Wyndham HRC 8 September 2022 – R6 – John Bennett
Wyndham Harness Racing Club
Wyndham Racecourse - Alma St, Wyndham, 9892
Penalty: Driver John Bennett is suspended for one month
After the conclusion of Race 6 Information A16539 was lodged by Stipendiary Steward Mr Shane Renault under Rule 869(2) (Whip and Rein Regulations). Mr Renault alleged that Mr Bennett used his whip free of the rein on 7 occasions throughout the run home.
The Respondent Mr John Bennett was present at the hearing and admitted the breach and confirmed he was conversant with the Rule and the charge.
Rule 869 provides that:
(2) No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board
Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault asked Stipendiary Steward Miss Haley to highlight the incident on the video clips. Mr Renault stated that Mr Bennett has used his whip free of the rein throughout the run home.
In response, the Respondent advised the Adjudicative Committee that he had simply reverted back to the old style and that he was not driving frequently.
The charge is admitted and therefore proved.
Submission for Penalty:
Mr Renault produced the Respondent Mr Bennett’s record which indicated no previous breaches of the Rule. He said that Mr Bennett was a very infrequent Driver who has had 137 lifetime drives, 4 last season and 6 this season.
Mr Renault said the Stewards’ assessed the breach to be at a high level and submitted that a 3 day suspension would not be satisfactory in this situation and that a time period would be more in keeping with the the Penalty Guidelines and appropriate in this instance.
The Respondent submitted that he was only driving perhaps 1 or 2 horses for the stable and maybe engaged for these horses over the next 3 or 4 meetings in the Southern region.
Reasons for Penalty:
The race films of the incident are very conclusive and the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach to be at a high level.
Having considered all factors, the Adjudicative Committee deemed a one month suspension to be an appropriate penalty in this instance, due to the infrequency of Mr Bennett’s driving and the opportunities offered to him.
The Respondent Mr Bennett is suspended for a period of one month, commencing at the conclusion of racing on the 8th of September 2022, up to and including the 8th of October 2022.
Decision Date: 08/09/2022
Publish Date: 12/09/2022