NZ Metro TC 8 November 2022 – R11 – SPANKEM

ID: RIB12477

Natalie Rasmussen - Driver

Mark Purdon, Driver

Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Dave Anderson

Information Number:

Decision Type:

869A(2) - Riding/driving infringement


4th v 3rd

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: Protest Dismissed


Following the running of Race 11, IRT New Zealand Trotting Club (Group 1), an Information instigating a protest was filed by Driver, Mark Purdon, Driver of AKUTA, placed 4th by the Judge, against SPANKEM (Natalie Rasmussen), placed 3rd by the Judge, on the grounds that SPANKEM shifted outwards near the 50 metres causing interference to AKUTA.

The provisional placings were:

1st    8 Copy That

2nd  2 Majestic Cruiser

3rd   5 Spankem

4th   3 Akuta

The margin between 3rd and 4th was a head.

Rule 869A provides:

(2)   When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another horse and the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Adjudicative Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with.


Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, showed the available video replays. He pointed out SPANKEM, driven by Ms Rasmussen, easing out from the trail behind the leader, COPY THAT, as the field turned into the final straight. AKUTA, driven by Mr Purdon, was racing to the outside of SPANKEM. Mr McIntyre showed, on a head-on video replay, that SPANKEM had been maintaining a straight line and had then laid out briefly. Ms Rasmussen could be seen to take immediate action to straighten. The side-on replay showed that Mr Purdon, who had been driving his horse out, had to take a hold “for a stride”  at about the 50 metres mark. The margin between the two runners at the finish was a head, Mr McIntyre said.

Mr Purdon said that SPANKEM had moved out resulting in him having to check his own runner for a couple of strides, causing it to lose some momentum. It had “got going” again and closed the gap after that, he said.

Ms Rasmussen said that her runner had moved out only for a stride or two and she had corrected it immediately. Her horse was tired and any interference to AKUTA was only “marginal”, she said.

Mr McIntyre said that it was clear that interference had occurred for a stride. AKUTA had had 250 metres of the straight to run down SPANKEM and had made up a 1/2 length on SPANKEM, at best. The two horses had been “slugging it out”, and Stewards did not believe that the interference has outweighed the margin (a head), but he left it to the Adjudicative Committee to decide.


It was clear that some minor interference had taken place when SPANKEM had shifted out slightly and briefly at about the 50 metres. Mr Purdon had to check his runner for only a stride or two. At the point of interference, it appeared that AKUTA was struggling to get to SPANKEM and that the latter, although tired as were both runners, was holding AKUTA with only 50 metres to the finishing line.

The Adjudicative Committee finds that the interference was minor and close to the finishing line and was not satisfied to the required standard that the result would have been any different had that interference not taken place. The margin of a head was also a factor in the Adjudicative Committee’s arriving at this conclusion.


The protest is dismissed and placings stand. It is ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with those placings.

Decision Date: 08/11/2022

Publish Date: 11/11/2022