Waikato BOP H 11 August 2022 – R6 – Alan Beecroft
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434
Cambridge Raceway (Remote Adjudicator)
Penalty: Driver, Alan Beecroft suspended for 12 weeks
Following the running of Race 6, King of Swing at Cobbitty Equine Mobile Pace, the Respondent, Alan Beecroft admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) in that, as the driver of MR INCREDIBLE in the race, he drove carelessly when shifting ground outwards on the final bend checking PIIKI WHARA (Sailesh Abernathy) which broke.
The Respondent endorsed the information “I do admit the breach of the Rule” and confirmed that he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.
Rule 869 provides:
(3) (b) No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.
Using the available video replays, Mr S Renault, identified the horses involved in the incident. He pointed out MR INCREDIBLE, driven by the Respondent, racing 3-places back on the markers as the field approached the home turn. PIIKI WHARA, driven by Mr Abernethy, was racing 4-places back in the one-out line. The Respondent was able to shift out into the one-out line and was entitled to ease Mr Abernethy out, having an advantage over him, Mr Renault said. However, Stewards were alleging that the Respondent had come out too quickly, and not in a slow and gradual movement. Mr Abernethy could not react to that move and the hind leg of his runner made contact with the Respondent’s sulky wheel, Mr Renault said.
The Respondent said that he had not quite come off the helmet of the runner in front and Mr Abernethy’s horse was “running in severely” which caused it to contact his wheel. He claimed that the head of Mr Abernethy’s runner was pointed out indicating, he submitted, that it was running in. Mr Abernethy was attempting to correct it, he submitted.
Mr Renault said that he accepted that Mr Abernethy’s horse’s head was turned out, but submitted Mr Abernethy had been attempting to get out of the Respondent’s way, by pulling the right rein. That horse has been running straight prior to the incident, Mr Renault submitted.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Renault said that Mr Beecroft has a clear record under the Rule but has had only 3 drives this season (from 1 January 2022) and last season he had 4 drives, so he drives only very infrequently.
The Penalty Guide starting point is a 10-drive suspension, Mr Renault said. A period of time, weeks or months, is the appropriate penalty, he suggested.
Asked by the Committee, the Respondent replied that he has only one horse at present, MR INCREDIBLE. It would be likely to be racing once a week for the next 3 weeks, he said. He did not seek a deferment of any suspension.
REASONS FOR DECISION:
The Committee faced the usual difficulty faced by a Committee when endeavouring to impose an appropriate penalty for a driver, such as the Respondent, whose drives are interrupted by long periods of time.
The Committee noted the Penalty Guide starting point for a medium-level breach, as per the Penalty Guide, of a 10-drive suspension. This breach would require an uplift as being above medium-level, as the chances of Mr Abernethy’s runner were extinguished. The uplifted starting point would be 12 drives, but the Respondent is entitled to a discount for his admission of the breach and clear record. That discount is fixed at 3 drives.
By a somewhat artificial calculation, allowing the Respondent 3 drives every 4 weeks, which is generous, the result is a suspension for 12 weeks.
CONCLUSION – PENALTY:
The Respondent’s Graduation Driver’s Licence is suspended for a period of 12 weeks commencing on 12 August 2022 up to and including 3 November 2022.
Decision Date: 04/08/2022
Publish Date: 14/08/2022