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Forbury Park TC 4 August 2019 - R 2 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 06 August 2019

GHall (chair)
Mr D Simpson - Licensed Open Driver
Mr Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Mr V Munro - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations

Stipendiary Steward, Mr Munro, alleged that Mr Simpson, the driver of VIGOROSO in race 2 the New Zealand Transport Ltd Mobile Pace used his whip on more occasions than is permitted by the Use of the Whip regulations.

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 the Whip Regulations 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.

Mr Renault, Stipendiary Steward, demonstrated on the race films that the respondent, who was leading at the 400 metres, used his whip 19 times . The horse finished ninth.

Mr Simpson stated that a number of the strikes were to the shaft and the tail. Many were with the hands on the reins. He said he had had a brain fade and had thought that strikes with the hands on the reins did not count. The Stewards accepted that some of the early strikes were of this nature but emphasised they were strikes with a downwards motion and were thus part of the count. Mr Simpson accepted this.


As Mr Simpson has admitted the breach, the breach is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Munro produced Mr Simpson’s record. Mr Munro described him as a “part-time driver”. Mr Simpson had 10 drives last season and six the season before. He had a previous breach of this rule on 18 April last when he was fined $300. Mr Munro said Mr Simpson had only had four drives since his previous breach and submitted that a suspension of 7 days was appropriate.

Reasons For Penalty:

The breach is high-range. The Committee accepts that some of the early strikes were to the tail and the shaft and were with the hands on the reins, but these form part of the count of 19 strikes. Mr Simpson did stop using the whip over the last 50 metres when the horse was clearly not going to run a place.

The Penalty Guide provides a starting point of 3 to 5 days for a second or subsequent breach of the whip rule. We believe a 5-day starting point is appropriate in the circumstances of this case, in that it is a high number of strikes and a second breach in a short space of time.


Mr Simpson is suspended from the end of today’s meeting up to an including 8 September 2019. This is 5 Otago/ Southland days.

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