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29 Jul 2020
Auckland-Tc - R2

Auckland TC 29 July 2020 – R 2 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 30 July 2020

GJones (chair)
Mr T Macfarlane - Licensed Open Horseman
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the use of whip regulations

This charge arises from the running of Race 2, the Noel Taylor Hall of Fame Mobile Pace 2200. An Information was filed by the Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Muirhead alleging Licensed Open Horseman; Mr T Macfarlane breached Rule 869(2)(a) in that he used his whip on more occasions than permitted over the final 400 metres when driving UNFINISHED BUSINESS.

Rule 869(2)(a) provides that:

(2) No horseman shall during any race:-

(a) Use his whip in an unnecessary, excessive or improper manner.

The Use of the Whip Regulations provides that:

-The whip shall not be used more than 10 times in the last 400m of a race, this is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky.

-At no stage of a race will Stewards permit continuous use of the whip. Horseman must show distinct pauses between the whip being used.

Mr MacFarlane admitted the breach and indicated that he wished to be present at the hearing. He endorsed the information accordingly.

Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Muirhead used available video footage to demonstrate the breach. He identified that inside the final 400 metres of the race, UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Mr Macfarlane) was in the trail following the leader. Approaching the winning post UNFINISHED BUSINESS challenged for the lead and eventually finished in second place. Mr Muirhead said that Mr Macfarlane used his whip 11 times in the run up the straight.

In response Mr Macfarlane advised the Committee that he readily accepted the number of strikes was outside the permitted guidelines. He offered no further explanation.


The charge is admitted and therefore proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Muirhead said that Mr Macfarlane has a clear record with no previous breaches of the whip rule within the reset period.

He said that the breach is at the low end of culpability and submitted it be dealt with by way of a $200 fine. He added that there are no particular aggravating factors associated with the breach.

Mr Macfarlane submitted that he had no option but to accept whatever fine is recommended in the penalty guide for a first breach of the rule. He made no further submissions as to penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide for a 1st breach of this rule establishes starting points based on the number of the number of strikes.  Where the number of strikes is between 11 - 13 the recommended starting point is a $200 fine. 

The video evidence shows that Mr Macfarlane used his whip on 11 occasions in the final straight.  Although the whip use was not particularly forceful it was clearly outside the Use of Whip Regulations.  

There are no aggravating or mitigating factors to be taken into consideration and on that basis no compelling reasons for the Committee to deviate from the $200 starting point. 


The Committee issued Mr Macfarlane with a $200 fine.

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