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Banks Peninsula TC 1 December 2019 - R 9 - Chair, R McKenzie

Created on 04 December 2019

RMcKenzie (chair)
P J Wakelin
Licensed Open Driver
C M Tibbs
Stipendiary Steward
R A Quirk
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 9, Hope Racing Stables Trot, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr R A Quirk, against Licensed Open Driver, Ms P J Wakelin, alleging that Ms Wakelin, as the driver of RUSTY I AM in the race, “used her whip on more occasions than permitted in the last 400 metres under the Use of the Whip Regulations (b)”.

Ms Wakelin had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that she denied the charge. She confirmed this at the hearing, at which she was present.

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.

The Use of Whip Regulations (effective from 30 November 2017) 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.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Quirk showed to the hearing video replays (side-on and head-on) of the final 400 metres of the race. He had Stipendiary Steward, Mrs C M Tibbs, point out RUSTY I AM, driven by Ms Wakelin, four places back on the markers as the field entered the final straight. Shortly thereafter, the horse obtained racing room and Ms Wakelin commenced using her whip. Mr Quirk alleged that there were eight clear uses of the whip in the initial stages of the run home. After a brief pause, Ms Wakelin commenced using her whip again on a possible further ten occasions, but Stewards were alleging 16 clear strikes, Mr Quirk said.

Ms Wakelin said that she accepted the count of eight strikes up to the point at which she paused. She said she then put the reins back in both hands and most of the subsequent strikes made no contact. She had slapped the horse with the reins with the whip still up in the air, she said. She should have put the whip behind her instead of having it pointed up, she said. She accepted the last two as strikes, which brought the total number to 10, she submitted. 

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee had listened to the evidence and submissions of both parties and had carefully viewed the available video replays.

It was accepted by Ms Wakelin, during the course of the hearing, that there had been eight clear strikes up to a point at which she paused in her use of the whip for several strides. From that point, Ms Wakelin argued, there were only two further “strikes” and, on that basis, she argued that she had not exceeded the ten strikes permitted by the regulations.

However, the Committee is satisfied from its observation of the replays, that, from the point at which the eight strikes was agreed, Ms Wakelin continued to use her whip in a striking motion on at least eight further occasions. Mr Quirk is generously prepared to give MsWakelin the benefit of the doubt and call it sixteen, and the Committee is prepared to accept that, although the Committee is inclined to the view that there were more than sixteen, perhaps in the range of 17-19, which would take the breach into the highest range as far as penalties under the regulations are concerned. 


The charge is found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Quirk told the Committee that Ms Wakelin has a clear record under the rule. She has had 23 drives this season before today. He referred to the sliding scale of penalties under the Use of the Whip Regulations. The prescribed penalty for a breach involving a number of strikes in the range of 14-16 strikes is $300 and he submitted that that was the appropriate penalty in this instance, the number of proven strikes being 16.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee having found that Ms Wakelin had used her whip 16 times in breach of the rule and the regulation, the penalty prescribed under the regulations is a fine of $300. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors to warrant a departure from the prescribed fine of $300.


Ms Wakelin is fined the sum of $300.

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