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Waikato BOP H 30 August 2018 - R 1 (adjourned heard 6 September 2018 at Cambridge) - Chair, Mr BJ Scott



869(2) and Use of Whip Regulations

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION
Informant
: Mr JM Muirhead. Senior Stipendiary Steward
Respondent: Mr C Sharpe – Amateur Driver
Information No: A9155
Meeting: Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Inc
Date: 30 August 2018 (heard 6 September 2018 at Cambridge)
Venue: Cambridge Raceway
Race: 1
Rule No: 869(2) and Use of Whip Regulations
Judicial Committee: Mr BJ Scott, Chairman – Mr A Godsalve, Committee Member
Also Present: Mr S Wallis, Stipendiary Steward
Charge: Excessive use of the whip
Plea: Admitted

Evidence:
This was the Hearing of an Information lodged at the Waikato BOP Harness Inc meeting on the 30 August 2018 and adjourned to be heard at a date set by the JCA Executive Officer. This was set down to be heard an hour and a half before the first Race at the Waikato BOP Harness Inc meeting on 6 September 2018.


The Information had been lodged by Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr JM Muirhead sometime after the VIDCOM NZ MOBILE PACE, against Amateur Horseman, Mr C Sharpe alleging that Mr Sharpe as the Driver of VANHALEM used his whip in a striking motion on more than 10 occasions from the 400 metres mark.

 

Rule 869(2) provides: No horseman shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations made by the Board.

Clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations provides: No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than 10 occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of " backhanders" and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky.

 

Mr Sharpe (by endorsement on the Information) advised the Committee that he admitted the breach and that he did not want to be present at the Hearing.

 

Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Wallis demonstrated the incident by use of the race films and he identified Mr Sharpe and his horse prior to the 400 metres mark. He showed Mr Sharpe's horse on the outside and improving on the home turn and whilst he flicked his horse initially he then used the whip continuously in the straight.

 

Mr Muirhead then said that Mr Sharpe hit his horse continuously in the straight and used his whip in excess of 20 times

 

Decision:
The breach is admitted and therefore the charge is proved.

 

Submissions for Penalty:
Mr Muirhead referred to the sliding scale of penalties in the Use of Whip Guidelines which provide for a starting point penalty of a fine of $500 for strikes of 17 and over. He said that he had discussed this with Mr Sharpe and told him the starting point penalty.

 

He also said that he had shown Mr Sharpe the race film and following that Mr Sharpe had admitted the breach.

 

Mr Muirhead also referred to a similar charge out of the same race where the Driver was fined $500.

 

Mr Muirhead submitted that a fine of $500 was appropriate in this case.

 

Reasons for Penalty:
The Committee viewed the race films, and these showed the incident very clearly. The Committee counted 23 strikes with the whip and also notes that these were continuous.

 

This is very clearly excessive.

 

In terms of the Use of Whip Guidelines we note the starting point penalty is $500 for strikes in excess of 17. We were of a mind to increase the fine but our JCA Penalty Schedule shows that Mr Sharpe has not had a previous breach of this Rule and he is given credit for that. Mr Sharpe has admitted the breach but that was inevitable in view of the video evidence.
 

We also note that another Amateur Driver in the same race was fined $500 for similar use of the whip and we recognise the need to be consistent.

 

Taking all matters into account we believe that the starting point penalty of a fine of $500 is appropriate.

 

Penalty:
This Committee imposes a fine of $500 on Mr Sharpe.


 

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