Waikato BOP H 11 August 2022 – R4 – Ross Paynter

ID: RIB10592

Ross Paynter - Driver

Mr Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Mr R McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr Renault, Mr Paynter

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless driving striking a wheel

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc

Race Location:
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Cambridge Raceway (Remote Adjudicator)

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, Ross Paynter suspended 5 weeks


Following the running of Race 4, Lather Up Standing at Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace, the Respondent admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) in that, as the driver of MARGOT in the race, he drove carelessly shortly after the start when striking the sulky tyre of THE BIG DANCE (Matthew White) which punctured.

The Respondent endorsed the information “I do admit the breach of the Rule.”

Rule 869 provides:

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


Using available video replays,  Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault pointed out the runners involved, shortly after the start of the 2200m mobile start race. MARGOT, driven by the Respondent, had drawn barrier position 4 on the second row and THE BIG DANCE (Matthew White) had drawn immediately inside it at barrier position 3 on the second row.

Mr Renault pointed out that Mr White could be seen to look down to his right as his wheel was struck. The Respondent had been easing in behind Mr White and had come across and struck the wheel, with the tyre puncturing. THE BIG DANCE was able to carry on in and complete the race, he said.

By way of explanation, the Respondent said that he had crossed down pretty sharply and had brushed Mr White’s sulky wheel while attempting to shift down to the markers. It was an error of judgement, he said.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.


The Respondent indicated that he preferred a fine to a suspension.

Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault told the hearing that the Respondent has had 11 drives in the current season (from 1 January 2022) and, in the extended 2021 season, he had a total of 32 drives. He has a clear record. The starting point for penalty is a $300 fine or a 6-drive suspension but, for an admitted breach and a clear record, the usual fine is $250, or 5 drives, Mr Renault submitted. The breach was low-level, involving simply an error of judgement and no other runner had been taken out of the race, he said.

In this case, given how infrequently the Respondent drives, an appropriate period of suspension would be 5 weeks, Mr Renault submitted.

The Respondent wished any period of suspension to commence immediately.


The Committee is prepared to deal with penalty by way of a suspension, in accordance with the Respondent’s wish. A fine, in the circumstances would be $250, which is 5 drives. That takes into account the Respondent’s record and admission of the breach. A term of suspension for 5 actual days is difficult to calculate for this Respondent, but Mr Renault’s submission of 5 weeks is fair and reasonable.


The Respondent is suspended for a period of 5 weeks from 12 August to 16 September 2022, both dates inclusive.







Decision Date: 11/08/2022

Publish Date: 14/08/2022