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NZ Metro TC 28 September 2018 - R 3 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 02 October 2018

Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
DJackson
Name(s):
Mr D J Keast - Licensed Junior Driver
Informant
Mr S P Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A09992
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Excessive use of the whip
Evidence:

Following the running Race 3, 30 September – Last Chance to Win – Cup Day Experience Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Junior Driver, Mr D J Keast, alleging that Mr Keast, as the driver of COPPERHEAD ROSE in the race, “used his whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) of the Use of the Whip Regulations”.

Mr Keast was present at the hearing of the information and indicated that he denied the charge. A Junior Horseman, Mr Keast said that he was aware of his right to be assisted at the hearing by a Senior Horseman but said that he waived that right. He confirmed that he understood the Rule, the Regulations and the charge.

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.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Renault said that Stewards were alleging that Mr Keast had used his whip on 13 occasions inside the final 400 metres of the race. He proceeded to show a video replay of the final 400 metres and pointed out Mr Keast, driving COPPERHEAD ROSE, positioned four places back in the 3-wide line. Mr Keast pulled the horse out on the turn and it ran on, the widest runner on the track, to win the race.

Mr Renault pointed out Mr Keast activate the removable deafeners and commence using his whip, and alleged that Mr Keast had used his whip 13 times to the finishing line. The video replay was shown several times to the hearing.

Mr Keast was asked by the Committee how many strikes he was prepared to admit to. He replied that he was disputing the three alleged strikes prior to the home turn which, he submitted, were rather in the nature of “pushes”. If those three uses of the whip were to be excluded, the count would be 10 and not a breach of the Regulations, he submitted.

Mr Renault responded that the three strikes in question did involve a striking motion – the whip could be seen to be drawn back and bent and then brought down. He submitted that the three strikes in question were no different from the other strikes that Mr Keast was not contesting. 

Reasons For Decision:

The Stewards alleged that Mr Keast has used his whip on 13 occasions inside the final 400 metres of the race.

Mr Keast has defended the charge on the basis that he disputes the Stewards’ count of 13 strikes. He told the Committee that he accepted that he had used the whip 10 times, but disputed three of the strikes alleged by the Stewards, claiming that three of them prior to the home turn were not strikes but, rather, in the nature of “pushes”.

The hearing then focused on the three uses of the whip in question, before the home turn, and the videos were studied carefully. The Committee could not accept Mr Keast’s submission that they were “pushes”. To strike means to deliver, inflict or deal a stroke. His arm being raised and being brought down on each of the three occasions was clear to the Committee’s satisfaction, as was the downward motion rather than pushing motion of Mr Keast’s whip, which was plainly visible on the video replays.

The Committee is, therefore, satisfied that Mr Keast has used his whip in a striking motion on 13 occasions inside the final 400 metres in breach of the Rule and the Use of the Whip Regulations and, therefore, we find the charge proved.

Decision:

The charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault told the Committee that Mr Keast has had 8 drives in the current season to date and, in the 2017/2018 season, had a total of 101 drives. He has a previous breach of the Rule on his record on 2nd March 2018 and, therefore, outside the reset period. Mr Renault referred the Committee to the sliding scale of penalties under the Use of the Whip Regulations and submitted that an appropriate penalty would be a fine of $200.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the Penalty Guide in the Use of the Whip Regulations and noted that the “sliding scale” penalty for a first offence, which the present breach is deemed to be, involving a number of strikes in the 11-13 range is a fine of $200. The Committee saw no need to depart from the prescribed penalty.

Penalty:

Mr Keast is fined the sum of $200.

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