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Adjourned Hearing NZ Metropolitan TC 28 May 2021 - R 3 (heard 3 June 2021 at Addington) - Chair, Mr RG McKenzie



869(2) and Whip and Rein Regulations

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Informant: Mr SP Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: Ms AJ Cameron, Licensed Junior Driver

Information No: A12675

Meeting: New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club

Date: 28 May 2021 (heard 3 June 2021 at Addington)

Venue: Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Race: 3

Rule No: 869 (2) & Whip & Rein Regulations

Judicial Committee: Mr RG McKenzie, Chair

Also present: Mr MC Purvis, Licensed Open Driver

Plea: Admitted

 

FACTS:
Following the running of Race 3, SBSR – Harrison Bloy (Junior Drivers) Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr SP Renault, against Licensed Junior Driver, Ms AJ Cameron, alleging that, as the Driver of TOMBELINA in the Race, she “used her whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the home straight”.

The Information was filed with the Judicial Committee on racenight and adjourned. It was served on Ms Cameron at the race meeting of New Zealand Metropolitan TC at Addington Raceway on 3 June 2021 and heard at that meeting.

Ms Cameron had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that she admitted the breach. She confirmed this at the hearing at which she was present. She was assisted at the hearing by Licensed Open Driver, Mr MC Purvis.

The Whip and Rein Regulations provide as follows:

3.1 A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.
3.2 For the purposes of clause 3.1, “wrist only flicking motion” means:
3.2.1 Ensuring no force is generated by the use of the elbow or shoulder when applying the whip.
3.2.2 The forearm is not raised beyond forty-five degrees relative to the racing surface.
3.2.3 Not applying the whip with overt force.
3.3 A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.
3.4 For the purposes of Clause 3.3 a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:
3.4.1 If the whip is applied other than as permitted in clause 3.1.

 

SUBMISSION(S):
Mr Renault showed a video replay of the final 300 metres of the race. He pointed out TOMBELINA, driven by Ms Cameron, improving wide out on the track as the field neared the home turn. Shortly after entering the home straight, Mr Renault alleged, Ms Cameron used her whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion on four occasions, before turning her whip around when being, clearly, out of contention.

Mr Renault said that the concern for Stewards was that the strikes were more than a wrist flick, engaging the elbow.

 

DECISION:
Ms Cameron having admitted the breach, it was found proved.

 

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS:
Mr Renault said that Ms Cameron has had 78 drives this season and, last season, had 58 drives. She has a previous breach on her record – at Motukarara on 24 January 2021, fined $200 for using her whip in more than a wrist only flicking motion. The starting point for a second breach is a 3-5 day suspension This breach being at the lower end, Stewards were asking for a 3-day suspension, Mr Renault said.

Mr Purvis, on Ms Cameron’s behalf, accepted that a 3-day suspension was appropriate in the circumstances. There are two races for Junior Drivers at the upcoming Forbury Park TC meeting on 10 June, Mr Purvis said. He asked that that meeting be taken into account in calculating the days for the suspension, but Ms Cameron wished the suspension to commence immediately, he said.

 

REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide (effective 1 October 2020) provides as follows:
Low-level is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving.

The Committee is satisfied that Ms Cameron’s whip use was low-level in terms of the Penalty Guide. The four non-compliant strikes were delivered some distance from the finish, over a short distance, and were not forceful. Ms Cameron, wisely, tucked her whip away some distance from the finish when she realised that her horse was clearly out of contention, and this is to her credit.

The previous breach in January is an aggravating factor, which calls for a suspension for this second breach. However, a term of suspension at the lower end of the starting point is an appropriate penalty in the circumstances.

 

PENALTY:
Ms Cameron’s Junior Driver Licence is suspended from after the close of racing on 3 June 2021 up to and including 13 June 2021 – 3 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are Forbury Park TC on 10 June and the two meetings of NZ Metropolitan TC on 11 and 13 June 2021.

 
R G McKenzie
CHAIR

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