NZ Metro TC 8 May 2024 – R5 – Charlotte Rose Williamson

ID: RIB42099

Charlotte Rose Williamson - Junior Driver

Matt Sole - Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
The Applicant, the Respondent and Matthew Williamson - Open Driver

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:
Shandon Bells


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: Junior Driver, Charlotte Williamson, suspended 2 days


Following the running of Race 5, Lamb & Hayward Mobile Trot, Licensed Junior Driver, Charlotte Williamson, admitted a charge that, as the Driver of SHANDON BELLS in the race, she used her whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.

The Respondent, as a Junior Driver, was assisted at the hearing of the Information by Licensed Open Driver, Matthew Williamson.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(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.


Stipendiary Steward, Matt Sole, showed a video replay of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out SHANDON BELLS, driven by the Respondent, racing four places back on the markers, towards the rear, as the field turned into the final straight. He alleged that the Respondent used her whip from the top of the straight, and several were in more than a wrist only flicking motion. The majority were in the early stages of the run home, and the Respondent reverted to a compliant style before the finishing line.

Mr Williamson said that the Respondent will have learned a lesson. She has only had 10 drives since resuming race driving this season (the Adjudicative Committee noted after having had only 2 drives since the 2020 season).


The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.


Mr Sole said that the Respondent has a clear record under the Whip Rules. The breach is low-level, he submitted, for which the Penalty Guide starting point is a $300 fine or a 2-days suspension. The Respondent had indicated to Stewards that she would prefer a suspension, Mr Sole said.

The Respondent confirmed. Mr Williamson said that the meetings at which the Respondent would have driven are Addington on 15 May and Invercargill on 18 May. Drivers have been notified for Ashburton on 12 May and the Respondent does not have drives, he said.


The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) provides starting point for penalty for a low-level, first breach of a $300 fine or a 2-days suspension. The Adjudicative Committee accepts that this breach is low-level. A low-level breach is defined as “when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style”.

The Respondent has stated that she would prefer a suspension to a fine.


Licensed Junior Driver, Charlotte Williamson, is suspended from after the conclusion of racing on 8 May 2024, up to and including 18 May 2024 – 2 days.

Decision Date: 08/05/2024

Publish Date: 10/05/2024