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Waimate TC 22 March 2020 - R 8 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 23 March 2020

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
GHall (chair)
Name(s):
Mr L Dobbs - Driver of POCKET CALL
Mr N McIntyre - General Manager of Stewards
Informant
Mr P Williams - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A13178
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless driving
Evidence:

Mr Williams alleged that Mr Dobbs drove carelessly near the 1500 metres when permitting his horse to shift inwards resulting in LEADING THE WAY (Mr Morrison) being checked with resulting interference to OMAR SHARIF and UNO MIA.

Submission For Decision:

Mr McIntyre demonstrated on the videos that Mr Dobbs was racing 4 wide approaching the 1500 metres. The horse went roughly over the crossing but then settled. Inside Mr Dobbs were Mr Morrison, and the two Misses Tomlinson. He alleged that Mr Dobbs shifted in and placed pressure on Mr Morrison. Mr Morrison was squeezed for room, as were the two horses to his inside. The consequence was that Ms S Tomlinson shifted in and went inside the markers to relieve the pressure from her outside. Mr Williams said Mr Morrison had to take hold and check his horse. He demonstrated that the wheel of Mr Dobbs’ cart was inside that of Mr Morrison at one point.

Mr McIntyre stated that the respondent had the opportunity to relieve the pressure but chose not to and instead pressed forward. In so doing, he placed pressure on Mr Morrison. Eventually Mr Morrison shifted out and got on to Mr Dobbs’ back.

Mr Dobbs said after his horse had gone roughly on the crossing it had raced with its head turned out to the right. He said he had never made contact with Mr Morrison’s cart and he was holding on to POCKET CALL and was trying to keep him out. He accepted that Mr Morrison was crowded but he believed this was because Mr Morrison was pushing out. Things had got tight, but POCKET CALL was lugging in. Mr Morrison had been yelling well before the incident. He believed Mr Morrison, who had drawn 13, was pushing up “hard”.

Reasons For Decision:

There is no doubt that POCKET CALL went roughly on the crossing but after that the horse settled into a pace. Mr Dobbs was racing 4 wide and, while progressing, he has shifted in and placed pressure on Mr Morrison. He said Mr Morrison was yelling and that Mr Morrison was pushing out. Mr Morrison does eventually shift out, but this is after Mr Dobbs had shifted in and caused crowding. Mr Morrison had no way of relieving the pressure and as a result the two drivers to his inside were forced to shift down on the track. As a consequence, Ms S Tomlinson went inside the markers.

It is accepted there was not contact with Mr Morrison’s cart, but this is not necessary for a charge of careless driving to be proved. Mr Dobbs has taken remedial action, but this was too late. Mr Dobbs has shifted in when not clear and in so doing he has driven carelessly. 

Decision:

The charge is proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williams produced the respondent’s record. Mr Dobbs has had 32 drives this season and 28 last season. Mr Dobbs had a previous breach of this rule on 22 September last when he was suspended for 4 days. He has had 15 drives since that suspension.

The Stipendiary Stewards have submitted a 14 drive suspension (7-day) suspension is appropriate. This is calculated on the basis that Mr Dobbs has 2 drives per meeting. When regard is had to infrequency with which he drives, this assessment appears accurate.

Mr Dobbs said his previous breach of the rule was low range and the penalty should reflect this.

Reasons For Penalty:

The starting point in the Penalty Guide is 10 drives for a first breach and 3 days for a second or subsequent. As Mr Dobbs only averages 2 drives a meeting these starting points are not particularly helpful. The breach is mid range. Three horses suffered interference.

Penalty:

Giving some credit for the fact that POCKET CALL was lugging in a little and that Mr Dobbs did take remedial action, albeit too late, he is suspended from driving from the end of racing 23 March up to and including 11 April. This is 6 days.

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