NZ Metro TC 18 July 2021 – R7 (heard 23 July 2021 at Addington) – Ricky May

ID: RIB3685

Ricky May - Driver

P Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Russell Mckenzie

Persons Present:
Ricky May, Shane Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Unacceptable Use of Whip

869 (2) & Whip & 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:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Ricky May fined $200


Following the running of Race 7, First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr P Williams, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr Ricky May, alleging that, as the Driver of JUSTACE in the race, he “used his whip free of the rein in the middle stages of the run home”.

The Information was filed with the Adjudicative Committee on the raceday and the hearing adjourned sine die. It was heard at the meeting of New Zealand Metropolitan TC at Addington Raceway on 23 July 2021.

Mr May 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.

3.3         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.


Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, showed a video replay of the final 200 metres of the race. He pointed out JUSTACE, driven by Mr May, ease out from the trail behind the tiring leader as the field entered the home straight. Shortly thereafter, Mr May activated the removeable deafeners and, before placing his hand back on the rein, he turned the whip forward and used it once free of the rein, before reverting to a compliant style to the finishing line.


Mr Renault told the hearing that Mr May has had 613 drives this season. He was fined $400 for using the whip free of the rein on 19 March 2021 (at Addington), Mr Renault said. That was 193 drives ago, Mr Renault said, and just seven drives short of Mr May’s record being reset.

Stewards were of the view that with Mr May’s record being so close to being reset and the breach being low-level, the breach could be treated as a first offence for which a fine of $200 would be appropriate in this instance, Mr Renault said.


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

Low-level is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style.

 Mr Renault submitted that the breach in this case was low-level in terms of that definition, and the Committee agrees. Strictly speaking, the breach is a second breach, being within 6 months and 200 drives of the previous breach on 19 March but to treat it as such, when that record is only a few drives away from being reset, would require a suspension.

The Committee prefers to treat the breach as being a first offence, and a low-level one at that. A fine of $200 is an adequate penalty.


Mr May is fined the sum of $200.

Decision Date: 23/07/2021

Publish Date: 27/07/2021