NZ Metro TC 2 March 2023 – R7 – John Dunn

ID: RIB16491

John Dunn - Driver

Nigel McIntyre, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Breach of Pushout Rule

869(4) - Riding/driving infringement, 869(6)(b)(c) - Riding/driving infringement


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, John Dunn, fined $200


Following the running of Race 7, NZB Airfreight Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, alleging that the Respondent breached Rule 869(6)(c) in that, as the Driver of HEISENBERG in the race, he shifted outwards after 150 metres forcing WARLOCH (Sam Thornley) wider on the track.

The “Pushout Rule” (Rule 869) provides that:

(4) No driver shall during any race do anything which interferes or is likely to interfere with his own horse and/or any other horse or its progress.

(6) Subject to sub-rule (4) hereof:-
      (b) a horse during any race shall not be forced to race wider on the track;
      (c) a horse during a race shall not move ground outwards once the nose of the wider runner coming forward is in line with or past its sulky wheel and until the wider runner going forward is fully past.

The Respondent admitted the breach and endorsed the Information accordingly.


Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, had Steward, Matt Sole, show video replays of the incident approximately 150 metres after the start of the 1980 metres mobile start event. Mr Sole pointed out HEISENBERG, driven by the Respondent, which had drawn the inside of the second row, and WARLOCH, driven by Sam Thornley, which had drawn barrier position 3 on the second row. The runner that had drawn between them, CELTIC SPIRIT (Ben Hope) had gone forward after the start. The Respondent was racing on the markers and WARLOCH had moved in, to be racing one out. The Respondent then commenced to shift away from the markers and, in doing so, forced WARLOCH to race 3-wide for a distance before easing onto the Respondent’s back.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.


Mr McIntyre said that the Respondent has a clear record under the Pushout Rule. He has had 137 drives so far this season and, in the extended 2022 season, had 813 drives. The Penalty Guide starting point is a fine of $200 and that is an appropriate penalty, Mr McIntyre submitted. The Respondent went on to win the race, but it could not be asserted that he had gained any advantage at that early stage of the race.


The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (effective 1 February 2023) suggests a starting point for penalty of a $200 fine. That is the appropriate penalty, notwithstanding the Respondent’s clear record and admission of the breach.


The Respondent is fined $200.

Decision Date: 02/03/2023

Publish Date: 06/03/2023