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Non-Raceday Inquiry - HG Jones



424.3.a
1003.1.a.b
1003.1.a
111.1

The defendant is charged with one breach of Rule 424(3)(a) of the Rules of Harness Racing.

DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

 

The defendant is charged with one breach of Rule 424(3)(a) of the Rules of Harness Racing.  The charge (Information 67203) preferred by Racecourse Inspector Kitto reads as follows –

 

          “I, the above named informant allege that the above named Defendant

committed a breach of Rule 424(3)(a) in that Harold Graham JONES on the 13th day of February 2008, being a party to the creation of a joint interest, namely by entering into a lease agreement on or about the 25 August 2006, for the registered standardbred horse “Kuias Lady” did fail within 14 days of its creation to register such interest in the prescribed form with the General Manager of Harness Racing New Zealand.”

 

 Rule 424(3)(a) – Penalty provision Rule 1003(1)(a)(b) and (c), New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

 

Rule 424(3)(a) reads as follows.

 

“(3)(a) a party to the creation of a Joint Interest shall within 14 days of its     creation and before such horse starts in any race register such joint interest in the prescribed form with the General Manager.  The party obliged to effect registration shall be named in the document creating the Joint Interest and if not named shall be the first person named therein;….”

 

Mr Jones did not attend the hearing.  However he had indicated on the

Information that he admitted this breach of the Rules.

 

Mr Kitto produced written authority from the General Manager of Harness Racing New Zealand (“HRNZ”) to file this Information.

 

Summary of Facts:  

 

Mr Kitto presented a “Summary of Facts” .    Mr Jones is a licensed public trainer.  On about 25 August 2006 he agreed to lease the registered standardbred horse “Kuias Lady” for a period of 3 years, and a Registration of Joint Interest form for racing purposes only was prepared by the owner and given to Mr Jones.

 

Late in 2007 Mr Jones was spoken to by Mr Kitto about the non-registration of the lease agreement, and he apologised for this and said he would attend to the matter.

Mr Kitto again had occasion to speak to Mr Jones on 13 February 2008 and the lease had not been registered as at that date. Mr Jones said that he had found the registration form, but advised that he would be returning the horse to the owner.

 

          Although Mr Jones was apologetic for not registering the lease, he agreed that he had leased horses before, and knew they had to be registered.  In explanation Mr Jones said that he always intended to register the lease but wished to try the horse out first to save the $60-00 registration fee.

 

          Mr Kitto pointed out that it is important that all leases be registered so that the public can be assured that horses are in the correct ownership, and to prevent ownership disputes that might arise at a later date

 

Submissions on Penalty: 

 

Mr Kitto’s written submissions on penalty are also attached to this decision.  Rule 1003(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing provide for the following penalties in this case.

 

“1003(1) A person who commits a breach of any Rule shall (subject to the provisions of Rule 111(1), 113(5), 451(3), 507(4), 1001 or 1004 hereof) shall be liable to the following penalties:

 

(a)  a fine not exceeding $5,000;  and/or

 

(b)  suspension from holding or obtaining a licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or

 

(c)   disqualification for a period not exceeding 12 months.”

 

          Mr Kitto advised that Mr Jones had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and that HRNZ believes that this breach can be dealt with by way of a monetary penalty.  Mr Kitto said that a starting point would be a fine of $500-00.

 

          Mr Jones has made no submissions regarding penalty.

 

Decision on Penalty:  

 

          In considering an appropriate penalty we have taken into account Mr Jones guilty plea.  On the other hand there are the following aggravating matters relating to this breach of the Rules.

 

-         Mr Jones was reminded of his obligations to register this lease in late 2007 and said that he would attend to the matter.  This was over a year after the lease should have been registered.

-         When spoken to again in February 2008 the lease had still not been registered.

-         Mr Jones explanation for not registering the lease within the 14 days allowed by the Rules was so that he could try the horse out before paying the $60-00 registration fee.    

 

Taking all the above matters into account we are satisfied that this was a flagrant

breach of the Rules and that the aggravating factors far outweigh Mr Jones’ guilty plea. Mr Jones is fined the sum of $750-00.

 

Costs: 

 

Mr Kitto advised that no costs were being sought by HRNZ as this matter was heard on a race night.  For this same reason no costs are being sought by the JCA.  There will be no order for costs.

 

 

 

 

­­­­_____         _________

J.  M. Phelan

Chairman. 

 

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