NZ Metro TC 3 May 2024 – R10 (heard 5 May 2024 at Rangiora) – John Charles Morrison

ID: RIB41877

John Charles Morrison - Driver

Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving Striking a Wheel

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:
Asian Elvis


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:
Rangiora Racecourse, Rangiora

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Open Driver, John Morrison, fined $250


Following the running of Race 10, Gold Band Taxis Mobile Pace, Licensed Open Driver, John Morrison, admitted a charge that, as the Driver of ASIAN ELVIS in the race, he drove carelessly when shifting inwards in the early stages of the race, striking the sulky wheel of PLAYING WITH STARS (Seth Hill), which punctured.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides as follows:

No driver shall in any race drive carelessly.


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed video replays of the early stages of the race. He pointed out ASIAN ELVIS, driven by the Respondent, drawn barrier position 6 at the 1980 metres mobile start and PLAYING WITH STARS, driven by Mr Hill, which had drawn barrier position 5, inside the Respondent.

Both runners went forward after the start. Mr Renault then showed the Respondent ease his runner and angle down from 3-wide for a position closer to the markers. As he did so, he was not clear of Mr Hill and the near-front leg of his horse made contact with the tyre on the sulky wheel of Mr Hill’s runner. That tyre punctured at some stage during the race. The chances of Mr Hill’s runner have been affected as a result. It was a fine error of judgement on the Respondent’s part as he shifted in – he was just too close, Mr Renault said.

The Respondent said it was not an error of judgement on his part. Rather, he had looked to his inside and, just as it happened, he had looked across to see if there was a position on the inside and to take care and not put pressure on inside runners.


The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.


Mr Williams said that the Respondent has had 210 drives this season and has a clear record. He referred to the Penalty Guide starting point for a first breach of careless driving striking a wheel, a $300 fine.

The Respondent asked the Adjudicative Committee to consider his explanation for the breach and consider a fine of $200.


The Adjudicative Committee noted the provisions of the RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide. The starting point is a fine of $300. The Penalty Guide provides the consequences of striking a wheel go to penalty. There was no evidence of any consequences to the Respondent’s or any other runner, so no increase to the starting point is warranted.

Mitigating factors are the Respondent’s admission of the breach and his good record. For those factors, the Adjudicative Committee gives a discount of $50 from the starting point.

The Respondent’s explanation for the breach is not a mitigating factor. He ought to have been taking notice of what was in front of him, rather than around him.


Licensed Open Driver, John Morrison, is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 05/05/2024

Publish Date: 08/05/2024