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Methven TC 13 September 2020 - R 2 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 15 September 2020

SChing (chair)
M Kerr-Licensed Open Horseman
S Renault Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 2, the Clubs NZ Race Day Sunday 31 January Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Renault against Licensed Open Horseman, Mr M Kerr, alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) in that he used his whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) of the Use of the Whip Regulations.

Rule 869(2) reads as follows:

869 (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.

Whip Regulation (b) reads as follows;

(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 Kerr had endorsed the Information that the breach was admitted which he confirmed at the hearing. Mr Kerr also acknowledged that he understood the provisions of the charge and the rule it was brought under.

Mr Renault gave evidence and showed video replays of the run home. He pointed out Mr Kerr, driving VERSTAPPEN, positioned in the trail of the leader as the field turned for home. Mr Kerr, he said, shifted VERSTAPPEN into the passing lane and thereafter drew the whip using it in a fore hand striking motion for 12 strikes.

Mr Kerr did not dispute the number of strikes.


As Mr Kerr had admitted this breach of the Rules it was found to be proved in accordance with Rule 1111(1)(d).

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault stated that Mr Kerr had a previous breach of this rule being at Addington on 31 July 2020 where he received a $200 fine for a low-level offence. Mr Renault stated that Mr Kerr’s driving statistics showed 3 drives so far this season with 5 drives recorded last season. Mr Renault stated the JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 3 to 5-day suspension for a second or subsequent breach of this rule within a 6-month period. He submitted that a 5-day suspension be considered as a starting point in order to impose a meaningful penalty.

Mr Kerr requested a deferment until after racing at Addington on Thursday 17 September. He stated that a 5-day suspension could end up being weeks and not days, on the sideline. He requested the committee take this into consideration.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a 3 to 5-day suspension for a second or subsequent breach of this rule. This being Mr Kerr’s second breach within a 6-month period warranted a suspension. We determined that due to Mr Kerr’s historic lack of drives and the need for a meaningful penalty to be imposed, a 5-day starting point would be appropriate. We deemed that there were no aggravating factors to consider, therefore no uplift in penalty warranted. Mr Kerr’s application for a deferment until after racing on 17 September is granted.


Accordingly, Mr Kerr is suspended from the conclusion of racing 17 September up to and including 4 October. Relevant meetings encompassed in this period are Oamaru 20 September, Addington 25 September, Banks Peninsula 27 September, Addington 2 October and Timaru 4 October 2020.

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