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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v T Dewe - Written Decision dated 28 August 2018 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 28 August 2018




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




Junior Horseman


Information: A10532

Judicial Committee: Prof G Hall, Chairman

Mr M Conway, Member

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

The Respondent in person

Date of hearing and oral decision: 26 August 2018

Date of written decision: 28 August 2018


[1] The informant, the RIU, has laid an information with respect to the respondent, Mr T Dewe, that on Saturday 11 August 2018 at a race meeting conducted by the Gore Harness Racing Club at Gore in Race 8, when the driver of HONEY CULLEN, he used his whip on more occasions than is permitted by cl (b) of the Use of the Whip Regulations. This is an alleged breach of r 869(2) and the Use of the 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 Renault tabled a letter from Mr M Godber, the General Manager of the RIU, dated 20 August 2018, which authorised him pursuant to r 1108(2) to lay the charge alleging a breach of r 869(2).

[5] Mr Dewe is a junior driver. He appeared before us without the assistance of a senior horseman but indicated he had had the assistance of Mr G Knight, Licensed Trainer, when viewing the videos with the Stipendiary Stewards. He indicated he wished the hearing to proceed.

Informant’s submissions

[6] Mr Renault demonstrated on the videos of the race that the respondent, driving HONEY CULLEN, was leading as the field passed the 400 metres mark. He then used the whip twice on the bend. There was a pause between the first and second strikes as the respondent activated gear. There were a further 10 strikes in the home straight.

Respondent’s submissions

[7] Mr Dewe stated that he accepted the Stipendiary Stewards’ count was accurate. It was just a misjudgement on his part.


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

Penalty submissions

[9] Mr Renault put Mr Dewe’s record before the Committee. Mr Dewe has had 2 drives this season and had 23 last season. He has had 12 drives since his previous breach of this rule on 19 April last when a penalty of a $500 fine was imposed, the number of strikes at that time being at the top of the range.

[10] Mr Renault submitted a 3-day suspension was appropriate.

[11] Mr Dewe responded if this was to be the penalty, he would wish to defer it until after Forbury Park on 2 September. Mr Renault had no objection to this.

Decision as to penalty

[12] There are 12 strikes in the last 400 metres. This is the respondent’s second breach within approximately a four month period and, as his number of drives is less than 200, there is no reset period. The starting point in the Penalty Guide in these circumstances is a 3-day suspension.

[13] The breach is low-range and there is no need to uplift the starting point. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors.

[14] Mr Dewe is suspended from the end of racing on 2 September up to and including 23 September. This is 3 Otago/ Southland days.

Dated at Dunedin this 28th day of August 2018.

Geoff Hall, Chairman

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