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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v A D Edmonds - Decision dated 20 April 2017 - Chair, Mr R G McKenzie

Created on 21 April 2017


Informant: S P Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: A D Edmonds, Licensed Open Driver

Information No: A6286

Meeting: New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club

Date: 16 March 2017

Venue: Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Rule No: 869 (3) (b)

Race: 1

Judicial Committee: R G McKenzie, Chairman - S C Ching, Committee Member

Plea: Admitted


Following the running of Race 1, Christchurch Casino Mobile Trot, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Open Driver, Miss A D Edmonds, alleging a breach of Rule 869 (3) (b) in that Miss Edmonds, as the driver of JAW D NANCY in the race, drove carelessly when “on the bend near the 1700 metres [she] shifted in when not sufficiently clear of BONNIE HIGHLANDER (J R Dunn) contacting that runner’s front leg causing it to gallop and [her] to sustain a puncture”.

The information was filed with the Judicial Committee on race night and was served on Miss Edmonds on 11 April 2017. Miss Edmonds had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that she admitted the breach. She had also endorsed on the information form “I do not wish to be present at the hearing”.

The hearing of the information was held at the meeting of Banks Peninsula Trotting Club at Motukarara on 17 April 2017. Miss Edmonds was not present.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(3) No horseman in any race shall drive:-

(b) carelessly.


Mr Renault showed video replays of the incident approximately 250 metres after the start of the 1950 metres mobile start event. He pointed out the relevant runners – Miss Edmonds driving JAW D NANCY, which had started from barrier position 6 on the front row, racing in 3rd position outside the leader, and Mr Dunn driving BONNIE HIGHLANDER, which had drawn barrier position 1 on the second row, racing on the markers behind the leader.

As the field went into the first bend, Miss Edmonds attempted to drop down into the trail ahead of Mr Dunn, crowding Mr Dunn in doing so, despite Mr Dunn trying to give her room, Mr Renault said. Miss Edmonds continued to shift down the track and Mr Renault pointed out the off-foreleg of Mr Dunn’s horse contact the inside sulky wheel of Miss Edmonds’ runner. The videos showed that Miss Edmonds was never clear of Mr Dunn’s horse, Mr Renault submitted. As a consequence, Miss Edmonds’ runner sustained a punctured tyre and Mr Dunn’s runner broke and lost its chance, finishing in second to last placing.


Miss Edmonds having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.


Mr Renault said that he had been told by Miss Edmonds that she was not in a position to pay a fine. She drives, at most, one horse per meeting, he said. She has driven very infrequently recently and, in fact, has had only three drives this season and had three in the 2015/2016 season. She has a clear record under the Rule, Mr Renault said.

Mr Renault said that Stewards would normally be seeking a fine of $300 or six drives. A minimum suspension for 6 meetings would be appropriate in this case, he submitted.


The Committee, in arriving at penalty, had regard to Miss Edmonds advice to the Stewards that she could not afford to pay a fine. In those circumstances, the Committee did not wish to impose a financial burden on her. It was not a simple exercise calculating an appropriate term of suspension for Miss Edmonds, having regard to the infrequency with which she drives, although we accepted that she was likely to be driving more frequently in the near future. In the event, the Committee accepted Mr Renault’s submission that a suspension for 6 meetings was an appropriate penalty.


Miss Edmonds’ Open Driver’s Licence is suspended up to and including 7 May 2017 – the six meetings intended to be encompassed by that period are Addington on 21 April, Rangiora on 23 April, Addington on 27 April, Ashburton on 29 April, Addington on 5 May and Rangiora on 7 May 2017.

R G McKenzie        S C Ching


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