Wyndham HRC 6 January 2022 – R2 – SWEET AND SOUR

ID: RIB6810

Brad Williamson - Driver

Vinny Munro

Geoff Hall

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

213(1)(j) - Riding/driving infringement

Request for Ruling:
Request for ruling

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: Determination

Penalty: Late scratching as denied a fair start - SWEET AND SOUR

Mr Munro, Stipendiary Steward, sought a Ruling as to whether SWEET AND SOUR had been denied a fair start in Race 2.

Mr Munro demonstrated on the video angles of before the start that MARSHMELLOW MILLIE (Mr Morrison) had reared on two occasions as the mobile was starting to move away.

Mr Williamson said after the mobile had got underway, he had had to take evasive action as he was in danger of being struck by the forelegs of MARSHMELLOW MILLIE. As a consequence he had urged SWEET AND SOUR with some urgency towards the inside of the track and away from MARSHMELLOW MILLIE. Mr Williamson said SWEET AND SOUR had panicked as a consequence and was never comfortable. The horse had thrown its head in the air and then galloped towards the outside of the track.

Mr Munro said the Stewards thought that SWEET AND SOUR may have come down pacing for 5 or 6 strides before galloping towards the outside of the track. Mr Williamson responded it was 3 or 4 strides at best and that SWEET AND SOUR had comfortably paced for zero strides after he had had to take evasive action. He added as a consequence of the interference from MARSHMELLOW MILLIE he was never going to get into his correct position behind the mobile in any event.

The videos are far from clear. They demonstrate MARSHMELLOW MILLIE rearing with legs in the air and Mr Williamson quickly urging SWEET AND SOUR away from the danger. However, all that can be seen of Mr Williamson is his head moving swiftly away; the rest of his body and his horse SWEET AND SOUR is not in picture shot. It is then difficult to see whether SWEET AND SOUR paced at all as that horse remains obscured by the mobile. When the horse re-emerges into picture shot it is galloping madly towards the outside of the track. Prior to MARSHMELLOW MILLIE rearing, there is no evidence of SWEET AND SOUR causing Mr Williamson any issues.

Mr Williamson is adamant that SWEET AND SOUR’s antics were due to his immediate response in the interests of his and his horse’s safety to the actions of MARSHMELLOW MILLIE. There is nothing in the video evidence that rebuts Mr Williamson’s evidence and, what little help that can be obtained, supports it.

In these circumstances the Committee ruled that in its opinion SWEET AND SOUR had been denied a fair start and advised the Informant accordingly.

Decision Date: 06/01/2022

Publish Date: 10/01/2022