Rangiora HRC 1 January 2023 – R3 – Colin DeFilippi

ID: RIB13930

Colin DeFilippi - Driver

Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Mr Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr Renault, Mr DeFilippi

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless driving

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

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Rangiora Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Rangiora Racecourse - 312 Lehmans Road, Fernside, Rangiora, 7440

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Rangiora Racecourse

Outcome: Not Proved

Penalty: N/A

Following the running of Race 3, Balcairn Stockfoods F&M Mobile Pace, the Respondent, Open Driver Colin DeFilippi, as the Driver of SIYA in the Race, denied a charge that he drove carelessly shortly after the start when shifting in and striking the sulky wheel of REMY BROWN (Blair Orange) causing his own horse to break.

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

Rule 869 provides:

(3) (b) No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed video replays of the incident shortly after the start of the 2000 metres mobile start race. Steward, Matt Sole, pointed out SIYA, driven by the Respondent, which had drawn barrier position 5, and REMY BROWN, driven by Blair Orange, which had drawn barrier position 3 on the second row.

Mr Renault alleged that the Respondent was pulling back to get onto the back of Mr Orange and his horse struck Mr Orange’s sulky and went into a break. Stewards were alleging that the Respondent, in shifting ground inwards, was not clear of Mr Orange’s wheel.

The Respondent said that SIYA was having her first raceday start following three trials. He was driving the mare for the first start. It had always been his intention to go back out of the gate. Right from the start, she did not feel a “nice pacer”. There was a gap behind Mr Orange. The mare put in two rough steps and ducked in, and it was then that she had struck Mr Orange’s wheel, he said. There was always plenty of room behind Mr Orange, he said. The horse had a Murphy Blind on and could not see inside her, in addition to wearing Spreaders. These indicated that her manners were not great and, when she touched the wheel, she panicked, the Respondent said. He stressed that the mare had gone rough, long before she touched the wheel with her near front leg.

Mr Renault conceded that the mare had put in some rough strides, but it had always been the Respondent’s intention to shift down the track. He had made an error of judgement, he said.

The mare had run down on him, the Respondent said. He had attempted to pull her out, but she had continued to run in.  The mare had not felt comfortable leaving the gate, but he had control of her. She then put in a rough stride and, when he took a hold of her because she had put in that rough stride, she had run in and struck the wheel. The mare had put in three rough strides before contacting the wheel, he alleged.


The charge is dismissed.


The Adjudicative Committee listened to the evidence and submissions of the parties and carefully viewed the available video replays of the incident.

The evidence of the Stewards was, essentially, to the effect that the Respondent had not allowed himself sufficient room when attempting to ease down onto the back of REMY BROWN (Blair Orange) shortly after the start and, as a result, his runner struck the sulky wheel of that runner.

The Respondent’s evidence was that his runner, having its first start and wearing a Murphy Blind and Spreaders, was proving a difficult drive. He said that, as he was easing back and down onto the back of Mr Orange, his mare put in three rough strides, which was supported by the video evidence, and ran in and its near front leg contacted the sulky wheel of REMY BROWN. The Respondent’s evidence was that, but for his horse putting in the rough strides and running in, he would have been able to execute his planned movement, to ease down onto Mr Orange’s back, with safety.

The key to this matter, in the Adjudicative Committee’s view, is that SIYA had clearly put in a number of rough strides prior to contacting Mr Orange’s wheel and, had the horse been racing more tractably, it is likely that the wheel would not have been struck. The Respondent’s explanation of the incident was credible and was supported by the video evidence.

The Adjudicative Committee finds that the Respondent had taken reasonable care and is not satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that he has driven carelessly.


The charge is dismissed.

Decision Date: 01/01/2023

Publish Date: 12/01/2023