NZ Metro TC 15 September 2023 – R10 (heard 21 September 2023 at Addington) – Carter Dalgety
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Junior Driver, Carter Dalgety, fined $300
The Information alleges that in Race 10, Gold Band Taxis Mobile Pace, Junior Driver, Carter Dalgety, committed a breach of Rule 869(2) and the Whip and Rein Regulations in that, as the Driver of FERNETTI in the race, he used his whip in a continuous manner in the run home.
Rule 869 provides:
(2) No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board.
The Whip and Rein Regulations provide:
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:
3.4.3 If the whip is applied excessively, continuously, or without allowing the horse time to respond.
The Information was filed with the Adjudicative Committee on race night and adjourned sine die. It was served on the Respondent at the meeting of NZ Metropolitan TC at Addington Raceway on 21 September 2023 and heard at that meeting.
The Respondent had endorsed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form “I do admit a breach of the Rule” and he confirmed this at the hearing. He declined the opportunity, as a Junior Driver, to be assisted at the hearing by a Senior Driver.
Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, showed a video replay of the final stages of the race. He pointed out FERNETTI, driven by the Respondent, racing in the trail behind the leader as the field neared the final turn.
The Respondent then eased the horse out of the trail to improve 3-wide and commenced using his whip. He continued to use his whip in a continuous manner, some 18-20 times Mr Williams alleged, for the remainder of the run home. The strikes were in a wrist only flicking motion and with minimal force, but were continuous, as the Respondent admitted when given the opportunity to speak.
The breach having been admitted, it is deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Williams said that the Respondent has had 156 drives this season and, in the 2022 season, had a total of 171 drives. He has one previous breach of the Whip Rules on his record – at Rangiora on 30 April 2023 (fined $250 for using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion).
The Penalty Guide provides a starting point for a second breach of a 3-days suspension. However, Mr Williams said, the Respondent had been told, in error, on race night that the Stewards would be seeking a fine for the breach. Mr Williams submitted that, in the circumstances, the Stewards were not seeking a suspension and, further, submitted that a fine of $300 would be appropriate.
The Respondent said that he was happy with any fine.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) suggests, as a starting point for a second breach of the Whip Rule, a 3-days suspension. The penalty starting point for a first breach is a fine of $300.
The Respondent had been informed by Stewards that the penalty sought would be a fine. This misinformation may have affected the Respondent’s election to waive assistance or even, possibly, his plea to the charge.
In those circumstances, the Adjudicative Committee was happy to impose a fine. In any event, the breach was low-level for a continuous charge. In addition, the Respondent is a busy Junior Driver and his previous breach, the Adjudicative Committee noted, was nearly 5 months ago. The Respondent may have escaped a suspension, but it is fair that he be only fined.
Junior Driver, Carter Dalgety, is fined $300.
Decision Date: 21/09/2023
Publish Date: 22/09/2023