NZ Metro TC 26 January 2024 – R6 – Bob Butt

ID: RIB38164

Robert John Butt - Driver

Mr Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson (Chair), Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr Williams and Mr Butt

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Breach of Pushout Rule

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

Not Admitted

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 Bob Butt is fined $200


Following the running of Race 6, an Information was presented by Stipendiary Steward Mr Paul Williams alleging a breach of Rule 869(4)(6)(b)(c) by Open Driver Mr Bob Butt.

Mr Butt stated he was conversant with the Rule and the charge and confirmed he did not admit the breach.

Rule 869(4)(6)(b)(c) provides:

(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.

Mr Williams played the two relevant videos and identified Mr Butt driving the favourite in the race, COURTNEY ROSE, racing 5-back on the pylons in single file. He pointed to Mr Kyle Cameron (MEMORIES N HEAVEN) moving forward in the running line, without cover, approaching the 1400 metres. Mr Williams said Mr Cameron has improved to the outside of Mr Butt’s wheel and at this juncture, Mr Butt has shifted out into the running line, forcing MEMORIES N HEAVEN wider on the track.

Mr Williams said Mr Cameron has then taken hold of his horse and has managed to ease onto the back of Mr Butt and, although Mr Cameron has not covered a lot of extra ground, Mr Butt is in breach of the Rule.

Mr Butt said Mr Cameron has seen what was going to happen and has pulled back to allow him to shift away from the pylons. He said he disagreed with Mr Williams’ assessment of MEMORIES N HEAVEN being forced 3- wide. He believed the horse was only shifted a half a cart out and only momentarily, as Mr Cameron was able to immediately tack on to his back.

Mr Williams, in summing up, read the Rule to the hearing, which he said should clarify the legality of Mr Butt’s manoeuvre.


The Adjudicative Committee carefully considered all the evidence.

Mr Butt’s defence is based on the minimal inconvenience Mr Cameron has suffered and the Adjudicative Committee agrees it was minor.

However, Mr Williams’ evidence is technically correct.  Mr Cameron was, at the very least, to the wheel of Mr Butt when he shifted away from the pylons and the video clearly shows Mr Cameron’s runner being forced to race wider on the track, albeit for a short distance, and Mr Cameron having to take hold and move back down the track onto Mr Butt’s back. Mr Cameron has indeed eased his runner, as submitted by Mr Butt, but did so only after Mr Butt had shifted out and forced him to race wider.


The charge was found to be proved.


Mr Williams said Mr Butt had a clear record under the Rule. He said the Stewards’ position was Mr Butt’s breach had given him an advantage and an uplift from the Penalty Guide starting point of a $200 fine, was required. He said the Stewards would expect a fine of no less than $250 to be imposed.

Mr Butt’s only comment was that the incident was low-level.


The Penalty Guide provides a $200 fine starting point for a first breach of this Rule.

The Adjudicative Committee’s opinion, on the matter of an advantage being gained and therefore an uplift in penalty imposed, is that it is incorporated in the starting point of the Guidelines. The Rule, in the Adjudicative Committee’s opinion, is there to protect horses from being pushed wider on the track and forced to cover extra ground prior to the 1000m.

Breaching the Rule usually results in the offender gaining an advantage.

MEMORIES N HEAVEN has been inconvenienced to a minor extent and the Adjudicative Committee can see no factors requiring it to depart from the Penalty Guide in the circumstances of this case.


Driver Mr Bob Butt is fined $200.

Decision Date: 26/01/2024

Publish Date: 29/01/2024