NZ Metro TC 8 November 2022 – R13 (heard 11 November 2022 at Addington) – Robbie Close

ID: RIB11110

Robbie Close - Driver

Mr Nigel McIntrye - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Dave Anderson (Chair) and Stewart Ching

Persons Present:
RIB Stewards McIntyre, Renault, Sole and Mr Close.

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement - Careless Driving


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 - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Robbie Close is suspended for 8 days.

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 13, Chief RIB Steward Mr Nigel McIntyre presented an Information alleging a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) by Driver Mr Robbie Close.

The hearing of the Information was delayed until Friday 11 November so that all Drivers involved in the incident were able to be interviewed.

The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869 (3)(b) provides:

No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage, Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr McIntyre identified the horses involved in the incident namely, RED RIGHT HAND, driven by Mr Close, ONEDIN MIKI (Ms Olivia Thornley), and EVANGALIST( Mr Matthew Williamson) MACH QUILLAN (Brad Williamson) BOUDICA (Elle Barron).

Mr McIntyre said at approximately 600m from the finish, Mr Close has shifted out from 5 back on the rails into the 2 -wide line. He said Mr Close immediately found himself behind MACH QUILLAN who was giving ground very quickly. Mr McIntyre said Mr Close has shifted out again to avoid MACH QUILLAN, striking its wheel, and contacting ONEDIN MIKI unseating Ms Thornley, badly checking EVANGALIST unseating Mr Matthew Williamson, and checking BOUDICA who was pulled up. Mr McIntyre said CYRUS (M Purdon) had to take evasive action extinguishing its chances.

The Respondent made no comment on the incident.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.

Submission for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward Mr McIntyre produced the Respondent’s record which indicated 1 previous breach on 31 July 2022, 128 drives ago.  The Respondent has had 487 drives this season and 788 in the past season.

Mr McIntyre added that Stewards assessed the breach as mid-range and the consequences in the high range. Therefore a suspension of 7-8 days would be an appropriate penalty.

The Respondent submitted he is a busy Driver averaging 7, sometimes 8 drives a meeting and believed a 6-day suspension would be a sufficient penalty and asked if any proposed suspension could begin immediately.

Mr Close, with reference to any proposed suspension, submitted he intended to be driving at the Forbury Club’s meeting on 2 December 2022. In response to this, Mr McIntyre informed the hearing Mr Close has driven in the Southland area at infrequent times throughout the year, and informed the Adjudicative Committee Mr Close’s average number of drives per meeting was five.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Adjudicative Committee in considering all the evidence and submissions, assessed the breach to be in the mid to high range and the consequences of his carelessness, very high.

This breach is the second within the 6 month period and taking all factors into account, a 9-day suspension is considered an appropriate penalty in this case.

However due to Mr Close’s admission and his genuine remorse for his actions, we can afford him a 1 day discount in penalty. Therefore, an 8 day suspension is imposed.


Mr Close is suspended from driving, beginning at the close of racing today, 11 November 2022 and concluding on 3 December 2022.

Decision Date: 11/11/2022

Publish Date: 14/11/2022