Waikato BOP H 2 March 2022 – R1 – Jeff Darby

ID: RIB7721

Jeff Darby - Driver

Adrian Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Bryan Scott

Persons Present:
Jeff Darby - Amateur Driver of NEYMAR ; Adrian Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Careless Driving


Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Location:
Cambridge Jockey Club - 40 Racecourse Road, Cambridge, 4210

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Cambridge Raceway

Outcome: Not Proved

Penalty: Charge dismissed

Following the running of the UFC AT THE CLUBHOUSE SPORTS BAR ON SUNDAY MOBILE PACE an Information was lodged by Stipendiary Steward Mr A Dooley against Amateur Driver Mr Jeff Darby alleging that Mr Darby as the Driver of NEYMAR drove carelessly by allowing his horse to contact the Sulky Wheel of PLAY BALL (Driver J Brownlee) when entering the first turn.

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

Mr Darby was present at the hearing and he advised the Adjudicative Committee that he did not admit the breach.

Mr Dooley demonstrated the incident by use of the race films and showed where NEYMAR had drawn 2 at the barrier and shortly after the start it was on the outside of PLAY BALL which had drawn one. He showed where NEYMAR moved inwards at the first turn and made contact with the sulky of PLAY BALL and paced roughly for 2 or 3 strides.

The film also showed where WATCH AND LEARN (Driver WR Rich) which had drawn 6 at the barrier and came across towards the one out position shortly after the start but Mr Dooley did not consider that this horse contributed to the incident.

Mr Darby was able to ask questions of Mr Dooley but he preferred to use the films and present his evidence. He said that he wanted to lead and he did not want to trail PLAY BALL. He did not deny contact with the sulky of that horse but said that shortly before the incident his horse turned its head inwards and he then had to take action to turn it out. He said that the reason for his horse turning its head in was because WATCH AND LEARN had come across quite quickly and his horse had shied away from that runner. He said his horse was green and that this was only its 3rd start and that it had reacted to the pressure from WATCH AND LEARN . Mr Darby then said that he had good pressure on his reins and that he acted very quickly. He demonstrated all of this on the race films and said that he didn’t think that there was anything else he could do.

In summing up Mr Dooley said that NEYMAR in its first 2 starts had featured in the Stewards’ Reports and Mr Darby should have been aware of its racing manners and should have driven more carefully. He said that Mr Darby had driven carelessly because his horse had moved in and had made contact with the sulky of PLAY BALL. He further said that WATCH AND LEARN had not contributed to the incident because although it had come across it had not put pressure on NEYMAR as alleged by Mr Darby. He did not think that Mr Darby’s horse was at fault but rather Mr Darby had driven carelessly.

Mr Darby in his summary referred to the evidence he had already given and said that the films showed that WATCH AND LEARN had come very close to his horse. He also repeated that he did not want to trail PLAY BALL but rather wanted to lead or stay in the one out line.


The Adjudicative Committee has listened to the evidence and has viewed the films very closely. This is a very interesting situation.

The films to a large extent support the evidence of Mr Darby in that they show firstly that his horse’s head turned inwards and this did not seem to be as a result of any action by Mr Darby , secondly when WATCH AND LEARN came across it got very close to NEYMAR and in fact their respective sulky wheels were very close , thirdly that there was very little time for Mr Darby to react but he did so and fourthly Mr Darby had good pressure on the reins throughout.

The Adjudicative Committee’s view is that this was a horse problem and not a Driver problem and if there is any doubt Mr Darby should get the benefit of that.

The Adjudicative Committee concludes that when WATCH AND LEARN came across NEYMAR reacted and this was the cause of the problem. The Stewards have quite correctly laid the charge but based on the evidence it cannot be sustained.


The charge against Mr Darby is dismissed.

Decision Date: 02/03/2022

Publish Date: 04/03/2022