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Banks Peninsula TC 15 March 2020 - R 12 - Chair, Mr R G McKenzie

Created on 18 March 2020

RMcKenzie (chair)
Mr L G Dobbs - Licensed Graduation Driver
Mr P Williams - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 12, Graham Consulting Mobile Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr P Williams, against Licensed Graduation Driver, Mr L G Dobbs, alleging that, as the driver of POCKET CALL in the race, he used his whip when out of contention in the run home.

Mr Dobbs had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the breach and he confirmed this at the hearing at which he 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:

(c) No horseman shall apply the whip to a runner which is out of contention for either a stake or dividend bearing place or on any horse which is not responding or unable to hold its position in the race.

Mr Williams showed a video replay of the final 800 metres of the race. He pointed out POCKET CALL, driven by Mr Dobbs, racing in second-to-last position on the markers. Approaching the home turn, Mr Dobbs extricated the horse from the inside and moved wider on the track. Mr Dobbs commenced using his whip in the home straight, with only one other runner behind him, and losing contact with the field, Mr Williams said. The horse was clearly doing its best. Mr Williams said the Stewards were not concerned with the number of strikes, but rather that Mr Dobbs had used his whip at all. The Committee observed that Mr Dobbs had used his whip on not less than five occasions.

Mr Dobbs submitted that he had not used the whip on the last 100 metres and had only used the whip five or six times in total.


Mr Dobbs having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williams told the hearing that Mr Dobbs has had 30 drives this season and had 28 last season – 58 lifetime drives (since being licensed in the 2018/2019 season). He was suspended in October 2019 at Oamaru for excessive use of the whip (13 times from the 500 metres) for which he received a 5-days suspension, Mr Williams said.

The starting point for a breach of unnecessary use of the whip under the Use of the Whip Regulations is a $300 fine, Mr Williams said. The fine in this case should be no less than that amount, Mr Williams submitted.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee notes that the penalty provided in the regulations for unnecessary use of the whip is a fine of $300. The breach is a mid-range breach of the rule in the view of the Committee. It is unfortunate that Mr Dobbs’ actions were visible on the Trackside coverage. Mr Dobbs’ runner was clearly out of contention for either a stake or dividend-bearing place and, in fact, beat only one other runner home and finished a long way from the winner. There are no aggravating factors and no relevant mitigating factors which warrant a departure from the penalty prescribed in the regulations.


Mr Dobbs is fined the sum of $300.

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