NZ Metropolitan TC 11 July 2021 – R 5 – John Charles Morrison

ID: RIB3343

Respondent(s):
John Charles Morrison - Junior Driver

Applicant:
Mr P Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Mr S Ching (Chair)

Persons Present:
Mr P Williams, Mr JC Morrison, Mr N Ydgren (Chief Stipendiary Steward)

Information Number:
A16104

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Careless Driving

Rule(s):
869(3)(b)

Plea:
Admitted

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
11/07/2021

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R5

Hearing Date:
11/07/2021

Hearing Location:
Addington

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver, John Charles Morrison was suspended for 2 days

EVIDENCE:

Mr Williams gave evidence and used video coverage to show that racing into the first bend ART COLLECTOR, driven by Mr Morrison was racing 2 off the pylons and attempting to shift onto the back of FLAMBOYANT, driven by Ms J Herbert. Mr Williams showed on the films that when Mr Morrison was manoeuvring into a position behind FLAMBOYANT, he allowed his horse to get too close with the off foreleg of his horse striking the inside sulky wheel and as a result ART COLLECTOR broke for approximately 130m. He added that the tyre on the sulky wheel of FLAMBOYANT did not deflate with the consequences of the incident was the ground lost after ART COLLECTOR broke. Mr Williams stated that ART COLLECTOR was 3rd favourite in the betting and finished up in 6th place.

Mr Morrison stated that he thought he was clear in his manoeuvre. He said that his horse had a history of being difficult to drive and had an extended action. He added it was a fine margin with his horse just touching the wheel of FLAMBOYANT and the tyre not being deflated. Mr Morrison stated that after breaking for 130m he finished up in a 4 back, pylon position in the running.

REASON FOR DECISION:

As Mr Morrison had admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Williams stated that the Penalty Guide provides a 6-drive suspension or $300 fine as a starting point for a breach of this Rule where striking a wheel is involved. He said that Mr Morrison’s record showed a breach on 10 June 2021 at Dunedin where he received a 2-day suspension.

Mr Ydgren added that Mr Morrison had had 50 drives since that breach. He assessed the carelessness of this breach as low level with the consequences being mid-range, due to the consequential effects on ART COLLECTOR. He stated that normally a fine would be considered in this situation but due to Mr Morison’s’ record of a previous breach within the prior 6 months and the mid-range consequences of his actions, a suspension of 2 to 3 days be considered as penalty.

Mr Morrison requested that a combined penalty be considered as he was leading the Junior Drivers’ Premiership for this season, with little opportunity to maintain his lead, if a suspension was imposed. He did make application for a deferral of penalty until after racing next Sunday 18 July due to the Junior Drivers’ Championship series over the next weekend.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The Penalty Guide provides a $300 fine or 6-drive suspension starting point for a breach of this Rule. This Committee also assessed the breach as low level with consequences being mid-range. The mitigating factor was Mr Morrison’s frank admission of the breach. Against this was the aggravating factor of the consequences of his actions, as noted above. Another aggravating factor was Mr Morrison’s record showing a previous breach at Nelson in January. Taking all factors into consideration, this Committee determined that a 2-day suspension was an appropriate penalty in this case.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mr Morrison’s application for a deferral until after racing on 18 July 2021 is granted.

Accordingly, Mr Morrison is suspended from the conclusion of racing 18 July 2021 up to and including 25 July 2021.  Relevant meetings encompassed in this period of suspension are the meetings at Addington on 23 July and Addington 25 July 2021.

Decision Date: 11/07/2021

Publish Date: 12/07/2021