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Timaru HRC 7 October 2018 - R 1 - Chair, Mr D Anderson

Created on 09 October 2018

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
DAnderson (chair)
GClapp
Name(s):
Mr W Low - Amateur Driver
Mrs C Tibbs - Stipendiary Steward
Mr D Wadley - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A09995
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless Driving
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 1, the Supreme Equine Feeds Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Renault, against Amateur Driver, Mr Low, alleging that “Mr Low (WESTAR SAM) drove carelessly near the 600 metres when allowing his horse to contact the sulky wheel of LIVING LEGEND".

Rule 869 provides as follows:
(2) No horseman in any race shall drive: -
(b) carelessly

Mr Low confirmed to the Committee that he did not admit this breach of the Rules and he had a clear understanding of the charge and the Rule it was brought under.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Renault with the assistance of Mrs Tibbs used the race films to identify Mr Low driving WESTAR SAM in the 1x1 position approaching the 600 metres. They used all available films to show WESTAR SAM appear to touch LIVING LEGEND’S (Mr M Stratford) wheel and gallop checking XMAS BAY (Mr T Quate). Mr Renault then showed the Committee several slow motion close up replays of the incident which were of very clear quality. He said the Steward’s opinion was that this case was straightforward and he had nothing further to add.

Mr Renault was asked by the Committee if the tyre of LIVING LEGEND was punctured. He said it was not.

Mr Low submitted that his horse put a couple of “roughies in” but he was positive that he did not touch a wheel. He said it may look like he was very close to it on the films but said “you always know if you hit one”. He asked if he could call Mr M Stratford the driver of LIVING LEGEND as his witness.

In response to Mr Low’s questions Mr Stratford said he was unaware anything had happened behind him. He said he didn’t feel or hear any contact to his wheel or disc and would have expected to, had there been contact.

Mr Renault then asked Mr Stratford who had now viewed the films, if he was still of this opinion. Mr Stratford said it does look fairly close but that he didn’t hear anything.

Mr Low finished his defence by using the films to show that his horse’s head had been right behind the helmet of Mr Stratford and said this would ensure that he couldn’t hit a wheel. He added his horse was driving straight and didn’t have a tendency to throw its legs outwards. He said “I know it does look like I clipped it but I’ll swear black and blue I didn’t “.

Mr Renault in response to Mr Low’s assessment showed a front on film which he contended showed WESTAR SAM’S hoof directly behind the wheel of LIVING LEGEND.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence presented to it. The Stewards alleged that Mr Low drove carelessly by allowing his horse to contact the sulky wheel of LIVING LEGEND near the 600m.

Mr Low was certain that he had not.

The video evidence was compelling. It clearly shows WESTAR SAM’S leg striking the wheel and then recoiling back slightly. The strike was not of great force but it was enough to break WESTAR SAMS’S stride who galloped and checked another runner.

Decision:

The charge was found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault stated that Mr Low was having his third drive for this season and he had driven on 19 occasions last season. He said Mr Low had an excellent record under this rule which deserved some credit.

Mr Renault said the Stewards note the JCA penalty guidelines for a driver hitting a wheel, is a 6-drive suspension or a $300 fine. He said not only had Mr Low diminished his chances, but also that of a trailing runner, and stated this should incur an uplift of penalty. He said that Mr Low’s record was a factor and the Stewards would be seeking a fine of $300.

Mr Low asked if he could take a suspension instead of a fine.

Mr Renault said as with Amateur Driver penalties, at two drives per month, this would equate to a three-month suspension for this case.

Mr Low had no submissions to make on penalty and when deferment was discussed he said it was not needed.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee, carefully considered all the evidence and submissions available to them. We have adopted the JCA penalty guideline which is a six-drive suspension.

The Committee considered this to be a low-range breach with mid-range consequences. The aggravating factor being two horses had their chances diminished.

In mitigation we considered Mr Lows excellent record and reflected on the small margin of error that had occurred.

The Committee after considering the combination of the above factors imposed a 5-drive suspension which equates to 2 and ½ months for an Amateur Driver, as an appropriate penalty.

Penalty:

Mr Low’s licence to drive is suspended from the conclusion of racing today up to and including racing on the 21 December 2018.

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