NZ Metro TC 9 November 2021 – R8 – Natalie Rasmussen

ID: RIB5714

Respondent(s):
Natalie Rasmussen - Driver

Applicant:
Nick Ydgren, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Dave Anderson

Information Number:
A16607

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Using Whip in More Than Wrist Only Flicking Motion

Rule(s):
869 (2) and Whip and Rein Regulations

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Franco Mac

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
09/11/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Race Number:
R8

Hearing Date:
09/11/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Natalie Rasmussen suspended 9 days

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following Race 8, Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Final Mobile Pace (Group 1), Driver Natalie Rasmussen was charged that, as the Driver of FRANCO MAC in the race, she used her whip in more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.

Ms Rasmussen had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form admitting the breach. Mr Ydgren told the Committee that Ms Rasmussen had requested that she not be required to attend the hearing of the charge. Mr Ydgren said that Ms Rasmussen had earlier attended in the Stewards’ Room, viewed the video replay and immediately admitted the breach. The proposed penalty recommendation was discussed with her. She told Stewards that, at that time, the truck was being loaded with horses and she was required to assist with that. The last race was being run at the time and her request was understandable given the amount of runners the stable had at the meeting, Mr Ydgren said.

Ms Rasmussen told Stewards that she had no submissions to put before the Committee, other than that she has a good record and wished to defer until after the meeting on 12 November.

The Committee held that, in the circumstance as outlined, her attendance at the hearing was waived.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Ydgren showed a video replay of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out FRANCO MAC, driven by Ms Rasmussen, being eased out of the one-one position as the field entered the final straight. He then demonstrated Ms Rasmussen, from that point use her whip in, clearly, more than a wrist only flicking motion for some distance throughout the early and middle stages of the run home, when she had reverted to the “old style”, using  elbow and shoulder, he submitted.

Ms Rasmussen’s explanation had been that she been had carried away with the race being a Group 1.

REASON FOR DECISION:

Ms Rasmussen having admitted the charge, it is found proved.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr Ydgren said that Ms Rasmussen’s last breach of the Whip Rule had been on Cup Day last year. That was 73 drives ago, he said. She should be given credit for that good record, Mr Ydgren said. Ms Rasmussen does not drive that often,  – “quality rather than quantity” – Mr Ydgren said. She had kept her hand on the rein, which took it out of the high-level range, Mr Ydgren submitted.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide provides for a starting point of a 7-days suspension for a breach in a Group 1 Race. That is for a medium-level breach. We believe that this breach is high-level (showing a total disregard for the requirements of the Regulation and making no effort to return to a compliant style) and, for that, an uplift to the 7-days starting point is called for. We set that uplift at 2 days.

Ms Rasmussen finished in 2nd placing in the race, but we do not find that she gained any advantage from her use of the whip. FRANCO MAC finished 3 1/4 lengths ahead of the 3rd placed runner, REPUBLICAN  PARTY.

CONCLUSIONS:

Driver, Natalie Rasmussen, is suspended from after the close of racing on Friday, 12 November, up to and including 10 December 2021 – 9 days.

Decision Date: 09/11/2021

Publish Date: 11/11/2021