Waikato BOP H 26 February 2023 – R6 – SCOUTS HONOUR

ID: RIB16305

Benjamin Butcher - Driver

Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Hon J W Gendall KC (Chair), Ms G Himona

Persons Present:
Mr S Mulcay, Mr B Butcher, Mr S Abernethy

Information Number:

Decision Type:

869A(2) - Riding/driving infringement


Alleged interference near 1800m

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: Protest Upheld

Penalty: N/A


Following the running of Race 6, an Information instigating a protest was lodged by Mr Mulcay alleging that “SCOUTS HONOUR”, Horse No. 5, driven by Mr B Butcher, placed 2nd by the Judge, interfered with the chances of “JOHN WAYNE” Horse No. 4, driven by Mr S Abernethy, placed 4th.

The Informant contended that the interference occurred near the 1800 metre mark and, but for this, “JOHN WAYNE” would have finished ahead of “SCOUTS HONOUR”.

Rule 869A(2) provides that: “When a placed horse or its Driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of the horse that, or whose Driver, caused the interference, the Adjudicative Committee must …. place the horse that …. caused the interference immediately after the horse interferred with.”


The Adjudicative Committee heard evidence from Mr Mulcay, Mr Butcher and Mr Abernethy, as well as in the form of the race films.  The evidence established that at the 1800 metre mark, Mr Butcher improving from a 3 wide line allowed “SCOUTS HONOUR” to move inwards when not sufficiently clear of “JOHN WAYNE”, so that his sulky contacted the front leg of that horse causing it to break, and gallop for some distance, losing approximately 8-10 lengths.  “JOHN WAYNE” returned to its gait and eventually finished the race off strongly to end in 4th place, with “SCOUTS HONOUR” finishing 2nd.  The margin between the 2 horses was about 1-2 lengths.  Mr Abernethy said that but for the interference and the ground he lost, his horse would have beaten “SCOUTS HONOUR”.


It is not often that interference at such a distance from the finish of a race leads to relegation.  But it can do so, if the requirements of the Rule 869A(2) are met.  It will all depend on the consequences of the interference – here it was more than a “checking”, but rather causing a gallop over an appreciable distance – whether the “victim” horse was placed by the Judge, the margins between the 2 horses at the finish, and whether all the evidence, expert opinion of the Stipendiary Steward, satisfies an Adjudicative Committee that the “victim” horse would have beaten the offender, but for the interference.

The Adjudicative Committee was satisfied from all the evidence that but for the interference and the consequent effects, “JOHN WAYNE” would have finished ahead of “SCOUTS HONOUR”, and as a result of that Rule, that relegation “MUST” follow, was mandatory.


Accordingly, the protest was upheld and the placings amended to provide:

1st    No. 2

2nd   No. 11

3rd    No. 4

4th    No. 5

Fifth  No. 3

Decision Date: 26/02/2023

Publish Date: 27/02/2023