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Ashburton TC 14 November 2019 - R 4 - Chair, Mr D Anderson

Created on 18 November 2019

DAnderson (chair)
Mr T Chmiel - Open Driver
Mr P Williams - Stipendiary Steward
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 4 an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward Mr S Renault alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) by Open Driver Mr T Chmiel. The information alleged, T Chmiel (SHESHEARTANDSOLE) used his whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations.

Mr Chmiel had signed the information stating he did not admit the breach and confirmed to the Committee he had a clear understanding of the rule he had been charged with.

Rule 869(2) provides as follows:

(2) No horseman shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulation made by the Board.

The Use of Whip Regulation (effective from 30 November 2017) provide:

(b) No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than ten occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky. 

Submission For Decision:

Mr Renault used the race video to identify Mr Chmiel driving (SHESHEARTANDSOLE), racing 3 wide and in third place entering the home straight. Mr Renault counted 13 strikes in the run to the finishing post. He stated although a few of the strikes were with the whip held in conjunction with the rein they were strikes with a downward motion and counted as per the Use of Whip Regulations.

Mr Chmiel alluded to the strikes that were counted with his whip in his rein hand and believed those strikes should not be counted. He thought this was unfair and this was his sole defence. He did however, after a time, agree with the Committee the Guidelines were clear on what constituted a strike.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee in viewing the films several times and considering all the submissions found Mr Chimel’s argument flawed in respect of what should and should not be counted as a strike with a whip. The video played in slow motion was compelling and exact in proving a breach of the rule.


The charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault relayed Mr Chimel’s record in relation to the rule. He said on 2 August this year Mr Chmiel was suspended for 3 days and prior to that had breached the rule on 4 April 2019 but that was now outside the reset period. He said Mr Chmiel was a busy driver who last season drove 215 times and 42 in the present season. He said this breach was low range but required a suspension because of the August breach as required by the Guidelines.

Mr Chmiel submitted he would prefer a fine instead of a suspension as he had upcoming drives for other stables that he feared he may lose if not able to drive.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 3 to 5-day suspension for a second or subsequent breach of the rule. The Committee have adopted a 3-day starting point as we consider the whip use to be low range.

There are no mitigating or aggravating factors here to consider.

The Committee after carefully considering all the above factors impose a 3-day suspension as an appropriate penalty in this case.

Any Deferment was irrelevant as the Meetings encompassing the next seven days were not being attended by Mr Chmiel. It was noted Mr Chmiel has confirmed drives at Addington Show Day.


Accordingly, Mr Chimel’s licence to drive is suspended from the close of racing on the 15 November 2019 up to and including racing on the 28 November 2019.

Meetings in effect for this suspension are:

23 Nov- Geraldine
24 Nov- Timaru
28 Nov- Forbury

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