Waikato BOP H 12 May 2022 – R3 – Dylan Ferguson

ID: RIB9086

Dylan Ferguson - Driver

Adrian Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Bryan Scott - Russell McKenzie (remotely)

Persons Present:
Mr Adrian Dooley, Mr Ferguson

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 Dylan Ferguson suspended for 4 days

Following the running of the BLACK DOG FURNITURE TROT an Information was lodged by Stipendiary Steward, Adrian Dooley against Dylan Ferguson, Driver of YA KNOW alleging that Mr Ferguson drove carelessly near the 300 metres mark when allowing his runner to contact the sulky of PHOEBE MAJESTIC (Driver N Chilcott) causing YA KNOW to break with resultant interference to trailing runners.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides : No Driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Mr Ferguson was present at the hearing and he acknowledged that he understood the Rule and that he admitted the breach.

Mr Dooley demonstrated the incident using the relevant race films. He showed where prior to the 300 metres mark YA KNOW was racing 4 back on the inner and Mr Ferguson angled his horse out. In doing so his horse contacted the sulky wheel of PHOEBE MAJESTIC and broke and locked wheels with WINNERS TIME driven by A Neal. This resulted in the sulky of WINNERS TIME being tipped sideways and Mr Neal being dislodged from it . Mr Neal held onto his reins and was dragged for some distance before he was able to pull his horse up.  There was resultant interference to SIR HENRY CASTLETON and AEONIAN who both had their chances extinguished.

Mr Ferguson said that he agreed with Mr Dooley’s summary of the incident . He said that his horse was travelling a bit keen and it has an extravagant trotting action and he needed to allow a bit more room.

Mr Ferguson was asked by the Committee if he had driven YA KNOW often . His response was ” I have driven it every second day for 3 years ” He confirmed that he was very familiar with its extravagant action .


As the breach was admitted the charge is therefore upheld.


Mr Dooley said that the incident was above the mid-range of seriousness because of the number of horses affected. He also said that Mr Neal had been attended to by St John Ambulance Paramedics and was subsequently sent by Ambulance to Waikato Hospital.

He did say however that Mr Ferguson had a clear record under this Rule and that he has admitted the breach. He submitted that a 3 day suspension of Mr Ferguson’s License was appropriate.

Mr Ferguson asked that the Committee take into account his admission of the breach and his clear record. He said that a suspension of 3 days would be 3 weeks in the Auckland/Waikato area whereas because of the number of racing dates it would be considerably less in the South Island. He asked the Committee to take this into account also.


The Committee has the benefit of the Race films which show the incident clearly. We have also had the benefit of clear evidence from the parties and we record that Mr Ferguson was very open and straightforward in his statements to the Committee.

We as a Committee are concerned however at the seriousness of this incident. The old adage ” if it looks bad it is bad” applies and we believe that the incident falls in the mid to upper range of seriousness.

The carelessness was above mid-range and was compounded by the fact that Mr Ferguson was very familiar with his horse’s action. By his own admission he should have taken more care.

The consequences of his actions meant that the chances of at least 4 horses were extinguished and we are very aware of that. There was also the injury suffered by Mr Neal and this could have been much worse .

We are asked to take into account the admission of the breach but in view of the very clear film evidence this was inevitable.

We also comment on the racing dates in the North versus the South. As far as we are concerned suspensions are based on racing days to the extent that 3 days in the North has the same effect as 3 days in the South. It is irrelevant that a suspension in the North might be over a longer period of time than in the South.

Mr Ferguson has advised that he would like his suspension to start immediately.

After taking all matters into account this Committee believes that a starting point penalty should be 5 days but we give Mr Ferguson a reduction of 1 day because of his clear record.

We therefore assess that a 4 day suspension is appropriate. We are aware that this is almost a month but this Committee is aware that in Thoroughbred Racing the starting point penalty for careless riding causing a fall is suspension of License for a month.


This Committee orders that Mr Ferguson’s Driver’s License is suspended from the conclusion of racing today 12 May 2022 up to the conclusion of racing on the 10 June 2022. That is 4 driving days being Auckland on the 20 and 27 May 2022, Cambridge on 3 June and Auckland on 10 June 2022.

Decision Date: 12/05/2022

Publish Date: 16/05/2022