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Waikato-BOP H 19 March 2020 - R 3 - Chair, Mr A Godsalve

Created on 23 March 2020

Committee:
AGodsalve (chair)
ADooley
Name(s):
Ms A Temu-Amateur horsewoman
Senior Horseman assisting Ms Temu
Mr T Macfarlane
Informant
Mr S Mulcay
Information Number
A12240
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Drives carelessly
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 3, Mr Mulcay submitted an Information alleging that Ms Temu, driving CLIFTON FLUTTER 'drove carelessly allowing the gelding to shift up the track passing the 750 metres which allowed the trailing MARIANNA BROMAC to take the leading position.'

Ms Temu was present at the hearing and stated that she understood the Rule. She also confirmed her intention to admit the charge. Licenced Open Horseman Mr Todd Macfarlane was present to assist Ms Temu.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides that: 'No driver in any race shall drive carelessly'

Submission For Decision:

Using the available films Mr Mulcay identified the horse CLIFTON FLUTTER driven by Ms Temu. The horse had started from barrier 7 at the mobile barrier. The horse raced wide into the first turn out of the straight and Ms Temu allowed it to roll forward towards the lead. Near the 1600 metres, CLIFTON FLUTTER was in the lead. The horse led the the next 800 metres and as it neared the final 800 metres mark, Mr Mulcay stated that Ms Temu had crossed her reins and turned her whip. He pointed out on the film that as she did so, CLIFTON FLUTTER shifted outwards towards UNFINISHED BUSINESS, driven by Mr Brownlee. Mr Brownlee was not affected to any great degree although it was noticeable on the film that he did take a hold of his drive.

As a result of CLIFTON FLUTTER shifting outwards, the trailing horse MARIANNA BROMAC, driven by Ms S Wigg, quickly assumed the lead. Mr Mulcay pointed out that Ms Temu had taken corrective action after CLIFTON FLUTTER shifted outwards. however by then it was 'too little, too late'. Mr Mulcay said that by failing to exercise the necessary control over CLIFTON FLUTTER and show due care, Ms Temu had breached the Rule. He added that while it was common for races to change complexion, situations like this should not occur and the raceday Stewards did not condone this type of incident.

At this time, Mr Macfarlane had a conversation with Ms Temu outside of the hearing room, and on entering the room again Ms Temu asked that she be permitted to change her plea to one of Not Guilty. She was permitted to do so and the Information amended accordingly. 

Mr Macfarlane said that it was not easy to cross the reins and take them in one hand during a race. He said that CLIFTON FLUTTER had 'run off' when Ms Temu had done so but she had not been careless to any other horse. Ms Temu said that she agreed with Mr Macfarlane. She said she had tried to maintain a true and proper line.

Mr Mulcay said that the offence had occurred when Ms Temu had allowed her horse to shift off the track. He said that she failed to have the necessary control and show all due care and attention. He added that the Stewards were not alleging that she had caused any interference to any other horse.

Ms Temu stated that at no stage did she allow her horse to run out and that she had rectified the situation in the best possible way when the horse had shifted outwards.

Mr Mulcay responded by saying that Ms Temu's lack of control had allowed CLIFTON FLUTTER to run up the track. He added that when Ms Temu had crossed her reins she had lost control of the horse and presented a run to the trailing runner.

In summing up, Mr Mulcay said that he felt he had presented the Stewards' case fully and had nothing to add.

In summation, Mr Macfarlane said that this was Ms Temu's 4th raceday drive and that she couldn't rectify what had happened when her drive shifted out apart from taking control when she could. He added that there had been no interference caused to any other runner.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee took the opportunity to review the films of the incident without any of the parties present. At issue here is what took place as the field neared the 800m mark. It is clear from the films that Ms Temu, when leading the race, crossed her reins and turned her whip. As she did so CLIFTON FLUTTER shifted outwards away from the running rail. The shift was reasonably abrupt, and while there was no interference to the horse outside - UNFINISHED BUSINESS - it was evident that Ms Temu had lost control of CLIFTON FLUTTER. Ms Temu was able to regather her reins and take control of her drive, however by that time the incident had crossed the threshhold of being an 'acceptable' drive to being an 'unacceptable' drive, and therefore becoming 'careless'.

Decision:

Accordingly we found the charge of 'driving carelessly' proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Mulcay referred to the JCA Penalty Guide which provides a fine of $500 or a 10 drive suspension for a breach of this Rule. He said that the drive in question was Ms Temu's 4th career drive, and that she had a clear record to date. Mr Mulcay submitted that an 8 week suspension may be appropriate, given that Ms Temu is an Amateur driver and her opportunities to drive in races are limited.

Ms Temu stated that she worked on a part time basis for trainer Mr J Stormont, and that she felt she had not caused any interference to any other horse. The Committee was asked to exercise discretion due to her limited experience.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee confirmed that the JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a fine of $500 and/or a 10 drive suspension for a breach of this Rule. The consequences of Ms Temu's actions were low - there was no real damage caused however her driving was sufficiently poor at this time to warrant the charge being put forward and subsequently proven. The Committee accepts it is Ms Temu's absolute right to defend the charge and we take no note of that when determining penalty.

Due to the very limited driving experience by Ms Temu we determined to impose a period of suspension plus a fine. A suspension alone, given that she has had 4 drives in her career to date could entail several months and we do not feel that is warranted.

Penalty:

We therefore suspend Ms Temu's licence to drive in races from after racing on 19 March 2020 until after racing on 29 May 2020 - 2 months. In addition we impose a fine of $200 on Ms Temu.

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