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NZ Metropolitan TC 31 August 2018 - R 9 - Chair, Mr T Utikere

Created on 02 September 2018

Rules:
869(2)
Committee:
TUtikere (chair)
HWeston
Name(s):
MS K Cox - Open Horsewoman
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A09985
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Excessive Use of Whip
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 9 (GRAPHITE DEVELOPMENTS LTD SHOW DAY MOBILE PACE 1980m), Information A9985 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It alleged a breach of Rule 869(2) and stated that: "K Cox (DELIGHTFUL TANNER) used her whip on more occasions than permitted by Clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations".

Rule 869(2) states: "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".

Clause (b) of the Use of Whip Regulations states: "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".

Using the side-on and head-on films, Mr Ydgren identified that Ms Cox was racing in second position to the outside of the leader as the field approached the final bend. Up until that point, he submitted that Stewards had no issue with Ms Cox's whip use. After straightening, Ms Cox had pushed her horse along and used her whip 11 times to the winning post. While that number was only one in excess, Mr Ydgren nonetheless submitted that he was satisfied that she had used her whip, in breach of the Regulations.

Ms Cox accepted that she had breached the Regulations, but identified that she had "only just" won the race; and that if she had used her whip 10 times, that may not have been the case. She described DELIGHTFUL TANNER as a horse which 'knocked off fairly quickly if she hadn't kept at her'. She agreed that she would need to be more aware of her whip use in the future. 

Decision:

As the charge was admitted, the Committee deem the charge proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

In presenting the Respondent's record, Mr Ydgren identified a breach on 16 March, some 38 drives ago, for which she received a $200 fine. As the current breach was the second within the reset period, the Stewards identified the sliding scale starting point as a 3-5 day suspension and submitted that a three day suspension was appropriate.

In response to clarification sought by the Committee, Mr Ydgren confirmed that the Stewards' penalty submission was based on the low range nature of offending and that Ms Cox had been forthright and honest with the Stewards.

Ms Cox identified that she had admitted the breach and that she was starting out as a trainer and also had a mortgage to service; meaning she wanted a minimum period of suspension. She re-emphasised that she would be more aware of her whip use in the future and did not seek a deferment for any period of suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee considered all of the submissions placed before it. The relevant films demonstrate that Ms Cox drove with some vigour, using a combination of pushes and whip use over the concluding stages. While the Respondent's submission that using her whip in line with the Regulations may have meant she did not end up winning the race may have some merit; she has an obligation to drive within the Regulations. Given the number strikes she has admitted to, we consider this as a low level breach which falls just within the sliding scale identified by Mr Ydgren. This is Ms Cox's second breach within the reset period, so attracts a 3-5 day suspension starting point. When we consider the nature of this breach and the fact that the most recent breach was dealt with by way of a $200 fine, our conclusion is that a three day suspension is appropriate. 

Penalty:

Ms Cox is suspended from the close of racing on Friday 31 August, up to and including racing on Friday 14 September 2018. This incorporates the Addington (7th), Rangiora (9th) and Addington (14th) meetings. 

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