NZ Metro TC 25 July 2021 – R1 – Cheree Wigg
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Penalty: Licensed Amateur Driver Cheree Wigg is fined $300
Following the running of Race 1, the Fahey Fence Hire (Amateur Drivers) Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Renault, against Licensed Amateur Driver, Ms C Wigg, alleging a breach of Rule 869(3) (b) in that when driving SHE’S A DAGG, she drove carelessly approaching the 700m,where she attempted to carry out a “push out” which eventuated in her runner contacting the sulky of BOLZANO and breaking.
Ms Wigg had endorsed the Information that this breach of the Rules was admitted which she confirmed at the hearing. Ms Wigg also confirmed that she understood the Rule she was being charged with. Ms Wigg was assisted at the hearing by Open Driver Mr N Williamson.
Rule 869(3)(b) reads as follows:
“(3) No horseman in any race shall drive:-
Mr Renault gave evidence and used video coverage to show that approaching the 700m, SHE’S A DAGG, driven by Ms Wigg, was racing two wide, in the one-one position. He also pointed out WEE RING THE CHANGES, driven by Mr A Fitzgerald, who was improving forward in the 3-wide line from last position approaching the 700m. Mr Renault then showed Ms Wigg attempt to “push out” Mr Fitzgerald, as she was entitled to do, due to having an advantage on Mr Fitzgerald. He pointed out on the back straight films, Ms Wigg, shift out and make contact with Mr Fitzgerald, sulky to sulky. Mr Renault stated that Miss Wigg moved Mr Fitzgerald out approximately ½ a sulky cart width before attempting to move back to her original position, and in doing so struck the sulky wheel of BALZANO, the horse she was trailing. As a result, he said, SHE’S A DAGG broke and galloped for several strides, losing ground and causing interference to trailing runners.
Mr Williamson, on behalf of Ms Wigg, stated that Ms Wigg was entitled to push Mr Fitzgerald out as she had the advantage. He said she changed her mind due to the narrowing of the gap ahead, possibly due to BALZANO, who Ms Wigg was trailing, shifting out slightly.
REASON FOR DECISION:
As Ms Wigg had admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.
SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:
Mr Renault stated that the Penalty Guide provides a 6-drive suspension or $300 fine as a starting point for a breach of this Rule where striking a wheel is involved. He said that Ms Wigg had a good record in relation to this Rule over the previous 6-month period. Mr Renault stated that Ms Wigg had had 120 lifetime drives with 27 to date this season, so was a busy Amateur Driver. He stated that aggravating factors to consider were the consequential effects on her own horse, which was the favourite for the event as well as the interference suffered by two trailing runners. The mitigating factors, he said, were Ms Wigg’s admission of the breach and her good record. Mr Renault submitted that a fine of between $300 and $400 be considered as penalty.
Mr Williamson, on behalf of Ms Wigg, stated that consideration of mitigation, be given to the slight movement out by BALZANO, which he submitted contributed to the incident. He added that her record and admission of the breach were also mitigating factors as well as her status as an Amateur Driver.
REASON FOR PENALTY:
The Penalty Guide provides a $300 fine or 6-drive suspension starting point for a breach of this Rule. The Adjudicator determined that a fine was an appropriate penalty in this case. The aggravating factors to consider were the consequential effects to her own horse and interference to the two trailing runners, which warranted an uplift in penalty. This uplift the Adjudicator set at $100. Ms Wigg’s frank admission of the breach and her good record were mitigating factors deserving of a combined discount, which the Adjudicator set at $100. It was therefore determined that a fine of $300 was an appropriate penalty in this case.
Ms Wigg is fined the sum of $300.
Decision Date: 25/07/2021
Publish Date: 26/07/2021