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23 Nov 2019
Geraldine-Tc - R10

Geraldine TC 23 November 2019 - R 10 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 27 November 2019

Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
HWeston
Name(s):
J C Morrison
Licensed Junior Driver
Informant
S P Renault
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A9033
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 10, Hanley Formula Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Junior Driver, Mr J C Morrison, alleging that Mr Morrison, as the driver of TOMBELINA in the race, “used his whip on more occasions than permitted in the final 400 metres under the Use of the Whip Regulations”.

Mr Morrison had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the charge. 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:

(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 showed a video replay of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out TOMBELINA, driven by Mr Morrison, racing three places back on the markers. Upon turning into the final straight, Mr Morrison took the passing lane, turned his whip and used it in a striking motion, clearly, 13 times to the finishing line. Mr Renault added that there were several uses of the whip in the home straight that Stewards could not be certain were “strikes”. In the event, Stewards were comfortable with a count of 13, Mr Renault said. Mr Renault accepted that Mr Morrison had to be given the benefit of the doubt in this regard.

Mr Morrison accepted the alleged count of 13. He explained that he did stop using his whip briefly nearing the finish because the horse had drifted out and he had “flicked it a couple of times” without using his elbow to stop it from continuing to drift out. 

Decision:

Mr Morrison having admitted the breach, the charge is found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Morrison has a very good record under the whip rule, Mr Renault said. He has had 191 drives this season, without a charge in the last 12 months. He had 702 drives in the 2018/2019 season, many of which would have been in the last 12 months.

Mr Renault said that with a clear record and the number of strikes in the 11-13 range, Stewards were submitting that a fine of $200 as per the Penalty Guide in the regulations was appropriate. 

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee was satisfied that, in accordance with the penalty prescribed in the regulations for a breach involving a number of strikes in the 11-13 range, and with no aggravating factors or mitigating factors warranting a discount, the penalty should be a fine of $200.

Penalty:

Mr Morrison is fined the sum of $200.

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