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Banks Peninsula TC 30 September 2018 - R 5 (heard 11 October 2018 at Addington) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie


: Mr SP Renault, Stipendiary Steward
Respondent: Mr MP Edmonds, Licensed Open Driver
Information No: A10865
Meeting: Banks Peninsula Trotting Club
Date: 30 September 2018 (heard 11 October 2018 at Addington)
Venue: Motukarara Racecourse, Motukarara
Race: 5
Rule No: 869(3)(b)
Judicial Committee: Mr RG McKenzie, Chairman – Ms HM Weston, Member
Charge: Carless Driving
Plea: Admitted

Following the running of Race 5, Charteris Bay Handicap Trot, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr SP Renault, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr MP Edmonds, alleging that Mr Edmonds, as the driver of KIITOS in the race, “drove carelessly near the 700 metres when allowing his horse to strike the sulky wheel of SUNNY GLENIS (RG Anderson) resulting in his horse breaking and losing all chance”.

The Information was filed with the raceday Judicial Committee and adjourned sine die. The information was subsequently served on Mr Edmonds, who had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that he admitted the breach.

The hearing of the Information took place at the meeting of NZ Metropolitan TC at Addington Raceway on 11 October 2018. Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr NM Ydgren, advised the Committee that Mr Edmonds did not wish to be present at the hearing of the information.

Rule 869 provides as follows:
(3) No horseman in any race shall drive-
(b) carelessly.

Mr Ydgren, for the Informant, showed a video replay of the incident as the field rounded the bend leaving the back straight with approximately 700 metres to race. He pointed out KIITOS, driven by Mr Edmonds, racing 3-wide, with SUNNY GLENIS, driven by Mr Anderson, on his inside. The latter then shifted outwards, taking Mr Edmonds to a 4-wide position.

Mr Edmonds immediately restrained his horse in an attempt to get back into the 3-wide line. However, in doing so and it was very apparent from the video replay, the near front leg of his horse struck the outside sulky wheel of Mr Anderson’s sulky. Mr Edmonds’ horse went into a gallop and lost its chance, Mr Ydgren said.

Mr Edmonds having admitted the charge; the charge was found proved.

Mr Ydgren said that Mr Edmonds had a clear record under the Rule. He has had 19 drives to date in the current season, 104 in the 2017/2018 season and 144 in the 2016/2017 season. He generally drives horses that he trains, Mr Ydgren said. His record is good for a reasonably busy driver. Mr Edmonds told Mr Ydgren that, when he did attempt to shift his horse back to the 3-wide line, it did overrace somewhat, causing him some difficulty. This was not apparent from the video replay, Mr Ydgren submitted, but rather Mr Edmonds had simply been guilty of an error of judgement.

Mr Ydgren then referred to the Penalty Guide starting point for a breach involving hitting a wheel of a 6-drive suspension or a $300 fine. Stewards felt that an uplift from that point should be applied for Mr Edmonds extinguishing his own horse’s chances in the race, Mr Ydgren said.

Mr Edmonds was entitled to credit for his admission of the breach and his very good record, Mr Ydgren said. Taking those factors into account, he submitted, a fine of not less that $300 was appropriate. Mr Edmonds had said to him that if this Committee were considering a fine in excess of that amount, he would like Mr Ydgren to submit on his behalf for a suspension instead of a fine. Mr Ydgren said that, in that event, Stewards would be seeking a suspension of 3 days.

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the Penalty Guide starting point of a 6-drive suspension or a fine of $300. The Penalty Guide states that the consequences of striking a wheel go to penalty. The consequences, in this case, are that the chances of KIITOS were extinguished. Having regard to that, it was appropriate to uplift the starting point to $400.

Mitigating factors taken into account were Mr Edmonds’ admission of the breach and his very good driving record. Such factors warranted a discount from the adjusted starting point, and the Committee has fixed that discount at $100. The Committee did not consider imposing a suspension.

Mr Edmonds is fined the sum of $300.

R G McKenzie


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