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Wairarapa HRC 2 January 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 03 January 2019

PWilliams (chair)
Mr P Fleming - Open Horseman
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of Whip Regulations
Following the running of Race 1, the “Levin Woolbuyers Mobile Pace”, Information A12201 was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Muirhead against Open Horseman, Mr P Fleming alleging Mr Fleming “used his whip in contravention of the Whip Regulations over the final stages of the Race”.
Mr Fleming signed Information indicating he admitted the breach and confirmed at the beginning of the hearing that was correct. He also confirmed he understood the Rule under which he had been charged and the relevant portions of the Use of Whip Regulations.
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 Fleming racing behind Mr Butcher driving “Aint Nothing Bettor” passing the 250m. He said at that point Mr Fleming pulled out from behind Mr Butcher and used his whip in a striking motion 14 times to the finish of the race.
Mr Fleming had no comment to make but did confirm he did not disagree with the count of 14 strikes.
As Mr Fleming has admitted the breach the Committee finds the charge proved.
Submission For Penalty:
Mr Muirhead submitted that in terms of the Use of the Whip Guidelines a fine of $300 should be imposed based on Mr Fleming hitting his horse 14 times in the final 250m.
Mr Fleming said for financial reasons he would prefer a suspension to a fine and Mr Muirhead said he had no objections on this occasion. To a question form the Committee Mr Fleming said he had 4 horses in work and usually only drove his own horses. He confirmed he would be campaigning his team in the Waikato region later this month.
Reasons For Penalty:
The Committee has reviewed the film of the final 300m of the Race. We believe Mr Fleming hit his horse between 14 and 16 times from approximately the 250m point to the finish line. The Committee notes Mr Fleming has not breached this Rule in the previous 12 months but also that he did finish second in the race being only beaten by a short head.
The starting point for a breach of this kind is a $300 fine. However, we have considered Mr Fleming’s request for a suspension rather than a fine and, on this occasion, have decided a suspension will imposed and that it will be for a period of 3 days. This based on the alternative of a fine equating to 6 drives and Mr Fleming having 2 drives per meeting. In calculating the days to be included we have excluded all upcoming South Island race dates and also the Auckland TC meeting on Friday 18 January 2019.
Mr Fleming is suspended from the close of racing on Friday 4 January 2019 to the close of racing on Saturday 19 January 2019.
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