CAPPAHA, which he had the opportunity to do, he has attempted to shift further and, in doing so, his runner has struck the wheel of Mr Williams’ sulky, and has galloped out of it.

The Adjudicative Committee finds that the Respondent’s actions were neither reasonable nor acceptable and he has, therefore, driven carelessly.


Mr Renault said that the Respondent has a clear record. The Penalty Guide starting point is a $300 fine. The consequence of the incident was that the Respondent’s horse last ground. A $300 fine would be an appropriate penalty in view of that, he submitted.

The Respondent said that he was disappointed that the charge was found proved. Asked by the Adjudicative Committee, he said that he had not had many drives this season. He asked if the decision on penalty was up to the Adjudicative Committee.


The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the breach is mid-level. The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $300 fine for a mid-level, first breach of careless driving striking a wheel. The Guide provides that “the consequences of this action go to penalty”. As far as consequences go, the only consequence was to the Respondent’s own runner. It was not a fancied runner in the betting on the race, in fact, it was the rank outsider of the 15-horse field. However, it was not a good piece of driving.

The Driver statistics on the HRNZ Website show that this drive was the Respondent’s first for this season and that, last season, he had only 8 drives.

The Adjudicative Committee saw no reasons for a departure from the Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine.


The Respondent, Graduation Driver, Brian Ford, is fined $300.

Decision Date: 15/05/2024

Publish Date: 17/05/2024