Waikato BOP H 11 January 2024 – R4 – Todd Macfarlane

ID: RIB37551

Todd Macfarlane - Driver

Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Mr A Smith (Chair)

Persons Present:
Mr N McIntyre

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

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

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Todd Macfarlane is suspended for 2 driving days

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 4, the Respondent Todd Macfarlane, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that he drove carelessly entering the first turn when shifting ground inwards, which resulted in LUBY LILL being checked, breaking and losing ground.

The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the rule’ and confirmed that he was familiar with the Rule.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No Driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steward S Mulcay identified the horses involved in the incident. He said that Mr Macfarlane was racing wide out on the track with T Herlihy to his inside (LUBY LILL) and M McKendry (CON GRAZIA LOVE) to the inner of both. He said that it was evident that Mr McKendry was looking to hold a position off the marker line and that Mr Herlihy had clear air to improve. He said that as Mr Herlihy improved to the inside of Mr Macfarlane, his horse shifted down and resulted in Mr Herlihy’s horse’s off fore contacting the sulky wheel of Mr Macfarlane’s drive. Mr Mulcay said that LUBY LILL then galloped and lost approximately 5 lengths.

In response, Mr Macfarlane asked the Adjudicative Committee to consider that Mr McKendry had his horse’s head turned away from the marker line and was slightly ahead of LUBY LILL, therefore creating pressure from the inside. It was his supposition that this contributed to the incident.


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

Submissions for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward S Mulcay said that this breach fell under the new driving definitions (commenced 1st November 2023) and produced the Respondent’s record, which was clear.

Mr Mulcay added that Stewards assessed the breach as mid range and therefore a starting point of a $500 fine or a 2 day suspension was outlined in the Guidelines.

The Respondent submitted he would prefer a suspension over a fine.

The Respondent advised he could commence any proposed suspension immediately.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a $500 fine or a 2 day suspension.

After taking into account the submissions of both the Applicant and Respondent; noting the race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as mid range and adopted a 2 day suspension as the starting point.

The Respondent did have a good record in relation to this Rule, but it would be inequitable for the Adjudicative Committee to offer a 1 day deduction (in this instance a 50% reduction) in penalty to reflect this.

After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 2 day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.


The Respondent had his Licence suspended, commencing after racing on 11th of January 2024, up to and including, 26th of January 2024.

Cambridge 19/1/24

Auckland 26/1/24

Decision Date: 11/01/2024

Publish Date: 12/01/2024