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Forbury Park TC 21 February 2019 - R 4 (heard 26 February 2019 at Oamaru) - Chair, Mr P Knowles


Forbury Park TC 21 February 2019

Information No: A12473

Informant: Mr V Munro

Respondent: Mr J Morrison

Mr CD Thornley

Charge: Clause (g) Whip Regulations

Rule: 869 (2)

Race: 4

Plea: Admitted

Mr Morrison was charged with a breach of r 869(2) and clause (g) of the Whip Regulations following race 4 the NZ Horse Transport Junior Drivers Trot, at the Forbury Park TC meeting on the 21st February 2019. Mr Morrison did not enter a plea and it was adjourned sine die. A hearing was held at the Waikouaiti TC meeting on the 26th February. Following consultation with a senior horseman Mr Morrison admitted the charge and appeared at the hearing assisted by Mr Thornley.

Rule 869 (2) reads:

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

Whip Regulation (g) reads:

No horseman shall use their whip in such a way that it baulks, inconveniences, impedes or strikes another horse or horseman.

Mr Munro, with the aid of the video replays, stated that Mr Morrison (PAT THE MONKEY) was racing in the one out position as the field approached the 450 metre mark. He said Mr Morrison was seen to lift his whip hand up to about shoulder level and strike his horse. About the 400m mark Mr Morrison again raised his whip to the same height and as a result the trailing horse ZSA ZARA broke and lost its chances. At the same time Ms K Tomlinson was angling out for a run three wide. The Stewards believed Mr Morrison’s whip action caused interference to ZSA ZARA. He said Ms Tomlinson told the Stewards she believed her horse was spooked by Mr Morrison’s use of the whip.

Mr Morrison believed that it was Ms Tomlinson’s sharp outwards movement which contributed to the incident. She said she was in her first season of driving and was showing her inexperience. He believed his actions may or may not have caused her horse to break.

Mr Thornley stated that just prior to ZSA ZARA breaking Mr Morrison had used his whip in exactly the same manner and had not caused any interference to the horse.

Mr Morrison admitted the charge and it is found proved.

Mr Munro stated Mr Morrison had 1239 drives lifetime, 307 last season and had had 309 to date this season. He was a very busy Junior Driver and had an excellent record. He had no previous breaches of this rule. However, a horse had lost its chance due to his actions and he sought a fine of $300.

Mr Morrison said he had a very good record and had admitted the charge. He did not believe he had made contact with ZSA ZARA. He sought a fine at the lower end of the scale.

Clause (g) of the Whip Regulations does not specify a penalty but is by merit on a case by case basis. Mr Munro sought a fine of $300 and we take that as a starting point. We give Mr Morrison credit for his guilty plea and also his excellent record.

Mr Morrison is fined $200.

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