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Timaru HRC 24 April 2019 - R 11 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 29 April 2019

Rules:
869 (3) (b)
Committee:
SChing (chair)
GClapp
Name(s):
K Tomlinson-Junior Horsewoman
M Williamson-Open Horseman
Mrs C Tibbs - Stipendiary Steward
Miss Ottley - Driver of BILLIE JEAN
Informant
S Renault- Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A11375
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless driving
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 11, the Brosnan Transport Passing Lane Mobile Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward Mr S Renault against Junior Horsewoman Miss K Tomlinson, alleging a breach of Rule 869(3) (b) in that she shifted inwards racing near the 650m checking BILLIE JEAN who broke.

Miss Tomlinson had endorsed the Information that this breach of the Rules was not admitted which she confirmed at the hearing. Miss Tomlinson also confirmed that she understood the rule she was being charged with. Mr M Williamson assisted Miss Tomlinson at the hearing.

Rule 869(3)(b) reads as follows:

“(3) No horseman in any race shall drive:-
(b) carelessly:-

Submission For Decision:

Mr Renault gave evidence and used video coverage, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward Mrs C Tibbs, to show that approaching the 650m, Miss Tomlinson, driving RUBY TUESDAY, was racing 4-wide with BILLIE JEAN, driven by Miss Ottley, in a 3-wide position on the inside of Miss Tomlinson. He said that near the 650m, Miss Tomlinson allowed her drive to shift in and crowd Miss Ottley causing her to check and break. He said that Miss Tomlinson did take corrective measures to correct her drive but it was after the interference had occurred and too late to assist Miss Ottley.

Miss Ottley gave evidence to say that she did not know why her horse galloped. She said it was like a chain reaction with Mr Butt who came out and Miss Tomlinson who she thought was not looking to shift into the gap in front of her, and then, she said, it became tight. Miss Ottley conceded to the Committee, that she was placed in tight quarters and the pressure came from the outside. Mr Williamson asked Miss Ottley if her drive was hanging out in the back straight, to which she agreed. Miss Ottley stated that her drive was a stop-start horse which did not help the situation. She said that her horse was running out and Miss Tomlinson’s was hanging in which may have created the tightening. Miss Ottley conceded to the Committee, that Mr Butt had shifted out in front of her but was not a factor in this incident. She also conceded that if contact has been made with any horse, it would be Miss Tomlinson’s.

Mr Williamson, in defence of Miss Tomlinson, stated that his whole argument for her, was that her horse was hanging in. In addition, he said, there was also room between Miss Ottley and Mr Dunn, in the 2-wide position at the time of the tightening, for Miss Ottley to shift down and give herself more room. Mr Williamson said that Miss Ottley did attempt to pull her horse down but with it hanging out, was unable to, which contributed to the incident. He stated that Miss Tomlinson’s drive was hanging in and with Miss Ottley’s drive hanging out, has put both horses in tight quarters and caused the incident. Mr Williamson submitted that with Miss Tomlinson’s drive hanging in it has shifted down on the bend, causing the tightening. He conceded that Miss Tomlinson could have done a wee bit more to assist in this situation but in his opinion, she has done enough to say this incident was not all her fault.

Miss Tomlinson said her horse uses a jaw breaker bit as it is known to hang in in its races. She said that she was 4 wide and knew that Miss Ottley was behind her. Miss Tomlinson said she was attempting to keep in a straight line and has turned her horse's head out to keep out of Miss Ottley’s line when she realised, she was shifting down into Miss Ottley’s line due to her horse hanging.

Reasons For Decision:

We carefully considered the evidence presented, both oral and video replays of the alleged incident. This Committee is satisfied that near the 650m Miss Tomlinson was 4-wide with Miss Ottley to her inside in the 3 wide spot. We were also satisfied that at this point, Miss Tomlinson was improving past Miss Ottley and when not clear, has allowed her drive to shift into the running line of Miss Ottley, who has been placed in restricted room for several strides, before breaking. We find the video evidence compelling and determined that Miss Tomlinson’s drive was racing true until she realised that she had shifted down into the running line of Miss Ottley. Miss Tomlinson then reacted and attempted to straighten her horse but this action was too late to avert interference to Miss Ottley. We have determined that Miss Tomlinson has made an error of judgement and on this occasion, driven carelessly. We therefore find the charge proved.

Decision:

The charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault stated that Miss Tomlinson was in her first season of driving with 140 race day drives to date. He said she had a clear record in regard to any rule and had not been before a Judicial Committee until today's hearing. Mr Renault stated that JCA Penalty Guide provides a $500 fine or a 10 suspension for a breach of this rule. He submitted that the breach was no higher than mid-range but due to the consequences of Miss Tomlinson’s carelessness, being Miss Ottley’s horse's chances being extinguished, an uplift be considered on the starting point. He added that Miss Tomlinson’s good record should be taken into account and submitted that after taking all factors into consideration, a 10-drive suspension be considered as penalty. Mr Renault said that Miss Tomlinson averages 2 drives per meeting which he said equates to a 5-day suspension.

Mr Williamson stated that a 5-day suspension was a tough call. He said the incident was low level and submitted that a 3-day suspension be considered as penalty.

Deferment was discussed with Miss Tomlinson electing to take any suspension as soon as possible.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provide a 10-drive suspension or $500 fine for a mid-range breach of this rule. We determined that a suspension was an appropriate penalty in this case and assessed the breach as low-range, accordingly, adopting an 8-drive starting point, or in Miss Tomlinson’s case a 4 day suspension. The aggravating factor is the consequences of Miss Tomlinson’s carelessness, as detailed above, which warrants an uplift, which we set at 1 day. We were however able to afford Miss Tomlinson a discount for her excellent record, which we set at 1 day. We therefore determined that an appropriate penalty is a 4-day suspension.

Penalty:

Miss Tomlinson is suspended from the conclusion of racing 27 April up to and including 6 May 2019. Meetings encompassed in this period of suspension are Addington 3 May, Invercargill 4 May, Rangiora 5 May and Dunedin 6 May. Of note, the meeting at Invercargill on 27 April is not included in this penalty as driver declaration had occurred for this race day at 3pm before this case was heard and penalty was set down.

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