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NZ Metropolitan TC 20 June 2021 - R 1 - Chair, Ms O Jarvis

Created on 24 June 2021

Rules:
869(2)
Committee:
OJarvis (chair)
RMcKenzie
LYong
Name(s):
Ms S Wigg - Licensed Amateur Driver
Informant
Mr P Williams - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A13672
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 1, the Mid-Winter at Addington (Amateur Drivers) Mobile Race, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr P Williams against Licensed Amateur Driver, Ms S Wigg, alleging a breach of Rule 869(2) in that she used her whip with more than a wrist flicking motion driving FRANCO HOFFMAN in the home straight.

Ms Wigg acknowledged that she understood the provisions of the charge and the Rule under which it was brought. Ms Wigg confirmed at the hearing that she admitted the breach.

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.

Relevant Part of the Whip & Rein Regulations as follows:
WHIP AND REIN REGULATIONS
PART 3 USE OF THE WHIP
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.

Mr Williams showed the video replays of the final bend and the run home. He pointed out Ms Wigg, driving FRANCO HOFFMAN, activate the gear. Mr Williams evidenced, by using the video replays, Ms Wigg use her whip in more than a wrist flicking motion during the final straight. Mr Williams submitted that there was at least 10 or 11 strikes that were not compliant.

Ms Wigg was upfront about the incident and did not raise anything in response to the submissions made by Mr Williams in relation to the incident. Ms Wigg did, however, raise a contextual matter which she felt had contributed to her using more than a wrist flicking motion. Ms Wigg submitted that the cart she was driving was not one that she was used to, and that she was positioned further back from the horse than usual. As a result, Ms Wigg felt she had to stretch forward in the sulky in order to use her whip, which she contends has made her actions appear worse.

Decision:

As the breach was admitted the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williams outlined that Ms Wigg has had 31 drives this season and had 26 drives last season as well as the season before. Mr Williams expressed that Ms Wigg is an experienced Amateur Driver. Mr Williams outlined that Ms Wigg had a previous breach of the Rule on 23 May 2021 where she received a fine of $200.

Mr Williams categorised that this breach was mid-range and submitted that the appropriate outcome was a three to four drive suspension.

Ms Wigg did not make submissions as to penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $500 fine or a 2 day suspension, mitigation inclusive, on the Whip and Rein Regulations for a mid-range breach of this Rule.

The Committee deemed that this breach was at the mid to high level due to the fact that Ms Wigg continuously used more than a wrist flicking motion down the home straight without reverting back to a compliant style, albeit the force of the strikes themselves was not within the high range.

The aggravating factors present are Ms Wigg’s relatively recent prior breach of the Rule as well as the fact that she ran second in the race.

The JCA Penalty Guide is merely a guide and is difficult to adopt for infrequent drivers. The breach must be met with an appropriate outcome which accurately reflects the incident itself. In this instance, the Committee also had regard to the fact that Ms Wigg is an experienced Amateur Driver. Accordingly, the Committee considered that the appropriate outcome taking all factors into account was a period of suspension.

The Committee viewed the appropriate penalty was a suspension of her Licence for four Amateur drives, by applying the usual formula of one Amateur drive per fortnight, this would result in a suspension of two months.

In reaching this period of suspension the Committee had further consideration to the Racing Programmes which outline that between now and the end of July 2021, there are two races for Amateur Drivers programmed, those being on 4 July 2021 at Addington and 16 July 2021 at Alexander Park. Further allowance was then given to the possibility of two driving opportunities between 1 August 2021 and 20 August 2021. Accordingly, the Committee assesses that the period of suspension of two months is appropriate.

Penalty:

Accordingly, Ms Wigg’s Amateur Drivers Licence is suspended from the close of racing 20 June 2021 up to and including racing on 20 August 2021.

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