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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v M Edmonds - Penalty Decision dated 4 October 2020 - Chair, Mr D Anderson

Created on 07 October 2020


IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

IN THE MATTER of Information No. A13198


Stipendiary Steward for the Racing Integrity Unit


AND M EDMONDS of Motukarara, Licensed Open Driver


Date of Hearing: 4 October 2020

Venue: Phar Lap Raceway, Timaru

Judicial Committee: D Anderson (Chair)

Present: Miss R Haley Stipendiary Steward representing the Informant Mr Williams

Mr M Edmonds the Respondent

Date of Decision: 4 October 2020


The Charge

[1] Information No. A13198 alleges that:

M Edmonds as the driver of SENCE OF OCCASION used his whip on more occasions than permitted inside the final 400m.

[2] Miss Haley produced a letter signed by Mr M R Godber, General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit, authorising the filing of the information pursuant to Rule 1108 (2).

The Rules

[3] Rule 869(b) reads as follows;

(3) 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.

The Plea

[4] Mr Edmonds had signed the Information that the breach was admitted and at the commencement of the hearing acknowledged that he understood the nature of the Rule. Thus, the charged was deemed proved.


[5] On 27 September 2020 at the BPTC meeting at Motukarara Raceway, Mr M Edmonds was the driver of SENSE OF OCCASION in Race 4 the MIKE MCCALLUM MEMORIAL PACE, was placed 6th in the event.


[6] Miss Haley showed video replays of the incident which showed Mr Edmonds racing 4 back on the fence entering the home straight.

[7] Miss Haley pointed out on the film Mr Edmonds activating gear and striking his horse on 13 occasions from the straight entrance to the winning post, this being the concluding 400 metres of the race.

[8] All parties were in agreement on the number of strikes.

Submissions of Informant on Penalty

[9] Miss Haley for the RIU stated Mr Edmond’s driving statistics showed 63 drives last season with 10 drives to date this season. She also said that he had a clear record in relation to this Rule.

[10 Miss Haley stated the JCA Penalty Guide provided a $200 fine for a low-range breach of this rule. She submitted that taking all factors into consideration a fine of $200 be considered as penalty.

Respondent’s Submissions on Penalty

[11] Mr Edmonds chose not to make any submissions on Penalty.

Reasons for Penalty

[12] The JCA Penalty Guide for a 1st breach of this Rule establishes starting points, on a graduated scale, based on the number of strikes, mitigation inclusive.

[13] There are no aggravating factors to consider here.

[14] The Penalty for 13 strikes in the Guidelines is a fine of $200.


[15] Mr Edmonds is fined the sum of $200.

D Anderson


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