Wyndham HRC 23 February 2024 – R3 – Grant Hunt

ID: RIB39340

Grant William Hunt - Driver

Mr Shane Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Geoff Hall, Matt Conway

Persons Present:
Rebecca Haley - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Whip used with more than a wrist flicking motion

869(2) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Wyndham Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Cromwell Racecourse - Wanaka- Queenstown Highway, Cromwell,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Grant Hunt is suspended 2 days

Mr Renault alleged that in Race 3, Mr Hunt (STRIKE ME HANDSOME) used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion and when out of contention in the run home.

Mr Renault demonstrated the incident on the videos. As the field exited the home bend and proceeded to race down the straight, the Respondent, who had been racing in second last position, used his whip in a non-compliant action.

Mr Renault counted on the video that there were 7 such strikes before Mr Hunt returned to a compliant style over the last 150 metres. He said STRIKE ME HANDSOME was weakening and not making up ground.

Mr Hunt said he accepted Mr Renault’s analysis of the videos and commented he thought he had knocked off earlier than he had.


As Mr Hunt has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submissions as to Penalty

Mr Renault produced the Respondent’s record which showed that Mr Hunt has had 8 drives this season and 30 the last. He has had 636 lifetime drives. Mr Hunt’s record was clear since 3 December 2023. Mr Renault submitted the breach was mid-range as the non-compliant whip use was over a distance of more than 50 metres.

Mr Hunt sought a deferment of penalty until after the meeting at Cromwell on 25 February.

Reasons as to Penalty

The breach is mid-range. Mr Hunt has used his whip in breach of the Whip Rule and the Whip and Rein Regulations from the top of the home straight, until about 150 metres from the winning post. The first strike, in particular, is quite forceful. The horse finished in last position in the race.

The Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a fine of $500 or a 2-day suspension for a first such breach. There is a 2-month reset period. Mitigating factors are that Mr Hunt has admitted the breach and has returned to a compliant style. There are no aggravating factors. A penalty at the starting point is appropriate.


Mr Hunt is suspended for 2 days. This starts after the Wyndham Meeting at Cromwell on 25 February and is up to and including 3 March.

Decision Date: 23/02/2024

Publish Date: 27/02/2024