Waikato BOP H 24 December 2022 – R2 – Maurice McKendry
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434
Penalty: Driver, Maurice McKendry suspended for 3 days
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 2, the Respondent, Driver Maurice McKendry, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) in that he allowed SWIMINTHERIVER to shift outwards causing interference to HEY MIKI DENARIO which broke losing all chance near the 150m.
The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.
Rule 869 (3)(b) provides:
No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.
Using available video footage Stipendiary Steward, Adrian Dooley identified the horses involved in the incident namely, SWIMINTHERIVER driven by Mr McKendry and HEY MIKI DENARIO driven by David Butcher, as the field approached the final bend. He said that SWIMINTHERIVER was the lead horse entering the straight with HEY MIKI DENARIO positioned to its outside. Mr Dooley showed on the video replays SWIMINTHERIVER shifting outwards in the straight eventually contacting HEY MIKI DENARIO whose hind leg struck the wheel of SWIMINTHERIVER causing HEY MIKI DENARIO to break and lose all chance.
In explanation the Respondent Mr McKendry stated that HEY MIKI DENARIO did not race kindly during the running and was hanging around the final turn shifting up the track in the home straight. He submitted that that horse contributed to the incident.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
Submission for Penalty:
Stipendiary Steward, Mr Dooley produced the Respondent’s record which indicated a previous breach on 27 January 2022 where he received a 2-day suspension. The Respondent has had 276 drives to date this season and stated that Mr McKendry’s record could be considered a good one.
In mitigation Mr Dooley said that the Respondent freely admitted the breach and combined with his good record should be afforded credit.
Mr Dooley stated that the Penalty Guide provided a 3-day suspension as the starting point for a breach of this Rule where direct interference occurs. He submitted that balancing up the aggravating factors being the effect on HEY MIKI DENARIO breaking and losing all chance and mitigating factors being Mr McKendry’s good record and his frank admission submitted that a 2-day suspension be considered as penalty.
The Respondent submitted that he did not seek a deferment of suspension requesting any suspension start as soon as possible.
Reasons for Penalty:
The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 3-day suspension in incidents where direct interference occurs.
After taking into account the submissions of both the Applicant and Respondent; noting the Race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner, HEY MIKI DENARIO, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as medium and adopted a 3-day suspension as the starting point.
The Respondent was given credit for his good record and admission of the breach resulting in a 1-day reduction from the starting point. However, the aggravating factor was the effect on HEY MIKI DENARIO chances, which warranted an uplift in penalty. This uplift was set at 1 day.
After evaluating all of the factors the Adjudicative Committee determined a 3-day suspension to be an appropriate penalty considering the circumstances of this case.
The Respondent, Mr McKendry’s Licence to drive is suspended, commencing after racing 24 December 2022 up to and including racing on 7 January 2023. Meetings encompassed in this period of suspension are Cambridge 29 December 2022, Auckland 31 December 2022 and Cambridge 7 January 2023.
Decision Date: 24/12/2022
Publish Date: 13/01/2023