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Waikato BOP H 30 August 2018 - R 7 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 31 August 2018

ADooley (chair)
Mr B Butcher- Junior Driver of THE LONE RANGER
Mr S Butcher - Senior Driver assisting Mr B Butcher
Mr J M Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Driving

Following the running of race 7, Paper Plus Te Awamutu Mobile Pace 2700m, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 869(3)(b). The Informant, Mr Muirhead, alleged that Junior Driver, Mr B Butcher drove carelessly causing interference to GOTTABEAROSE (L Whittaker) passing the 800 metres resulting in that runner pacing roughly.

Mr Butcher said that he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

Mr S Butcher supported Mr B Butcher at the hearing.

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

Mr Muirhead demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He said that passing the 800 metres Mr Butcher shifted in from 1 off the fence to take a trail. In doing so this resulted in GOTTABEAROSE being checked and paced roughly. He said at that time GOTTABEAROSE was starting to drift back in the running line. Mr Muirhead added that during the Stewards' investigation Mr Whittaker, the driver of GOTTABEAROSE, stated that the sulky wheel of THE LONE RANGER did contact the front legs of his horse.

Mr Butcher accepted Mr Muirhead’s interpretation of the incident. He said the carelessness was marginal and he only just touched the front legs of GOTTABEAROSE.

Mr S Butcher said that no other horse was hindered as a result of Mr B Butcher’s actions.


As Mr Butcher admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Muirhead produced Mr Butcher’s record which showed no previous breach of this Rule in the last 12 months. He advised that Mr Butcher had 333 drives last season. He said Mr Butcher should be given credit for his admission of the breach, his good record and described the carelessness as low range. Mr Muirhead said that JCA Penalty Guide starting point was a suspension of 10 drives or a $500 fine. He said with the mitigating factors a reduction in penalty should be applied.

Mr Butcher submitted that he had a good record and said the carelessness was low range. He said being a Junior Driver he would prefer a suspension over a fine.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Butcher advised that any proposed suspension could start immediately.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee adopted the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of 10 drives.

There were no aggravating factors that required an uplift in penalty.

The mitigating factors were Mr Butcher’s admission of the breach, his excellent record and we deemed the carelessness to be low range when GOTTABEAROSE was briefly tightened for room passing the 800 metres.

The Committee accepts that Mr Butcher may have up to 4 drives per race meeting. Therefore after taking into account all matters an appropriate suspension was 2 days.


Accordingly, Mr B Butcher had his license to drive in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 30 August and conclude after racing on 14 September 2018.

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