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21 Feb 2021
Winton-Hrc - R 5

Winton HRC 21 February 2021 - R 5 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 23 February 2021

GHall (chair)
Mr R McIlwrick - Open Driver
Miss R Haley - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Failing to obey the orders of the Starter

Miss Haley alleged that Mr McIlwrick failed to obey the order of the Starter when arriving late at the start.

Miss Haley demonstrated on the films that after the Starter had given the 5 minute call Mr McIlwrick proceeded to take his horse down the track in the opposite direction to where the Starter was positioned.

Mr McIlwrick could be seen to be looking back on two occasions towards the Starter as he was moving away from him. Miss Haley said the Respondent did eventually pull his horse up and turn around. She said he arrived at the start with just over a minute to start time. She added there was no evidence the horse was causing Mr McIlwrick any issues and he had been warned the previous race of the need to obey the Starter’s orders. The Starter had raised the issue with the Stewards.

Mr McIlwrick said while he admitted the breach, he had not heard the Starter’s whistle. He said he could not hear it all day. He said maybe he needed to get his ears checked but it was windy out on the track. He admitted he was late to the start and that he could have been quicker to get there. He said he had not deliberately disobeyed the order, but he knew his horse got agitated if it got to the start early.


As Mr McIlwrick has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Miss Haley produced the Respondent’s record. She described Mr McIlwrick as a busy South Island Driver. He has had 2096 lifetime drives, with 160 this season. His record was clear under this Rule. She referred to the $300 starting point in the Penalty Guide as being appropriate.

Mr McIlwrick emphasised that his record under this Rule was good. He contemplated whether to seek a suspension but eventually stated he preferred a fine.

Reasons For Penalty:

The breach is an unusual one. Mr McIlwrick clearly did not want to get his horse to the start early and, after the 5 minute warning was given, he can be seen to be looking in the direction of the Starter, yet to be moving in the opposite direction. It was not a particularly windy day, despite Mr McIlwrick believing this might have affected his hearing. He got to the start with just over a minute to start time.

After considering the nature and circumstances of the breach, the Respondent’s admission and his very good record, the Committee believes a fine is appropriate.


Mr McIlwrick is fined the sum of $200 and reminded of his profession obligations.

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