NZ Metro TC 31 March 2023 – R3 – Colin DeFilippi

ID: RIB18020

Colin DeFilippi - Driver

Nigel McIntyre, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Dave Anderson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip in more than a wrist flicking motion

869(2) - Contravention whip rule - Whip and Rein Regulations

Not Admitted

Animal Name:
Kikorangi Blue


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, Colin DeFilippi, suspended 4 days.


Following the running of Race 3, Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Stakes, Open Driver, Colin DeFilippi, denied a charge that, as the Driver of KIKORANGI BLUE in the race, he used his whip in more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.

Rule 869 provides:

(2)  No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board.

The Whip and Rein Regulations provide:

3.1 A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.

3.2  For the purposes of clause 3.1, “wrist only flicking motion” means:

3.2.1  Ensuring no force is generated by the use of the elbow or shoulder when applying the whip.

3.2.2  The forearm is not raised beyond forty-five degrees relative to the racing surface.

3.2.3  Not applying the whip with overt force.


Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, showed a video replay of the final stages of the race. He pointed out KIKORANGI BLUE, driven by the Respondent, racing in the trail behind the leader, and eventual winner, NO MATTER WAT (Olivia Thornley), as the field turned into the final straight.

Mr McIntyre then showed that, after activating gear, the Respondent commenced using his whip and used it in seven strikes, he alleged, in more than a wrist only flicking motion and engaging the shoulder and elbow. KIKORANGI BLUE finished in 2nd placing, the margin from the winner being a 1/2 neck.

The Respondent said that he had been taught to hold his hands up, which gave him more control, but he had been told to hold them lower, with which he did not agree. He had done his best, he said, to lower them to avoid raising his forearm beyond the 45 degrees mentioned in the Guidelines. He had worked on this, he said. He submitted that there was a “contradiction” in the Guidelines which allowed raising the forearm to be raised to 45 degrees, but only permitted the whip to be used in a wrist only flicking motion. He argued that he had not exceeded the 45 degrees.

At that stage of the hearing, the Adjudicative Committee requested that Mr McIntyre read to the hearing the definition of “wrist only flicking motion” in the Whip and Rein Regulations (see above). Mr McIntyre explained that there were three separate parts to that definition. Stewards were alleging use of the elbow or shoulder on this occasion.


The charge is found proved.


The Respondent has been charged with using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion in the run home. Stewards alleged that there were seven non-compliant strikes.

The Respondent’s defence to that charge was, essentially, that he did not raise his forearm beyond 45 degrees and, he submitted, it followed that he could not, therefore, have used his whip in more than a wrist flicking motion.

The Adjudicative Committee’s interpretation of the Regulation is that “wrist only flicking motion” has three parts to it, which are mutually exclusive. A charge can involve any one or more of those three parts, only one of which is raising the forearm beyond the 45 degrees.

It is not alleged, on this occasion, that the Respondent has raised his forearm more than 45 degrees or that the whip has been applied with overt force. It is accepted by the Adjudicative Committee that the Respondent has not breached either of these parts in using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion.

However, the Adjudicative Committee finds that, having generated force by the use of elbow or shoulder when applying the whip, the Respondent has used his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion.


Mr McIntyre said that this is the Respondent’s third breach in the relevant period. Previous breaches were at Kaikoura on 31 October 2022 (suspended 3 days) and at Banks Peninsula on 8 January 2023 (suspended 3 days).

Stewards believed this breach to be within the mid-range, for which the Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach is a 4-days suspension. The Guide makes no provision for a third breach, he said, and he left to the Adjudicative Committee to decide whether an uplift was warranted for a third offence.

The Respondent said that he would take any suspension commencing immediately.


The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) provides a starting point for a mid-level second breach of a 4-days suspension.

The Adjudicative Committee assesses the breach as being slightly below mid-level and, on that basis, a starting point of a 4-days suspension is appropriate, with no uplift for this being a third offence. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors to be considered.


Despite the Respondent’s advising that he had no notified drives at the meeting of Cheviot HRC at Addington on 2 April, it was noted that he does in fact have one notified drive at the meeting (MOET SHARD in Race 10), which he is obliged to fulfil.

The Respondent, Open Driver, Colin DeFilippi, is suspended from after racing on 2 April 2023  up to and including 13 April 2023 – 4 days.

Decision Date: 31/03/2023

Publish Date: 03/04/2023