You are here: Home / Non race day hearings / Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v B Towers - Written Decision dated 14 January 2019 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v B Towers - Written Decision dated 14 January 2019 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 15 January 2019

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF

THE JCA AT CAMBRIDGE

UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

AND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

Informant

AND MR BRENDAN TOWERS

Open Horseman

Respondent

Information: A12202

Judicial Committee: Mr A Dooley, Chairman - Mr A Godsalve, Committee Member

Appearing: Mr S Mulcay, Senior Stipendiary Steward, for the Informant

Date of hearing and oral decision: 11 January 2019

Date of written decision: 14 January 2019

WRITTEN DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

[1] The raceday Informant, Mr Muirhead, alleged that on Wednesday, 2 January 2019 at race meeting conducted by Wairarapa Harness Racing Club at Tauherenikau in Race 1, Mr B Towers, driving GEOFF’S LEGACY inside the final 400 metres in contravention of ‘Use of the Whip’ Regulations. An alleged breach of Rule 869 (2) and Whip Regulations of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

[4] Mr Mulcay produced a letter from Mr N McIntyre, the General Manager Stewards, dated 8 January 2019, authorising him to lodge an Information charging Mr B Towers with a breach of Rule 869(2).

[5] Mr Towers admitted the breach and did not wish to be present at the hearing. This was confirmed via an email sent to the JCA Executive Officer.

Informant’s submissions

[6] Mr Mulcay, Senior Stipendiary Steward, demonstrated the alleged breach on the available video footage. He said Mr Towers used his whip 11 times in the last 400 metres.

Decision

[7] As Mr Towers admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Penalty submissions

[8] Mr Mulcay produced Mr Towers’ record which showed no previous breaches of this Rule in the last 12 months. Mr Mulcay submitted that a fine of $200 was appropriate.

[9] Mr Towers via email submitted that he had a clear record for over 2 years. He believed the charge was “pretty harsh” because he was 1 strike over the limit.

Decision as to penalty

[10] The Committee found that Mr Towers used his whip on 11 occasions inside the final 400 metres. Mr Towers has agreed that this is the number of strikes. We note GEOFF’S LEGACY finished in 3rd place.

[11] The Penalty Guide provides for a $200 fine where the number of strikes is between 11 and 13 (low-range) and there are no previous breaches. Mr Towers has a clear record. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors that require an adjustment to this starting point.

[12] Mr Towers was fined the sum of $200.

Dated this 14th day of January 2019.

Adrian Dooley

Chairman

Document Actions