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Manawatu HRC 15 February 2018 - R 10 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 19 February 2018

Rules:
869(2)
Committee:
PWilliams (chair)
GClapp
Name(s):
Mr S Quill - Junior Horseman
Mr S Abernethy - Open Horseman assisting Mr Quill
Informant
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A2348
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Excessive Use of Whip
Evidence:
Following the running of Race 10, the “Cartown Mobile Pace”, Information A2348 was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Muirhead against Junior Horseman, Mr S Quill alleging that Mr Quill “used his whip excessively over the final 400m”.
 
Mr Quill signed Information indicating he admitted the breach and at the beginning of the hearing confirmed that was correct and also that he understood the Rule under which he was charged. Mr Quill was assisted during the hearing by Open Horseman Mr S Abernethy.
 
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 side-on film Mr Muirhead highlighted Mr Quill trailing the leader with approximately 400m. He said from the 400m to the finish Mr Quill used his whip 12 times which was in clear breach of the use of whip Regulations issued by HRNZ.
 
Neither Mr Quill or Mr Abernethy disputed the number of times the whip had been used. Mr Quill, as a recent addition to the driving ranks in New Zealand, said he was still trying to adjust to the use of the whip Rule and Mr Abernethy indicated he would be doing all he good to ensure that Mr Quill fully understood the Regulations and not breach the Rule again.
Decision:
As Mr Quill has admitted the breach the Committee finds the charge proved.
Submission For Penalty:
Mr Muirhead said this was Mr Quill’s third breach of the Rule in less than 3 weeks with him having been fined $200 on 28 January 2018 at the Waikato/BoP meeting and on 8 February 2018 at the same meeting where he was suspended for 3 days. Mr Muirhead said that suspension was to commence from the close of racing tonight (15 February 2018) and conclude at the close of racing on Friday 23 February 2018.
 
Mr Muirhead said that Mr Quill had driven 34 winners overseas in his career and was therefore eligible to drive at Premier meetings. He submitted that the Stewards believed an appropriate penalty for tonight’s breach of the Rule was a 5 day suspension.
 
Neither Mr Quill or Mr Abernethy had any comments to make.
Reasons For Penalty:
The Committee has reviewed the film of the final 400m of the Race and agrees Mr Quill has struck his horse 12 times from the 400m to the finish line with several of the strikes being quite forceful. The Committee notes this is Mr Quill’s third breach of this Rule in under three weeks which highlights the difficulty he is having adjusting to the use of the whip guidelines. The Committee notes that he has driven over 30 winners in Ireland and Australia and is therefore eligible to drive at Premier meetings although since his arrival in New Zealand he has had only seven drives including one tonight.
 
The Use of Whip Regulations do not state a starting point for a second or subsequent breach of this Rule and the Committee has therefore adopted a starting point penalty of a 5-day suspension. We are assisted in this having noted that Mr Quill is the second driver to be charged with a third breach of this Rule since 1 December 2017. The other driver (Mr Cameron) also breached the Rule three times in three weeks and received a 5 days suspension for the third breach.
 
An aggravating factor is that Mr Quill has breached the Rule three times in seven drives but on this occasion we have decided not to increase the penalty further in recognition of Mr Quill’s comments that he will be making every endeavour to alter his use of the whip style and will be given support by Mr Abernethy to make the required changes.
 
There are no mitigating factors that justify this starting point being reduced. Nevertheless, it important the penalty imposed today be a meaningful one and the Committee has therefore decided on this occasion that a period of suspension is an appropriate penalty and Mr Quill is suspended from the close of racing on 23 February 2018 to the close of racing on 9 March 2018.
Penalty:
Mr Quill is suspended for 5 days, those being New Plymouth (1 March 2018), Auckland (2 March 2018), Stratford (3 March 2018), Cambridge (7 March 2018) and Auckland (9 March 2018).
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