NZ Metro TC 16 April 2022 – R11 (heard 18 April 2022 at Motukarara) – Sheree Tomlinson

ID: RIB8607

Sheree Tomlinson - Driver

Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip in continuous manner

869(2) - Contravention whip rule - Whip and Rein Regulations


Animal Name:


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:
Motukarara Raceway, Motukarara

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Sheree Tomlinson fined $250


Following the running of Race 11, First Direct Taxis “Ratto” Showcase Mobile Pace, the Respondent Sheree Tomlinson admitted a breach of Whip Rule 869(2). The particulars of the charge are that, as the Driver of MIGHTY REACTOR in the race, she used her whip in a continuous manner in the run home.

The Information was filed on race night and adjourned sine die as the Respondent had left the course. It was served on the Respondent at Motukarara Raceway on 18 April 2022 and heard on that date at the meeting of Banks Peninsula TC.

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:

3.4.2  If the whip is applied excessively, continuously, or without allowing the horse time to respond.


Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, showed side-on and head-on video replays of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out MIGHTY REACTOR, driven by Ms Tomlinson in the lead as the field turned for home.

He showed that, after activating gear, Miss Tomlinson commenced using her whip in her left hand and, he alleged, she had used it for 18-20 strikes to the finishing line. This was deemed “continuous” and hence the charge, Mr Williams said. The breach was low-level with none of the strikes involving any force. He confirmed that the strikes did comply with the wrist only flicking motion of the Regulations, when this was put to him by the Adjudicative Committee.

Ms Tomlinson said that her whip use was not “messy” and did not look bad. Over the final 50 metres or so, she was trying to get the best out of her horse without breaching the Regulations, she said.


The charge is admitted and therefore proved.


Mr Williams repeated that the breach was low-level. He said that Ms Tomlinson has a clear record under the Whip Rules. She received a warning on 12 February 2022 which was 24 drives ago. She has had 65 drives this season (from 1 January 2022) and in the extended 2020/2021 season had a total of  323 drives.

Recent penalties for continuous use have ranged between $200 and $400, Mr Williams said, and in this case a fine in the vicinity of $300 would be appropriate.

Ms Tomlinson said that, if the penalty range is $200-$400, then this breach should be regarded as being at the low end.  She had only used her wrist and it was not bad to look at, she said. She stressed her very good record.


The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide effective 1 October 2020 provides a starting point penalty range for a first offence, low-level breach following an earlier warning, of $200-$400.

Ms Tomlinson has a good record under the Whip Rules and the breach is low-level in the Adjudicative Committee’s view. The whip use was continuous but it did not involve more than a wrist only flicking motion and was not, in any way, offensive. It raised no animal welfare concerns.


The Respondent is fined $250.

Decision Date: 18/04/2022

Publish Date: 19/04/2022