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Waikato BOP H 6 June 2021 - R 8 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 09 June 2021

GHall (chair)
Mr B Hope - Junior Driver
Mr T Williams - Open Driver assisting Mr Hope
Mr N Williamson - Open Driver
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Driving

Mr Ydgren alleged that Mr Hope permitted his drive MUSCLE MOUNTAIN in Race 8 to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of KIWITRIX which broke near the 1400 metres.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Ydgren demonstrated that Mr Hope’s horse had drawn 7 on the arm and Mr N Williamson, KIWITRIX, 6. KIWITRIX galloped some 200 metres after the start. He said there was crowding when MUSCLE MOUNTAIN shifted in and KIWITRIX had run out of racing room. He alleged there was contact between the sulky of Mr Hope and a leg of Mr Williamson’s horse. He demonstrated there was no pressure on Mr Hope from the horse to his outside. He stated that immediately after the race Mr Williamson had reported to the Stewards that his horse had been checked.

Mr Ydgren called Mr Williamson to give evidence. Mr Williamson stated that his horse got out of the gate “okay” and he was intending to ease his horse to go behind Mr Hope. He said it got tight and he touched a wheel. There was no pressure from his inside. Before he galloped KIWITRIX had been “racing okay” and his horse did not contribute to the incident.

Mr Williams questioned Mr Williamson as to whether he was aware at the time that there was contact with the leg of his horse. Mr Williamson said he was. He said he had called out to Mr Hope 20 to 30 metres prior to the incident for him to be given room. He confirmed the movement was from his outside, although whether this was because of Mr Hope’s actions, he could not be sure.

Mr Hope stated that Mr Williamson had tried to pull out of the way because of general tightness. He said MUSCLE MOUNTAIN might have got in slightly. He had tried to get out of Mr Williamson’s way, and he acknowledged he did feel contact at the time.

Mr Williams said he believed Mr Williamson was trying to get on to Mr Hope’s back and KIWITRIX appeared to be pulling.

In summing up, Mr Ydgren said it was a misjudgement on Mr Hope’s part. He had come in when not quite clear and had misjudged how quickly he had got there. Mr Hope had nothing further to add.

Reasons For Decision:

Mr Hope has shifted inwards some 200 metres after the start and has crowded Mr Williamson who eventually ran out of room and there was contact between Mr Hope’s cart and a leg of Mr Williamson’s horse. The consequence was that Mr Williamson galloped out of the race. Mr Hope has not alleged there was pressure on him from his outside and Mr Williamson has not stated there was any pressure on him from his inside. The videos confirm this. Mr Williamson was calling to Mr Hope to give him room. Mr Hope has simply shifted across too quickly and, significantly, he has admitted there was contact.


Thus, we find the charge of careless driving proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Ydgren produced the Respondent’s record which showed no breaches under this Rule this season. Mr Hope has had had 364 drives this season and 257 the last. Mr Ydgren stated the starting point in the Penalty Guide for a major race (this was a Group 1 race with a $100,000 Stake) was a 3-day suspension. He described the breach as mid-range and submitted a 3 to 4-day suspension was appropriate having regard to the Respondent’s good record.

Mr Hope said it was marginal call that he had made to shift across, but he acknowledged he had “stuffed up”. He did not seek a deferment of his suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

We view the breach as mid-range. Mr Hope has shifted in when not clear and has caused interference to Mr Williamson, whose horse galloped and lost all chance in a Group 1 race with a $100,000 stake. Accordingly, we uplift the 3-day starting point to 5 days.

We view Mr Hope’s very good record under this Rule as a significant mitigating factor and reduce our starting point by one day. There is no discount available for an admission of the breach, so the penalty is a 4-day suspension.


Mr Hope is suspended from driving from the end of today’s meeting 6 June up to and including 17 June 2021.

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