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10 Nov 2020
Nz-Metro-Tc - R7

NZ Metro TC 10 November 2020 - R 7 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 13 November 2020

RMcKenzie (chair)
B M Williamson
Licensed Open Driver
N M Ydgren
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Using Whip in Unapproved Manner

Following the running of Race 7, Livamol NZ Trotting Free-For-All (Group 1 Race) an Information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr N M Ydgren, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr B M Williamson, alleging that Mr Williamson, as the driver of CRACKER HILL in the race, “used his whip with more than a flicking motion”.

Mr Williamson had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that he admitted the charge and 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.

Part 3 of the Whip and Rein Regulations provides as follows:

3.1 A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.

3.2 For the purposes of clause 3.1, “wrist only flicking motion” means:

3.2.1 Ensuring no force is generated by the use of the elbow or shoulder when applying the whip.

3.2.2 The forearm is not raised beyond forty-five degrees relative to the racing surface.

3.2.3 Not applying the whip with overt force.

3.3 A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.

3.4 For the purpose of clause 3.3 a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:

3.4.1 If the whip is applied other than is permitted by clause 3.1.

Mr Ydgren showed a video replay of the final 300 metres of the race. He pointed out CRACKER HILL, driven by Mr Williamson, racing in the trail behind the leader, MAJESTIC MAN (M J Williamson) as the field approached the home turn. Upon entering the straight, Mr Williamson shifted out to go around the tiring leader. He then turned his whip and, from that point, the Stewards have issues with his whip use (estimated five strikes) which were generated by elbow and/or shoulder instead of the required wrist only flicking motion, Mr Ydgren submitted.

Mr Williamson asked for clarification of the regulation. Mr Ydgren read to the hearing clauses 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 above. Mr Williamson said the he admitted the breach but he did not consider that his whip use was excessive. He asked the Committee to consider that the breach occurred in the last 100 metres of a Group 1 race. He sought a deferment of suspension until after Show Day on 13 November.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson accepted that the Penalty Guide prescribed a starting point for penalty of a 7-days suspension. Mr Ydgren made no other submission. The hearing then considered upcoming meetings at which Mr Williamson would be likely to be driving.

Mr Williamson sought a deferment of suspension until after racing on Show Day, 13 November.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee is of the view that this breach comes within the category of a “medium-level breach” which is defined as “when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) and continues to drive in this manner for some distance (50 metres) before taking corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving”.

The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide effective 1 October 2020, for Group 1 races (which this race was), prescribes a starting point of a 7-days suspension. Being satisfied that the breach is no worse than “medium level”, the Committee believes that no uplift to that starting point is required. It is, however, an aggravating factor that Mr Williamson finished 2nd in the race and, for that factor, it is appropriate to impose a fine in addition to a term of suspension.


Mr Williamson’s application for a deferment of suspension is granted.

Mr Williamson’s Open Driver’s licence is suspended for a period commencing after the close of racing on 13 November 2020 up to and including 27 November 2020 – 7 days. In addition, Mr Williamson is fined the sum of $250.

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