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Forbury Park TC 31 May 2018 - R 2 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 01 June 2018

GHall (chair)
Mr R Close - Driver
Mr Munro - Stipendiary Steward
Mr S Wallis - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Mr Wallis, Stipendiary Steward, alleged that Mr Close used his whip on more occasions than permitted in clause (b) of the Use of the Whip Regulations on his drive MOTU LITTLE PRINCESS in race 2, the JUST ESSENCE CATERING MOBILE PACE.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(2) 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.

The Use of the Whip Regulations 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.

Mr Close indicated verbally to the Committee that he admitted the breach and did not wish to be present at the hearing.

Mr Wallis asked Mr Munro, stipendiary steward, to demonstrate the alleged breach on the videos. He pointed out Mr Close, who was racing towards the outside of the field as they turned for home. Mr Close used his whip 13 times in the last 400 metres.

Mr Wallis agreed with the Committee that there were a couple of pauses and there was a combination of whip use both with and without the reins.


As Mr Close has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Wallis submitted that a 3-day suspension was appropriate. Mr Close was aware that this would be the RIU’s penalty submission.

Reasons For Penalty:

The penalty is determined by a sliding scale. Where it is a second breach, the Penalty Guide provides for a 3-day suspension if the breach is within 6 months or 200 drives. Mr Close has a previous breach of the rule in February 2018. He has had 69 drives since that breach.


The count for Mr Close is 13 strikes. He has agreed that this is the number. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors of the breach. It can be met with a 3-day suspension. Mr Close does not drive in Invercargill. He is suspended from the close of racing on 3 June up to and including 14 June.

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