NZ Metro TC 9 December 2022 – R5 – Samantha Ottley

ID: RIB14467

Samantha Ottley - Driver

Mr N McIntyre - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr D Anderson

Persons Present:
Mr N McIntyre, Mr S Renault - RIB Stipendiary Stewards, Ms S Ottley and Mr R May - Senior Driver

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

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

Not Admitted

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 Samantha Ottley is suspended for 2 days


 Following the running of Race 5, the Respondent Ms Ottley denied a breach of Rule 869(3)(b), mainly that she drove carelessly near the 200m.

The Respondent endorsed the Information “I do not admit the breach of the Rule” and confirmed she understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using the available video footage Mr McIntyre had Mr Renault identify the horses involved in the incident, namely, MURANO driven by Ms Ottley and WESTSTAR MILLY driven by Mr R May. He said passing the 200m, Mr May’s horse who was racing 3 wide and had a clear neck advantage over Ms Ottley to his inside, angled in and attempted to shift his horse down the track.

Mr McIntyre said it is simply a case that Ms Ottley has not conceded her position as required under the Rules. He said Mr May is entitled to that position, given he had a clear advantage and there were no horses to Ms Ottley’s inside.

Ms Ottley stated at no stage did she attempt to hold her line. She said she could anticipate what was happening and pointed to the video of her horse’s head being turned inwards. She said her horse is not one that you can get into a war with. She said it was never her intention to keep Mr May out and had attempted to gradually move her horse into the rail position. She said her horse could not deal with the pressure of Mr May’s shift and contact of the two sulky shafts, but added that her horse should not have galloped, but said “that’s just her”.

Ms Ottley called Mr May as her witness and asked him to confirm or deny if she had attempted to stop him from shifting inwards.

Mr May said he always had a clear advantage, but as he shifted inwards, the sulky shafts touched and MURANO broke.

Reasons for Decision:

The video replay establishes Mr May was entitled to shift his horse down the track and manoeuvre Ms Ottley to the marker line. When questioned by the Adjudicative Committee as to why he had to steer his horse away from Ms Ottley as the sulky shafts came together, was compelling evidence, Ms Ottley had maintained her position.

Ms Ottley stated she had never intended to keep Mr May out, but the evidence shows she did not move her horse’s head inwards until contact had been made, which was too little and too late.


The charge was found proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Chief Steward Mr McIntyre produced the Respondent’s record which indicated a clear record under the Rule, and she has had 727 drives this season. Mr McIntyre stated the Stewards assess the breach as low level. He said the aggravating factor is that three horses were checked, but in mitigation, the Stewards consider Ms Ottley’s record as excellent and therefore a 2-day suspension would be an appropriate penalty.

The Respondent requested a deferment of penalty until after next Friday and added that she has been driving in ten races per meeting which should equate to only a 1-day suspension.

Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault accessed the Driver database and advised the Adjudicative Committee that Ms Ottley drives an average of 5 drives per meeting.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 10- drive suspension or a $500 fine. The Adjudicative Committee considers a suspension as an appropriate penalty and grants Ms Ottley’s request for a deferment.

After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 2-day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.


The Respondent Ms Ottley’s licence to drive in races is suspended from the 17 December 2022 to the 18 December 2022 inclusive.

Decision Date: 09/12/2022

Publish Date: 17/01/2023