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Banks Peninsula TC 1 October 2017 - R 7 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 04 October 2017

Rules:
869(2)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
GClapp
Name(s):
Mr R J Butt - Licensed Open Driver
Informant
S W Wallis
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A09583
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Excessive Use of Whip
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 7, Bob Geddes Memorial Mobile Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S W Wallis, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr R J Butt, alleging that, as the driver of STOMPEM in the race, he “used his whip in an excessive manner inside the final 400 metres”.

Mr Butt was present at the hearing of the information and he indicated that he admitted the charge.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

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

The Use of Whip Guidelines (effective from 1 December 2016) provide:

The whip shall not be used more than 10 times in the last 400 metres of a race, otherwise this will be deemed excessive use pursuant to these Guidelines.

Those Guidelines further provide that “use of the whip” is “free of the rein”.

Mr Wallis showed a video replay of the final 400 metres of the race. As the field entered the final straight, Mr Butt driving STOMPEM was racing in the trail behind the leader, MY WEE MAN (N R McGrath). Mr Butt then took the passing lane run. He struck the horse once with the rein in his hand, which did not count, Mr Wallis said. However, from that point, he struck the horse approximately 18 times with a combination of forehand and backhand strikes. That count was accepted by Mr Butt.

Mr Butt was very frank in his admission of the breach and did not wish to say more than that. 

Decision:

Mr Butt having admitted the charge, the charge was found proved.

 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Wallis said that Mr Butt is a very busy driver in the Canterbury area. Last season he had 122 drives and, in the 2015/2016 season, had 149 drives. He has had 8 drives this season prior to today’s meeting. He received a 3-days’suspension for a breach of the Rule at Rangiora on 7 May last. Prior to that, Mr Butt had been fined $300 for a breach of the Rule at Westport on 28 December 2016.

Having regard to the Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach within 6 months (a 3-5 days suspension), Stewards were submitting that an appropriate penalty would be a 4-days’ suspension having regard to the high number of strikes, Mr Wallis said.

Mr Butt requested a deferment of any suspension until after the Premier meeting at Addington on 6 October next, at which meeting he had driving engagements.

Looking at upcoming meetings at which Mr Butt would be likely to drive, Mr Wallis said that Mr Butt had not driven in Southland for at least 2 years. However, Mr Butt had told Stewards that he did have 3-year-olds going down there to race in the Southern Supremacy heats on 7 October. Stewards were prepared to accept that this was the case and, therefore, that meeting could be included as part of any term of suspension, Mr Wallis said.

Mr Butt told the Committee that, in his view, a 4-days’ suspension would be fair. 

Reasons For Penalty:

The Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach of the Rule within 6 months is a 3-5 days suspension. We have adopted a starting point of 4 days, having regard to the fact that this breach is Mr Butt’s third in just over 9 months.

Although most of the strikes were delivered with not a great deal of force, the number was high, raising the level of seriousness into the mid-to-high range. In the Committee’s view, that fact warranted an uplift in the starting point, which uplift we have assessed at 1 day.

Mr Butt has frankly admitted the breach and, even though this was inevitable, we are prepared to give a discount of 1 day for the admission. That brings the adjusted starting point back to 4 days.

Penalty:

Mr Butt’s application for a deferment of suspension was granted, the Committee being satisfied that he had driving engagements at Addington on 6 October.

Mr Butt’s Open Horseman’s licence was suspended from after the close of racing on 6th October up to and including 15th October 2017 – 4 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Northern Southland on 7 October, Timaru on 8 October, Addington on 12 October and Methven on 15 October 2017.

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