NZ Metro TC 8 August 2021 – R2 (heard 5 September 2021 at Addington) – Brent Weaver
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Driver Brent Weaver suspended for 4 days from 6 to 19 September both inclusive.
SUMMARY OF FACTS:
Mr Weaver has been charged that, as the Driver of MRS WASHINGTON in Race 2, Ultimate Sniper at Alabar Mobile Pace, he drove carelessly in that, racing into the final bend, he allowed his horse to shift ground inwards causing CONQUISTADOR (Blair Orange) to be checked and break.
Mr Williams, Stipendiary Steward, produced an Authority to Charge signed by Mr Mike Clement, Chief Executive of the Racing Integrity Board, authorising the filing of the Information. The Information was served at the meeting of Ashburton TC at Addington Raceway on 5 September and heard at that meeting. Mr Williams said that Mr Weaver had initially indicated that the charge was not admitted but had subsequently changed his plea to admit the charge.
Mr Weaver’s attendance at the hearing was excused on the grounds of animal welfare, as he explained that he had horses to attend to.
Mr Williams showed video replays of the incident with approximately 700 metres to run. He pointed out the two runners involved, being the last two runners in the 8-horse field – MRS WASHINGTON, driven by Mr Weaver racing on the outside of CONQUISTADOR, driven by Mr Orange, against the markers. Mr Williams said that Mr Weaver then moved across in front of Mr Orange and caused a check to Mr Orange’s runner, which broke and lost its chance. CONQUISTADOR was pacing rather roughly and Mr Weaver had told Stewards that his horse was not the easiest horse to drive. Notwithstanding that, Mr Weaver elected to activate the removeable deafeners and lost control of his horse momentarily, allowing it to shift in and cause the interference to CONQUISTADOR, Mr Williams said.
REASONS FOR DECISION:
Mr Weaver has admitted the breach which is found proved accordingly.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Williams said that Mr Weaver does not drive very often. He has a clear record, but was warned on 16th May 2021 for shifting ground in the early stages crowding an inside runner. That was five drives ago and Mr Weaver has only had 37 drives this season.
Stewards considered the breach to be mid-range, Mr Williams said. Mr Weaver had expressed to the Stewards a preference for a suspension rather than a fine. The starting point is 10 drives. Mr Orange’s runner lost its chance but, realistically, it was unlikely to be in the finish, so consequential effects were quite low. Stewards submission was for a 4-days suspension, Mr Williams said. Mr Weaver had not asked for a deferment of suspension, Mr Williams said.
REASON FOR PENALTY:
The Adjudicator was of the view that the breach was in the low-range of carelessness. The Penalty Guide suggests a starting point for a mid-level breach of a 10-drives suspension which, in Mr Weaver’s case, would be difficult to calculate. However, having regard to Mr Weaver’s good record and his admission of the breach, together with the penalty submission of the Stewards, the Adjudicator has decided that a 4-days suspension is appropriate. That penalty also takes into account that Mr Weaver has been deprived of some driving opportunities over the recent COVID-19 lockdowns. However, that is not to be taken as a consideration in every case.
Mr Weaver’s Open Driver’s Licence is suspended from today up to and including 19 September next – 4 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by that period of suspension are NZ Metropolitan TC on 10 September, Methven TC on 12 September, NZMTC on 17 September and Oamaru HRC on 19 September.
Decision Date: 05/09/2021
Publish Date: 07/09/2021