NZ Metro TC 24 September 2021 – R7 – Terry Chmiel

ID: RIB4876

Respondent(s):
Terry Chmiel - Driver

Applicant:
Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr Chmiel and Mr Renault

Information Number:
A16702

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Using Whip in More Than Wrist Only Flicking Motion

Rule(s):
869 (2) and Whip and Rein Regulations

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Classie Washington

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
24/09/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R7

Hearing Date:
24/09/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Terry Chmiel suspended for 3 days

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following Race 7, Graphite Developments Ltd – Show Day Futurity Prelude Mobile Pace, Open Driver Terry Chmiel was charged that, as the Driver of CLASSIE WASHINGTON in the race, he used his whip in more than a wrist flicking motion in the home straight. Mr Chmiel had indicated in the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form that he did not admit the breach and he confirmed this at the beginning of the hearing. The hearing then commenced as a defended hearing.

EVIDENCE:

Mr Renault referred to the video replay and pointed out CLASSIE WASHINGTON, driven by Mr Chmiel, racing in the parked position outside the leader, but tiring, as the field entered the final straight. Mr Renault then pointed out Mr Chmiel commence using his whip in what, he alleged, was more than a wrist only flicking motion but, rather, by engaging his elbow in some strikes that were “quite forceful”. Mr Chmiel ceased using his whip nearer to the finishing line, Mr Renault said.  Mr Renault alleged that there were five or six non-compliant strikes in total. It was noted that CLASSIE WASHINGTON finished in 6th placing in the race.

Mr Chmiel submitted that he had used only his wrist and not his elbow, in a pushing motion rather than a striking motion. He was not hitting the horse hard, he said. He described his whip use as “flicks from the side”. After a discussion and re-viewing the video, Mr Chmiel elected to change his plea and admit the charge.

REASON FOR DECISION:

Mr Chmiel having changed his plea and admitted the charge, it was found proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Renault said that Mr Chmiel has had 306 drives this season. He had a previous breach of the Whip Rule at NZ Metropolitan TC on 25th June and received a suspension of  2 days. The present breach was, therefore, a second offence for which the Penalty Guide prescribe a penalty of a 3-5 days suspension. Stewards were submitting for a 3-days suspension, Mr Renault said.

Mr Chmiel did not seek a deferment beyond the meeting of Banks Peninsula TC on 26th September, at which he had notified drives.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The Adjudicator sees the breach as being medium-level – inadvertently reverting to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) and continuing to drive in this manner for some distance (50 metres) before taking corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving. Mr Chmiel is to be commended for changing his plea to admit the charge, the evidence of the Stewards being quite compelling. Mr Renault has submitted that a 3-days suspension is appropriate and the Adjudicator accepts that submission, given Mr Chmiel’s change of plea and the level of offending.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mr Chmiel’s Open Driver’s Licence is suspended from after close of racing on 26th September up to and including 7th October 2021. The meetings intended to be included in the period of suspension are NZ Metropolitan TC on 1 October, Timaru HRC on 3 October and NZ Metropolitan TC on 7 October 2021.

Decision Date: 24/09/2021

Publish Date: 29/09/2021