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Rangiora HRC 3 January 2019 - R 4 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 05 January 2019

SChing (chair)
Mr G Smith - Public Trainer
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Gear Malfunction

Following the running of Race 4, the Brendan Hammond Building Contractors Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Renault against Public Trainer, Mr G Smith, alleging a breach of Rule 864(2)(d) in that he, as trainer of GOD ONLY KNOWS, failed to securely affix the front hopple so as not to come adrift.

Rule 869(2)(d) reads as follows:
(2) Every horseman, owner, trainer and assistant thereof of a horse shall with regard to that horse ensure that:
(d) all gear is correctly applied and/or affixed so as not to malfunction or come adrift;

Mr Smith had indicated on the Information that the charge was admitted. Mr Smith had also endorsed the information that he did not wish to be present at the hearing. This was confirmed by Mr Renault.

Mr Renault gave evidence and used video coverage to show that GOD ONLY KNOWS, driven by Ms S Diamant, was drawn 2 on the second line in the mobile event. He said that shortly after the start the horse went rough as a result the hopple carrier coming adrift and slipping down the horse’s leg. He said the horse stepped out of the hopple carrier and carried on in the race with the hopple carrier swinging.

Mr Renault pointed out GOD ONLY KNOWS, racing 3 back on the outer and near the 1200m, go into a break. He said the reason for the horse breaking was the hopple carrier coming adrift and as a result the horse was unbalanced. GOD ONLY KNOWS thereafter raced at the rear of the field for the remainder of the race. Mr Renault stated that as a result of the gear not being affixed correctly, the horse’s chances were compromised. This was the reason, he said, as to why the Stewards put forward an information not a MIN in regard to the breach.


As Mr Smith had admitted the breach, we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault stated that normally a breach of this rule was dealt with under the Minor Infringement Notice system with a first offence being a fine of $100 but due to the consequences of the gear coming adrift, being the horse’s chances compromised, submitted that a uplift in penalty was warranted. Mr Renault said that there were historical penalties of $200 for similar circumstances for a breach of this rule and submitted that a $200 fine be considered as penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee noted that a breach of this rule was usually dealt with by a Minor Infringement Notice, with a fine of $100 being imposed. The Committee determined that in this case there were aggravating factors to consider, being the consequences to the chances of GOD ONLY KNOWS. We also researched previous penalties under this rule and discovered other penalties, where the consequences to horses were taken into consideration. With these breaches, a $200 fine was imposed. We determined that a fine of $200 was an appropriate penalty in this case.


Mr Smith was fined the sum of $200.

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