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NZ Metro TC 4 May 2018 - R 5 - Chair, Ms H Weston



869(2)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Informant: S P Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Defendant: C Butt, Licensed Open Horseman

Information No: A09641

Meeting: New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club

Date: 4 May 2018

Venue: Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Race: 5

Rule No: 869 (2)

Judicial Committee: H M Weston, Chair - D Jackson, Committee Member - R G McKenzie, Committee Member

Plea: Admitted

FACTS:

Following the running of Race 5, Plumbing World Mobile Trot, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Mr C Butt, alleging that, as the driver of EDESIA in the race, he “used his whip excessively in the final 400 metres”.

Mr Butt had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the breach and he further indicated that he did not wish to be present at the hearing.

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 Whip Regulations (effective from 30 November 2017) 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.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Renault showed to the hearing video replays of the final 400 metres of the race. He alleged that Mr Butt, driving EDESIA, used his whip on 14 occasions to the finishing line.

Mr Renault confirmed that Mr Butt had accepted the alleged count of 14 strikes.

DECISION:

Mr Butt having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Renault informed the Committee that Mr Butt has had 29 drives to date this season and, last season, had a total of 29 drives. He has a clear record.

Mr Renault referred to the Penalty Guide for breaches of the rule as set out in the Use of the Whip Regulations. The sliding scale for a “1st offence” provided a starting point for penalty, where the number of strikes was in the 14-16 range, of a fine of $300.

He submitted that a fine of that amount was an appropriate penalty in this case.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the sliding scale of penalties as set out in the Use of the Whip Regulations. The prescribed penalty for a first breach, as this breach is deemed to be, involving a number of strikes in the range of 14-16 is a fine of $300. There were no aggravating factors in this case, in the view of the Committee, and no mitigating factors warranting a discount.

PENALTY:

Mr Butt is fined the sum of $300.

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