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NZ Metropolitan TC 3 June 2021 - R 5 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 08 June 2021

Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
Name(s):
Mr MP Edmonds - Licensed Open Driver
Informant
Mr SP Renault – Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A12679
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 5, Mid-Winter at Addington Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr SP Renault, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr MP Edmonds, alleging that, as the driver of CORFU BROMAC in the race, he “used his whip free of the rein on occasions throughout the run home”.

Mr Edmonds had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that he admitted the breach. He confirmed this at the hearing at which he was present.

The Whip and Rein Regulations provide as follows:

3.1 A driver may only apply the whip in a wrist only flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.
3.3 A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.
3.4 For the purposes of Clause 3.3 a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:
3.4.1 If the whip is applied other than as permitted in clause 3.1.

Mr Renault showed a video replay of the final 300-400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Edmonds, driving CORFU BROMAC, racing four places back on the markers as the field neared the home turn. Shortly after entering the home straight, Mr Edmonds crossed the reins and used the whip twice, free of the rein. He then went back to the rein and used his whip in a wrist only flicking motion before crossing the reins and using his whip, free of the rein, on one further occasion, Mr Renault submitted. Mr Edmonds had used his whip, free of the rein, on a total of three occasions, Mr Renault said.

Mr Edmonds did not wish to comment, other than to say that he agreed with the alleged three strikes free of the rein.

Decision:

Mr Edmonds having admitted the breach, it was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault said that Mr Edmonds has had 58 drives this season and, last season, had 63 drives. His record shows a previous breach on 24 January 2021 at Motukarara – fined $200 for using his whip free of the rein. This being a second offence within a 6 months period, Stewards were asking for a 3-day suspension. This breach was at the lower end of the 3-5 days starting point, Mr Renault said.

Mr Edmonds did not wish to make any submissions in relation to penalty. He was not planning to drive at the Forbury Park meeting on 10 June, he said.

Reasons For Penalty:

The HRNZ Whip Penalty Guide (effective 1 October 2020) provides as follows:
Low-level is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving.

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Edmonds’ whip use was low-level in terms of the Penalty Guide. The three non-compliant strikes were delivered some distance from the finish, over a short distance, and were broken up. Neither were any of the strikes forceful. In between those strikes and following them, Mr Edmonds drove in a compliant manner.

Mr Edmonds’ previous breach in January is an aggravating factor, so a term of suspension is the appropriate penalty on this occasion. The Committee agrees that the breach is low-level, as defined in the Penalty Guide, so a term of suspension in keeping with that is appropriate.

Penalty:

Mr Edmonds’ Open Driver Licence is suspended form after the conclusion of racing on 3 June 2012 up to and including 17 June 2021 – 3 days. The three meetings intended to be encompassed in the period of suspension are three meetings of NZ Metropolitan TC on 11, 13 and 17 June 2021.

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