Waikato BOP H 10 March 2022 – R6 – Zev Meredith
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434
Penalty: Junior Driver Zev Meredith is suspended for 4 Driving Days
Following the running of the McMILLAN HOMES 2022 WAIKATO CUP HANDICAP PACE an Information was lodged by Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Steve Mulcay against Junior Driver Mr Zev Meredith alleging that Mr Meredith as the Driver of BAD MEDICINE used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the home straight.
Rule 869(3) provides: No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations made by the Board.
The Whip and Rein Regulations in part 3.1 provide: A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.
Mr Meredith was present at the hearing and he confirmed to the Adjudicative Committee that he admitted the breach. Mr Meredith was supported by Senior Driver Mr Royden Downey.
Mr Mulcay demonstrated the incident by use of the race films. He identified BAD MEDICINE and its Driver Mr Meredith. He showed where in the run home Mr Meredith used his whip in more than a wrist flicking action on at least 4 occasions.
Mr Meredith said that he admitted the breach but he wanted to point out to the Adjudicative Committee that he realised that he had used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion so he corrected his action for the last part of the run home.
Mr Downey pointed to the fact that there were only 4 strikes involved and he said it was minimal.
The breach is admitted and therefore the charge is proved.
Mr Mulcay said that this was Mr Meredith’s second breach in the last 6 months and therefore in terms of the Whip Penalty Guidelines the starting point penalty was a suspension of Mr Meredith’s Drivers Licence for 3 to 5 days. He said that Mr Meredith’s last breach was on the 21st of January 2022 and for that he received a suspension of 2 days and a fine of $100.
He said that in this case the Stewards were seeking a suspension of at least 3 days.
Mr Meredith for his part, acknowledged that the Adjudicative Committee on the 21st of January 2022 had endeavoured to assist him by the penalty imposed on that day.
He said that he was learning because when he was aware of the incorrect strokes he changed back to using the whip correctly. His horse was also in contention at the finish (it ran second) and this might have caused him to use the whip in the manner that he did.
In dealing with Penalty Mr Meredith said he would take any suspension straight away and he said that the Adjudicative Committee should be aware that at the upcoming Manawatu Harness Meeting he would probably have at least 3 drives each day.
Mr Downey then aggressively told the Adjudicative Committee that this was all nonsense in that the Stewards were dealing with a Junior Driver, that there were only 4 strikes and that there was no force behind them. He also said that Mr Meredith was learning and he seemed to ignore the fact that Mr Meredith breached this Rule on the 21st of January 2022. He did not agree that this charge so soon after the January one showed that Mr Meredith was not learning. He suggested that there should be a minimal penalty because as far as he was concerned this was a minimal incident.
The incident is clearly shown on the race films. It might have only involved 4 strikes but they were 4 strikes too many and very clearly a breach of the Rule and the Regulations.
The charge has been properly presented and Mr Meredith to his credit has admitted the breach.
Mr Downey was at the hearing to support Mr Meredith. In the Adjudicative Committee’s view he did not succeed. He was aggressive, he tried to minimalise everything and he tried to say that Mr Meredith was learning from past charges even though the last was on the 21st of January 2022 approximately 6 weeks ago.
The Adjudicative Committee is concerned that Mr Meredith is not learning, bearing in mind that the charge on the 21st of January 2022 should have resulted in 3 day suspension but was only modified to assist Mr Meredith.
Mr Meredith and all Drivers need to be aware that Whip Use is an Animal Welfare Issue and both HRNZ and NZTR are trying to deal with that through the Whip Rules and Regulations.
Mr Meredith was offered a deferment of his suspension but he declined to take it.
It is a concern to this Adjudicative Committee that Mr Meredith is not learning about the use of the whip and therefore the Adjudicative Committee deems that a 4 day suspension is appropriate.
This Adjudicative Committee orders that Mr Meredith’s Driver’s Licence is suspended from the conclusion of racing tonight up to the conclusion of racing on the 24th of March 2022. That is 4 driving days being Manawatu Harness on the 15th and 17th of March, the Auckland Meeting on the 18th of March and the Waikato-BOP Meeting on the 24th of March 2022.
Decision Date: 10/03/2022
Publish Date: 14/03/2022