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NZ Metro TC 23 August 2020 - R 4 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 25 August 2020

RMcKenzie (chair)
S J Tomlinson
Licensed Junior Driver
P Williams
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations

Following the running of Race 4, Airpark Canterbury Trot, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr P Williams, against Licensed Junior Driver, Miss S J Tomlinson, alleging that Miss Tomlinson, as the driver of MAGICAL MATTY in the race, “used her whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) of the [Use of the Whip Regulations]”.

Miss Tomlinson had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that she admitted the breach. She was present at the hearing of the information and she confirmed that she admitted the breach. She also said that she had waived the right to be assisted by a senior driver.

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.

The Use of Whip Regulations (effective from 30 November 2017) provide:

(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 Williams showed a video replay of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out MAGICAL MATTY, driven by Miss Tomlinson, racing in 7th position and improving as the field neared the home turn. After passing the 400 metres, Miss Tomlinson struck the horse twice with the whip. The horse improved to challenge 4-wide upon entering the straight and, Mr Williams alleged, Miss Tomlinson used her whip on a further 11 occasions to the finishing line. There was an issue as to whether there had been 13 or 14 strikes but, in the end and after reviewing the video replay, a number of 13 was settled on.

The Committee noted that MAGICAL MATTY won the race by a nose.

Miss Tomlinson said that the horse had to be encouraged all the way to the line to win the race. 


Miss Tomlinson having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williams told the Committee that Miss Tomlinson has had 23 drives so far this season and, in the 2019/2020 season had a total of 433 drives. Her career drives total 1,849.

Mr Williams referred to the Penalty Guide which prescribes a fine of $200 for a breach involving a number of strikes in the range of 11-13.

Miss Tomlinson told the Committee that she had not previously been charged with any breach of the whip rule.  

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee noted the penalty prescribed by the Penalty Guide.

The Committee expressed its concern to Miss Tomlinson that she had, arguably, used her whip to gain an advantage and win the race. She was warned that this was not acceptable and could amount to an aggravating factor warranting an uplifted penalty. However, having regard to her excellent record, the Committee elected not to take it as such on this occasion.

There were no other factors that might have been considered as aggravating, and there were no relevant mitigating factors.

It is appropriate to impose a fine in terms of the Penalty Guide in the regulations.


Miss Tomlinson is fined the sum of $200.

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