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Winton HRC 23 April 2021 - R 5 - Chair, Mr N Skelt

Created on 25 April 2021

NSkelt (chair)
Mr T Larsen - Junior Driver
Mr K Larsen - assisting Mr T Larsen
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Miss R Haley - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 5, the Ryal Bush Transport Trot 2400m, Information A13955 was lodged by Stipendiary Steward, Miss R Haley alleging that Junior Driver, Mr T Larsen (KING OF THE NORTH) used his whip in an unapproved manner by striking his runner on two occasions after the finish of the race.

Mr T Larsen admitted the breach, was present at the hearing and confirmed he understood the Rule.

Mr T Larsen was supported by Senior Driver, Mr K Larsen.

The Rule Reads

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.

4.5. A driver must drive throughout the race with a hand on each rein.

4.7. A driver may not cross the reins except

4.7.3 When activating gear

4.7.4 For safety reasons

Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Renault used the video clips to highlight the alleged incident which occurred about 100m after the winning post.

Mr Renault stated that it was a very bad look for the Industry, particularly from an animal welfare aspect, and it was also viewed on TAB Trackside throughout New Zealand.

Mr T Larsen agreed with Mr Renault’s summation.

Mr K Larsen said the horse was only learning and looked to knock off before the winning post, and Mr T Larsen was reminding him (KING OF THE NORTH) to keep his mind on the job right to the finish line.


Mr T Larsen admitted the charge and it was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Miss Haley said Mr Larsen has had 136 lifetime drives, 41 last season and 94 this season.
He had one previous breach of The Whip Regulations on the 4 March 2021 at the Winton Harness meeting where he was fined $150.

Miss Haley confirmed that Mr T Larsen had between 3 – 5 drives on most Southern race days.

The JCA Penalty Guide recommends a penalty of 3 – 5-day suspension for a breach under this Rule.

Miss Haley stated the aggravating factor in the incident was the animal welfare and public viewing of the incident.

The mitigating factor being Mr Larsen’s admittance of the breach and that the strikes were of a light nature and not hard.

Mr T Larsen had no submissions on penalty, Mr K Larsen reinforcing that Mr T Larsen was a Junior Driver still learning, and he had admitted the breach, and the horse that he was driving (KING OF THE NORTHJ) was still relatively inexperienced (23 raceday starts).

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering submissions, the Committee took into account, Mr T Larsen’s driving record, his relative inexperience and his admittance of the breach. The aggravating factor being the unfortunate public perception and the lack of duty of care for the animal welfare which Mr Larsen is responsible for and is expected to uphold.

The video evidence in this incident was compelling.


Mr T Larsen is suspended from the conclusion of racing on the 23 April 2021 up to including the 15 May 2021 (3 days), these being Invercargill 2 May, Invercargill 8 May, Winton 15 May 2021.

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