Otaki-Maori RC 25 February 2023 – R2 – Johno Benner

ID: RIB16351

Johno Benner - Trainer

Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward

Mr N McCutcheon (Chair), and Mr T Castles

Persons Present:
Mr Benner, Mr Goodwin - Ms G Murrow - RIB Investigator

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge


340 - Misconduct


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Otaki-Maori Racing Club

Race Location:
Otaki Racecourse - Te Roto Road, Otaki, 5512

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Licensed Trainer Johno Benner is fined $1,500


Following Race 2, Licensed Trainer Mr J Benner, co-Trainer of ‘HOLD THE PRESS’ was charged with Misconduct under the provisions of Rule 340 of the NZTR Rules of Racing.

The charge was that Mr Benner swore on two occasions at Mr Ray Lenaghan, Veterinary Surgeon, in the birdcage whilst he was acting in an official capacity as an RIB Veterinary Surgeon and that he (Mr Benner), swore on several occasions at Mr Ray Lenaghan and RIB Investigator Ms G Murrow, at the tie-up stalls when they were acting in an official capacity.

Mr Benner said that he understood the Rule, charge and said that he admitted the breach.

Mr Goodwin said that ‘HOLD THE PRESS’ was vetted behind the barrier stalls.  He said that the horse had significant blood and froth dripping onto a shoulder and the horse was scratched on the recommendation of the Veterinary Surgeon.  Mr Goodwin said that animal welfare was paramount as was the safety of the Rider.  He said that after the race and while in the birdcage, Mr Benner told Mr Lenaghan to “f… off” and “get f…..” more than once.

RIB Investigator Ms Murrow, told the hearing, that at the tie-up stalls, Mr Benner was agitated and angry with his arms raised and swearing at Ray Lenaghan.  She said that she told him to calm down and he swore profusely at her and the Vet.

Mr Benner denied swearing at the Veterinary Surgeon and Ms Murrow at the tie up stalls.  He said that he may have said “f…” once and then left.  He said that he was annoyed that his horse was scratched as it only had a minor nick in its mouth. He added that it was a $2.40 favourite and it should have been allowed to start.

He added that Mr Lenaghan had been the stable Vet for several years but he had just sacked him.

Mr Benner admitted that he did swear at him a few times in the birdcage.

At this time of the proceedings, an audio recording taken from a Licensed person was played to the hearing.  This person was a witness to what had occurred at the tie-up stalls.  In essence, the statement said that Mr Benner was very angry towards Ms Murrow and the Vet, that the “f” word was used a bit and that Mr Benner was really angry, waving his arms around at Ray a bit.  He (Mr Benner) used the “f” word quite a few times.

Mr Benner denied that this had taken place and said that he may have said “f…” once and left.


As Mr Benner admitted the breach as outlined in Information No. A17374, the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.


Mr Goodwin said that Mr Benner had had two previous warnings for Misconduct.

He submitted that a significant fine be imposed.

Mr Benner was disappointed that his horse was scratched and said that he was willing to pay what it is.


After giving due consideration to all of the submissions, it was clear that Mr Benner was very upset that his horse had been scratched at the barrier.  Following the race, he took his frustration out on the Veterinary Surgeon and RIB Investigator who were on duty in official roles.

Being a License Holder is a privilege not a right.  License Holders cannot take matters into their own hands and direct foul language at Officials who are acting in the course of their duties.

The penalty imposed needs to be sufficient to not only penalise the Respondent for his misconduct, but also deter others.

The only mitigating feature is that the breach was admitted.

The Penalty Guide for a breach of Rule 340 is fact dependent.

The Adjudicative Committee adopted a starting point of $1750 and afforded a discount of $250 for the breach being admitted.


Mr J Benner was fined $1500.

Decision Date: 25/02/2023

Publish Date: 28/02/2023