Rangiora HRC 27 August 2023 – R1 – Colleen Negus
Rangiora Harness Racing Club
Rangiora Racecourse - 312 Lehmans Road, Fernside, Rangiora, 7440
Penalty: Amateur Driver Colleen Negus is suspended 6 weeks
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 1, the Respondent Amateur Driver, Colleen Negus admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that when driving FOVEAUX GAMBLER she drove carelessly in the run home by allowing her horse to shift inwards checking SMOKIN ANNIE.
The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed she understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.
Rule 869(3)(b) provides:
No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.
Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault identified the horses involved in the incident namely, FOVEAUX GAMBLER, driven by Mrs Negus in a 3 wide position as the field turned for home with SMOKIN ANNIE, driven by Michael House, in a 2 wide position and on the inside of FOVEAUX GAMBLER. Mr Williams said that Mrs Negus activated her gear on FOVEAUX GAMBLER, which then began a movement inwards, putting SMOKIN ANNIE in restricted room and as a result, the fore leg of SMOKIN ANNIE struck the wheel of FOVEAUX GAMBLER and stumbled.
Mrs Negus elected not to make any submissions on the incident.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
Submissions for Penalty:
Stipendiary Steward Mr Williams produced the Respondent’s record, which indicated a warning on 23 June – 4 drives previous, for shifting ground in similar circumstances on the home turn. The Respondent has had 16 drives last season, with 13 drives so far this season.
In mitigation, Mr Williams said that the Respondent freely admitted the breach and combined with her good driving record, should be afforded credit.
Mr Williams added that Stewards assessed the breach as mid range and with an aggravating factor being the consequences to SMOKIN ANNIE, to be taken into account.
Mrs Negus made no submissions in regard to penalty, apart from requesting that any suspension begin as soon as possible.
Reasons for Penalty:
The Penalty Guide provides a mid range penalty starting point of a 3 day suspension for a breach of this Rule. The aggravating factor was the consequences to SMOKIN ANNIE, which warranted an uplift in penalty, which was set at 1 day.
The Respondent was given credit for her good record and admission of the breach, resulting in a 1 day combined discount.
After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 3 day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.
In calculating a 3 day suspension for an Amateur Driver, the standard calculation being 1 drive per 2 weeks, therefore a 6 week suspension was deemed appropriate.
The Respondent, Mrs Negus was suspended commencing after racing today 27 August 2023, up to and including 8 October 2023.
Decision Date: 27/08/2023
Publish Date: 28/08/2023