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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v J C Simpson - Decision on Request for a Ruling dated 1 September 2020 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 01 September 2020

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY

HELD AT CHRISTCHURCH

IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

IN THE MATTER of Information No. A7234 Requesting a Ruling

BETWEEN KYLIE ROCHELLE WILLIAMS, Racing Investigator for the Racing Integrity Unit

Informant

AND JORDAN CAMERON SIMPSON of West Melton, Holder of Licence to Train

Respondent

Judicial Committee: R G McKenzie (Chair)

D J Anderson (Member)

Venue: Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Present: Mrs K R Williams, the Informant

Date of Hearing: 28 August 2020

Date of Oral Decision: 28 August 2020

RULING OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

The Charge

[1] Information No. A7234 has been filed by Racing Investigator, Mrs K R Williams, requesting a Ruling that the Respondent, having been unlicensed as a trainer at the time, started two horses at the workouts in breach of Rule 403(2) (h), that the horses be disqualified pursuant to Rule 40 (4).

Preliminary

[2] Mrs Williams produced a letter dated 25 August 2020, signed by Mr M R Godber, General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit, authorising filing of the Information pursuant to Rule 1108 (2).

[3] The Information has not been signed by Mr Simpson. However, Mrs Williams produced evidence, to the satisfaction of the Committee, that Mr Simpson had received a copy of the Information, Charge Sheet, Rules and Summary of Facts. She produced the following email from Mr Simpson:

I have read the email and can confirm I took the horses as unregistered trainer and am happy to have the plenty [sic] of the horses being disqualified from those heats. I am very sorry for this action and can grantee [sic] it’ll never happen. Kind regards Jordan Simpson.

[4] Mrs Williams told the Committee that Mr Simpson did not wish to attend the hearing of the Information and was happy to abide by the Ruling of the Committee. The hearing proceeded in the absence of Mr Simpson pursuant to Clause 24.1 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Judicial Committee and Appeals Tribunal in the Fifth Schedule to the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing.

The Rules

[5] Rule 403 of the Rules of Harness Racing provides as follows:

(1) The horses mentioned in sub-rule (2) of this Rule are hereby:-

(b) declared to be ineligible to be entered for or to start in any race.

(2) The horses that shall be subject to the disabilities of contained in sub-rule (1) of this Rule are the following:-

(h) any horse that has not been in the hand of, direct charge of and care of a licensed trainer for at least four weeks prior to the date for fixing of withdrawals in the race

Summary of Facts

[6] Mrs Williams presented the following Agreed Summary of Facts which was taken as read:

1. Mr Simpson applied for a Licence to Train on 22 July 2020. Mr Simpson’s licence was not granted until 24 August 2020.

2. Mr Simpson started the 6-year-old mare, SMART SHADOW, in Race 1 at the Motukarara Workouts on 8 August 2020, and SMART SHADOW in Race 1 and the 4-year-old mare, LITTLE MISS LINCOLN, in Race 2 at the Chertsey Workouts on 15 August 2020.

3. Mr Simpson was not licensed as a trainer when starting these horses and they had not been in a licensed trainer’s hands for at least four weeks prior to the workouts, as required under Rule 403(2)(h).

4. Mr Simpson accepts that the horses have to be disqualified from the workout heats they contested.

5. Should these horses be disqualified as requested, they will be ineligible to start in any race until such time as Mr Simpson has held his licence for four weeks from the time his licence was granted on 24 August 2020. They will be eligible to start after 21 September 2020.

6. It is the position of the RIU that this is a sufficient penalty for a breach of this nature.

The Informant’s Submissions

[7] Mrs Williams confirmed to the Committee that the Committee was being asked for a Ruling that the horses be disqualified from the heats that they had contested prior to Mr Simpson’s being granted a Licence to Train on 24 August 2020. No sanction against Mr Simpson was being sought.

[8] Mrs Williams explained that Mr Simpson had been given misleading advice to the effect that it was in order for him to start the two horses. However, his application for a licence had been initially declined, before being finally granted on 24 August 2020.

Ruling of Committee

[9] The Committee is satisfied that, on the relevant dates, Mr Simpson did not hold a licence issued by Harness Racing New Zealand but had raced the two horses at the workout meetings. The two horses were ineligible to start at those workouts, as they had not been “in the hand of, direct charge and care of a licensed trainer for at least four weeks prior to the date for fixing of withdrawals in the race”, as required by Rule 403(2)(h).

[10] Accordingly, the Committee rules as follows:

1. That SMART SHADOW (6-y-o mare Shadow Play – Kamwood Smarty) is disqualified from Race 1, Learners Pace, at the Workouts Meeting of Motukarara Trotting Association on 8 August 2020, and from Race 1, Non-Win & Faster Mobile Pace, at the Workouts Meeting of Chertsey Trotting Club on 15 August 2020.

2. That LITTLE MISS LINCOLN (4-y-o mare Sir Lincoln – Simply Irresistable) is disqualified from Race 2, Learners Pace, at the Workouts Meeting of Chertsey Trotting Club on 15 August 2020.

R G McKenzie

(Chair)

1 September 2020

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