Kumeu TC 28 February 2012 - R 4
Created on 01 March 2012
Name(s):Mr H Cullen - Driver
Miss T Fensom - Junior Driver
InformantMr J Muirhead
Horseman H Cullen drove HEZFULLARUNNING carelessly causing interference to WAINGARO EMPEROR with approximately 150 metres to run.
Following the running of race 3, Stipendiary Steward Mr J Muirhead, lodged an information against Mr Cullen alleging he drove carelessly.
Mr Cullen appeared for the hearing and denied the breach. He consented to evidence adduced at the previous protest hearing being accepted.
Mr Muirhead referred to video footage of the concluding stages of the race from various angles. He identified Mr Cullen leaving the final turn in, a move from 3 back on the fence into the two wide position. As he did so he moved into the line of Waingaro Emperor cramping that horse for room and causing it to break after a front foot struck Mr Cullens sulky wheel. When he came into contact with Waingaro Emperor and caused it to break he reacted by straightening and pulling away from the problem before coming back onto the 2 wide line.
Miss Fensom driver of Waingaro Emperor told the hearing that she was travelling in the two wide position with approximately 150 metres to run when she broke after contact from her inside by the wheel of Mr Cullen's Sulky with the front legs of her horse. She was travelling in the two wide position and was entitled to her line. There was a horse outside driven by Mr Downey with his wheels by her front legs. The movement came from her inside and following the contact her horse broke.
Mr Cullen told the hearing he had pleaded not guilty because he didn't think he was in the wrong. He knew it wasn't in the rules but he was taught that the horse going forward should have the right of way. He conceded on reflection that Miss Fensom had the right to her line and had no obligation to move.
Submission For Decision:
The stewards' contention was that Mr Cullen was entitled to force Miss Fensom wider if it could be done with safety but in this event she was unable to travel wider because of a horse on her immediate outside. Mr Cullen, in shifting ground had to make sure he didn't cause interference to another runner.
Mr Cullen thought he wasn't in the wrong and that there was enough room for him to move into the two wide position and that Miss Fensom should have moved out further on the track.
Reasons For Decision:
From the video footage, reinforced by the witnesses evidence it was clear that Mr Cullen when moving from the running line to the two wide position took the rightful running line of Waingaro Emperor and the subsequent contact between his sulky wheel and the legs of Miss Fensom's horse had caused it to break and lose all chance in the race.
Miss Fensom was not obliged to move out from Mr Cullen and in fact was unable to do so because of the horse immediately on her outside.
Mr Cullen's actions were careless.
The charge is established.
Submission For Penalty:
Mr Muirhead submitted a fine was appropriate for this breach. The starting point was $400 and Mr Cullen had a clear driving record. His assessment was the breach was midrange and contended that a fine of $300 was in keeping with similar breaches.
Mr Cullen considered the penalty sought to be fair.
Reasons For Penalty:
In arriving at the appropriate penalty the committee took into account the evidence adduced, and submissions made, as well as the impact of the careless driving on the race.
A fine of $300 was ordered.