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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v M Williamson - Written Decision dated 3 December 2018 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 05 December 2018

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF

THE JCA AT OAMARU

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 MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

Open Horseman

Respondent

Information: A10527

Judicial Committee: Prof G Hall, Chairman

Mr P Knowles, Committee Member

Appearing: Mr S Renault, Stipendiary Steward, for the Informant

The Respondent in person

Date of hearing and oral decision: 1 December 2018

Date of written decision: 3 December 2018

WRITTEN DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

[1] The informant, the RIU, has laid an information with respect to the respondent, Mr M Williamson, the driver of the horse KANSAS CITY JIM in Race 4 the DUNEDIN CITY MOTORS MOBILE PACE at the Forbury Park racecourse on 29 November 2018. The information alleges a breach of r 869(2) in that he "used his whip on more occasions than is permitted in clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations".

[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 Renault produced a letter from Mr M Godber, the General Manager of the RIU, dated 30 November 2018, authorising him to lodge an Information charging Mr M Williamson with a breach of r 869(2).

[5] Mr Williamson admitted the breach and did not wish to be present at the hearing.

Informant’s submissions

[6] Mr Renault, Stipendiary Steward, demonstrated the alleged breach on the videos. Mr Williamson used his whip 12 times in the last 400 metres. His horse got up to win the race.

Decision

[7] As Mr Williamson has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Penalty submissions

[8] Mr Renault produced the respondent’s record. Mr Williamson has had 255 drives this season. Mr Williamson has a clear record under this rule over the past 12 months.

[9] Mr Renault submitted that a fine of $200 was appropriate.

Decision as to penalty

[10] The count for Mr Williamson is 12. He has agreed that this is the number. The strikes were not continuous but, as Mr Renault agreed, some were quite forceful.

[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. The respondent, who is a busy driver, has a clear record. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors that require an adjustment to this starting point.

[12] Mr Williamson is fined the sum of $200.

Dated at Dunedin this 3rd day of December 2018.

Geoff Hall, Chairman

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