NZ Metro TC 24 July 2022 – R1 – John Morrison

ID: RIB10085

Respondent(s):
John Morrison - Driver

Applicant:
Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Information Number:
A17069

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Careless driving striking a wheel

Rule(s):
869(3)(b)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Trouble Supreme

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
24/07/2022

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R1

Hearing Date:
24/07/2022

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, John Morrison, suspended 2 days.

BACKGROUND:

Following the running of Race 1, Perfect Packaging & Asphalt Contractors Ltd Mobile Pace, the Respondent, Driver John Morrison, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) in that, as the Driver of TROUBLE SUPREME in the race, he drove carelessly near the 250 metres when making contact with the sulky wheel of  NEMO BANDEIRA (Samantha Ottley) which in turn deflated.

The Respondent endorsed the Information “I do admit the breach of the Rule” and confirmed he understood the Rule. and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869(3) provides:

(b)  No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

EVIDENCE:

Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, showed video replays of the incident with approximately 250 metres to run, as the field turned into the final straight. TROUBLE SUPREME, driven by the Respondent, was trailing the parked runner, NEMO BANDEIRA, driven by Samantha Ottley. Mr Williams showed on a close-up video replay that, as the Respondent pulled his runner out from behind Ms Ottley, the off-side front foot struck the outside sulky wheel of Ms Ottley’s runner. Ms Ottley reported a punctured tyre on return to the stabling area, Mr Williams said.

The Respondent said that he was not aware at the time that he had struck the tyre. He was already out, he said, and his horse had struck the tyre with its outside foot on the way past.

DECISION:

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

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr Williams said that, 24 drives ago, on 7 July at the meeting of Forbury Park TC meeting at Wyndham, the Respondent had breached the same Rule and was subsequently fined $250. That was his first offence, he said.

This season the Respondent has had 432 drives, Mr Williams said. The starting point for a second breach of the Careless Driving Rule is a 3-days suspension. Stewards believed that this was a low-level breach involving only a “glancing blow”, Mr Williams said. Nevertheless, he has struck a wheel and it is the Respondent’s second breach this month. A suspension of 3 days would be an appropriate penalty, Mr Williams submitted.

The Respondent said that he had come out and just flicked the the tyre. He had not driven straight into the sulky in front from behind. Further, he submitted, he had not caused any trouble. A 3-days suspension would be excessive for such a minor breach. He averages 5 drives per meeting, he said.

The Respondent requested a deferment until after the meeting of NZ Metropolitan TC on 31 July 2022.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

This is the Respondent’s second breach within 6 months, in fact within less than 3 weeks. The first occurred at the meeting of Forbury Park TC at Wyndham on 7 July 2022 – 24 drives ago. The Penalty Guide suggests a starting point of a 3-days suspension for a second breach.

Mitigating factors to be considered are the Respondent’s admission of the breach and the low-level nature of the breach. Furthermore, a 3-days suspension for the Respondent would be a significant penalty for such a minor breach. The Adjudicative Committee noted that he had five drives in the eight races at today’s meeting, and accepts that he regularly has that many drives at a meeting.

In all of the circumstances, a 2-days suspension is a sufficient penalty.

CONCLUSION:

The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted.

His Open Driver’s licence is suspended from after the close of racing on 31 July 2022 up to and including 7 August 2022 – 2 days (the meetings of NZ Metropolitan TC on 5 and 7 August 2022).

Decision Date: 24/07/2022

Publish Date: 26/07/2022