NZ Metro TC 6 May 2022 – R9 – Bob Butt

ID: RIB8960

Bob Butt - Driver

Nigel McIntyre, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion

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


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, suspended 4 days


Following the running of Race 9, NZB Standardbred “Uncut Gems Trotters Classic” Handicap Trot (Listed Race), the Respondent Open Driver, Bob Butt, admitted a breach of  Whip Rule 869(2). The particulars of the charge are that the Respondent, as the Driver of  GOLD CHAIN in the race, used his whip with more than a wrist only flicking motion in the run home.

Rule 869 provides that:

(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.

Clause 3.1 of the Regulations provides that “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.”


Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, used available video replays to demonstrate the  breach. He pointed out GOLD CHAIN, driven by the Respondent, racing in 3rd position and one out from the markers as the field turned into the home straight, before switching to the inside of the leader. Stewards were alleging that Mr Butt, after activating gear, commenced using his whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion and engaging the elbow on 8-9 occasions to the finishing line.

Mr Butt said that he accepted what Mr McIntyre had said.


The charge is admitted and therefore proved.


Mr McIntyre produced the Respondent’s record. He has had, to date in the current season (from 1 January 2022), 124 drives. He incurred a $200 fine on 16 April at Addington (18 drives ago) for a similar offence. This race was a Listed Race  and a “major race” (a race with stakes of $40,000 or more) in terms of the Penalty Guide, Mr McIntyre said. He submitted that a 4-days suspension would be an appropriate penalty.

A discussion followed as to the upcoming meetings at which the Respondent would be likely to drive. Following that discussion, the Respondent elected not to seek a deferment of suspension.


The breach is medium-level – when a Driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) and continues to drive in this manner for some distance (50 metres) before taking corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving. The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide (effective 1 October 2020) suggests a start point for a medium-level breach of a 2-days suspension.

However, the Penalty Guide provides for a starting point of a 4-days suspension for a breach in a Group or Listed Race. That is the appropriate penalty in this case, being a Listed Race.

There are no relevant aggravating or mitigating factors warranting any uplift or reduction to that starting point.


The Respondent, Driver Bob Butt, is suspended for a period of 4 days commencing after racing on 8 May up to and including 17 May. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are NZ Metropolitan TC on 10 and 13 May, Ashburton TC on 15 May and NZ Metropolitan TC on 17 May 2022.

Decision Date: 06/05/2022

Publish Date: 09/05/2022