NZ Metro TC 20 October 2023 – R1 – Cheree Wigg
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Advanced Amateur Driver, Cheree Wigg fined $250
Following the running of Race 1, Heather & Deborah Negus Birthdays (Amateur Drivers) Mobile Pace, Licensed Advance Amateur Driver, Cheree Wigg, admitted a charge that, as the Driver of PURE COURAGE in the race, she drove carelessly near the 300 metres when striking the wheel of HE’S TOUGH (Ray Reekie) which came off the rim.
Rule 869 provides:
(3) No driver in any race shall drive:-
Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed a video replay of the incident, just as the field turned into the final straight.
Mr Renault pointed out PURE COURAGE, driven by the Respondent, racing in the trail behind the leader, HE’S TOUGH (Ray Reekie), and being eased out. He then showed that, as she shifted out, the Respondent’s runner struck the outside sulky wheel of the leader, causing the tyre to puncture. The tyre came off the wheel rim just prior to the finishing line, Mr Renault said. It was a slight error of judgement on the Respondent’s part, Mr Renault said. The Respondent was “one stride too close”, he said.
The Respondent said that she did not even feel the contact. She felt that she had left room to clear Mr Reekie’s wheel.
The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Renault said that the Respondent has had 19 drives this season. She has a clear record under the Rule. Mr Reekie had told Stewards that he felt he had a chance of running 3rd (his horse was 4th – ½ neck from 3rd), but for the punctured tyre.
The Penalty Guide starting point for penalty is a fine of $300, Mr Renault said.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
This was a low-level breach in the view of the Adjudicative Committee. The Respondent had exercised some care prior to easing out from behind the leader, and had only slightly misjudged that movement. The contact was slight.
The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) provides a starting point for penalty of a $300 fine for “any time driver hits wheel (the consequences of which go to penalty)”. The Adjudicative Committee is not satisfied that Mr Reekie’s runner would have finished in 3rd placing. There were no real consequences in the Adjudicative Committee’s view.
Mitigating factors are the Respondent’s good record and her admission of the breach. These warrant a discount from the starting point of $300, which discount the Adjudicative Committee fixes at $50.
CONCLUSION – PENALTY:
Licensed Advanced Amateur Driver, Cheree Wigg, is fined $250.
Decision Date: 20/10/2023
Publish Date: 23/10/2023