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Kapiti-Coast HRC 3 February 2019 - R 5 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 04 February 2019

PWilliams (chair)
Mr P Fleming - Open Horseman
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 5, the “Coast Bar Services Mobile Pace”, Information A10589 was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr J Muirhead against Open Horseman Mr P Fleming alleging “he used his whip inside the final 400m on more occasions than permitted under Clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations when driving “Our Wicklow”.  Mr Fleming signed the Information indicating he admitted the breach and also that he did not wish to be present at the hearing.

 Rule 869 states:

(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.

Using the available films from the 400m point Mr Muirhead highlighted Mr Fleming driving “Our Wicklow” in the 3 wide 2 back position as the horses rounded the final bend. He said from the top of the straight Mr Fleming then used his whip 17 times in a striking motion and was therefore in breach of the Use of the Whip Regulations.


As Mr Fleming has admitted the breach the Committee finds the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Muirhead said this was Mr Fleming’s second breach of the rule in the last month with the previous breach occurring at Tauherenikau on 2 January when he was suspended for 3 days. He said the starting point for a second breach was a 3-5 day suspension and given that Mr Fleming had used his whip 17 times he submitted a 5 day suspension was an appropriate penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee has reviewed the film of the final 400m of the Race. Mr Fleming has used his whip in a striking motion 17 times with some of the strikes being quite forceful. That number of strikes means the severity of the breach in the high range and it is noted this is his second breach of the Rule and Whip Regulations in a month. The starting point penalty for today’s high range breach is a suspension of 5 days which the Committee considers to be mitigation inclusive and there are no additional aggravating factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Mr Fleming is not a busy driver having had only 6 drives in the current season and only drives in the Central Districts and occasionally at Cambridge. Taking all of the above it is considered that a suspension is an appropriate penalty and on this occasion it will be for 5 days which means the penalty covers a period of just over 4 weeks.  For completeness the dates included are Cambridge (7 February), Palmerston North (12 and 14 February), New Plymouth (28 February) and Stratford (2 March).


Mr Fleming is suspended from driving from the close of racing on Sunday 3 February 2019 until the close of racing on Saturday 2 March 2019.

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