Rangiora HRC 16 November 2022 – R8 (heard 18 December 2022 at Rangiora) – Ross Cameron

ID: RIB14495

Ross Cameron - Driver

Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Mr R McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Continuous Use of Whip

869(2) - Contravention whip rule


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:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, Ross Cameron, suspended for 3 weeks


Following the running of Race 8, Christmas at the Races at Rangiora 18 December Mobile Pace, an Information was filed alleging that the Respondent, Driver Ross Cameron, as the Driver of FAST ACE in the race, used his whip in a continuous manner in the run home.

Rule 869 provides:

(2)  No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board.

The Whip and Rein Regulations provide:

3.3      A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.

3.4      For the purposes of Clause 3.3 a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an   unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:

3.4.2  If the whip is applied excessively, continuously, or without allowing the horse time to respond.

 The Information was filed with the Adjudicative Committee on the raceday and the hearing adjourned. The hearing took place at the meeting of Rangiora HRC held at Rangiora on 18 December 2022.

The Respondent had endorsed the Information “I do admit a breach of the Rule” and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed a video replay of the final 300 metres of the race. He pointed out FAST ACE, driven by the Respondent, towards the rear of the field and wide as the field turned into the home straight. He said that it was the allegation of the Stewards, and he demonstrated it on the video replay, that the Respondent had used his whip in a continuous manner in the run home. There were some brief pauses early in the run home.

The Respondent declined the opportunity to comment.


The charge is admitted and therefore proved.


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, produced the Respondent’s record – 64 drives this season and in the extended 2022 season, 61 drives.

Mr Renault told the Adjudicative Committee that the Respondent has a previous breach on his record – on 22 July 2022 at Addington, fined $300 for a mid-range breach of using his whip in a continuous manner.

Mr Renault said that the Respondent has not had another raceday drive since the breach on 16 November. Any term of suspension needs to be meaningful, Mr Renault said.

The Respondent said that he had been spelling his stable runners in order that they could race over the Christmas period. He will have up to three ready to race, and will nominate them, and race them where he can. The Respondent did not seek a deferment.


The Adjudicative Committee assesses the breach as being in the mid-to-high range. The Respondent has used his whip, on a couple of occasions before the home turn, and virtually non-stop and in a vigorous manner, for the entire length of the straight except for the final few strides.

The Respondent has not driven in a race since the breach, the subject of this charge, on 16 November last, one month ago. The Adjudicative Committee is faced with the difficult task of imposing a meaningful penalty for the Respondent, who drives as infrequently as he does. The Christmas-New Year period is a busy one but, clearly, the Respondent will not be driving at each meeting, even accepting that he may have several horses racing. The Respondent has not driven at all for one month, and has only averaged 1.25 drives per week in the current season. Those statistics are a compelling factor in the Adjudicative Committee’s penalty decision. It is also to be borne in mind that this breach is a second breach of the Rule, within a 6-months period, for using the whip in a continuous manner. The penalty starting point for a second breach of the Rule is a 3-5 days suspension. The penalty needs to contain a personal deterrent factor, so the Adjudicative Committee is imposing a penalty at the top end of that range, given that the breach is in the mid-to-high range.

In the circumstances, the Adjudicative Committee has decided to impose a penalty in terms of weeks rather than days. Any penalty can only be arbitrary, but it does need to be meaningful and not mercifully weak.

It did not assist the Adjudicative Committee that the Respondent was very vague as to his likely upcoming drives.


The Respondent, Driver Ross Cameron, is suspended for 3 weeks, commencing on 19 December and concluding on 8 January 2023.

Decision Date: 18/12/2022

Publish Date: 17/01/2023