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Stratford TC 4 March 2018 - R 7 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 05 March 2018

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Mr S Dickson - Licensed Horseman and Driver of MARSHAL STAR
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following the running of Race 7 (Quintin Oakes Builders Stratford Cup) Information No.A10552 was filed with the Judicial Committee. The Informant alleged that Mr Dickson used his whip excessively over the final 400m. Mr Dickson was the driver of the fourth-placed horse MARSHAL STAR.

Rule 869(2) provides:

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.


(b) No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than 10 occasions inside the final 400m, this is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse and/or sulky.

Mr Dickson said that he understood the Rule, Charge and confirmed that he admitted the breach.

Mr Mulcay showed the film replays, identified Mr Dickson and his drive MARSHAL STAR and said that within the final 400m, Mr Dickson had used the whip in a striking motion 13 times.

Mr Dickson responded by saying that the long grass tracks make it difficult for a Driver, as you have to keep your horse going. He said that two other horses had got up inside him and that that made him go over 10 strikes. He said that all he was doing was trying to get some money as there was a difference in stakes between 4th and 5th. He added that he has changed his whip style but that he has not got it quite right. Mr Dickson said that he struck his horse 12 times with the free hand, with the other strike being when his hand was still in contact with the rein.

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Dickson had used his whip excessively over the final stages when striking his horse 13 times.


As the Charge was admitted it was deemed to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Mulcay said that on 1 March 2018 Mr Dickson was suspended for 3 days for excessive use of whip. He submitted that a suspension in the vicinity of 5 days would be in order as this was Mr Dickson’s third breach in a short period of time (first breach on 13 February 2018).

Mr Dickson in response said that it was not intentional as he broke the use of the whip up, but had still come up with 12 strikes. He added that he does not drive on a regular basis and that that makes it more difficult in coming to terms with the Rule.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee was most concerned that Mr Dickson had again breached the Rule in his first drive since being suspended on 1 March 2018 when driving the same horse. On that occasion Mr Dickson’s Horseman’s Licence was suspended for 3 driving days. Taking into account the Penalty Guide and that the breach occurred very close to the prior transgression the Committee determined that an uplift to 5 driving days suspension was an appropriate penalty.


Mr Dickson’s Horseman’s Licence was suspended from 16 March up to and including 10 April 2018 (5 days).

The days being:

18 March Cambridge
29 March Palmerston North
31 March Hawera
2 April Hawera
10 April Palmerston North

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