Rangiora HRC 27 August 2023 – R8 – Ben Hope
Rangiora Harness Racing Club
Rangiora Racecourse - 312 Lehmans Road, Fernside, Rangiora, 7440
Penalty: Junior Driver Ben Hope - $250 Fine
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 8, the Respondent, Junior Driver, Ben Hope admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that when driving MICHAEL CAINE he drove carelessly near the 700m by striking the sulky wheel of DOCTOR TIM.
The Respondent, Mr Hope, endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge. Mr Hope, as a Junior Driver, informed the hearing that he did not require assistance at the hearing.
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, MICHAEL CAINE driven by Ben Hope, approaching the 700m and racing in a 3 wide position with DOCTOR TIM, driven by Wilson House, racing 4 wide, positioned forward and outside Mr Wilson. Mr Williams said that Mr Hope was attempting to improve inside DOCTOR TIM when the fore leg of MICHAEL CAINE struck the wheel of DOCTOR TIM, and as a result, the sulky wheel tyre was reported to have deflated.
Mr Hope stated that if the tyre had not deflated, there would have been no issue. He added the movement was minimal, and that it was only a slight contact with the wheel.
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 clear record. Mr Hope, he said, drove on 357 occasions last season, with 159 so far this season.
The Penalty Guide, he said, provided a $300 fine first offence for careless driving striking a wheel.
In mitigation, Mr Williams said that the Respondent freely admitted the breach and combined with his clear driving record, should be afforded credit.
The Respondent elected to make no submissions on penalty.
Reasons for Penalty:
The Penalty Guide provides a $300 fine for a first offence, careless driving, by striking a wheel.
The Respondent was given credit for his good record and admission of the breach, resulting in a combined discount of $50.
After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a $250 fine to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.
The Respondent, Mr Hope was fined the sum of $250.
Decision Date: 27/08/2023
Publish Date: 28/08/2023