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Notice Type
General Section
Notice Title

Amendments to the New Zealand Rules of Racing

Pursuant to sections 29 to 34 of the Racing Act 2003, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated (NZTR) has made the following changes to the Rules of Racing which come into effect on 1 May 2015.

Industry consultation has taken place on these amendments and NZTR’s Board of Directors has sought the views of the Judicial Control Authority and the New Zealand Racing Board Dates Committee.

The Judicial Control Authority and the New Zealand Racing Board Dates Committee have approved these amendments.

Deleted words are struck out and added words are shown in bold.

These amendments to the Rules of Racing are as follows:

1. Rule 208(g) – Appointment, Functions and Duties of Stipendiary Stewards and Investigators

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 208(g) to provide authority to Stewards to require any rider, who presents themselves to ride at any registered facility, to present a medical certificate of fitness. This will provide a mechanism for any club with concerns for a rider, who is suspected of not being medically fit to ride, to remedy them. The Rules are currently silent on authority for any organisation, including the Stewards, to require a rider (who is not riding in a race) to present a medical certificate of fitness relating to riding on a racetrack or training track.

208 Stipendiary Stewards and Investigators have the power:

...

(g) to require a Rider to undergo a medical examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner or an Emergency Medical Officer or similarly experienced qualified person if they consider on reasonable grounds that the Rider may be unfit to ride in a Race a Horse at a Racecourse, Training Facility or Trainer’s Premises he is proposing to ride in on that day because of injury, illness or other disability; and

2. Rule 301 – Licences (Trainers’ Licences)

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 301 to include reference also to a licence applicant’s financial position in Rule 301(3)(e) as follows. Again, the Rules are currently silent on this.

301(3) A Licence shall not be issued to any person:

...

(e) who NZTR considers to be unsuitable to hold a Licence for reasons of integrity, competence or otherwise (including, without limitation, reasons relating to the applicant’s financial circumstances).

3. Rule 417 and Form SR24 – Notification of Death or Retirement of a Thoroughbred

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 417 to provide for mandatory notification by the owner or Racing Manager to NZTR when their horse has been retired from racing and is not entering the Thoroughbred breeding population, from which time the retired horse will automatically cease to be registered and is ineligible to race unless it is re-registered, as follows:

NOTIFICATION ON HORSE’S DEATH OF RETIREMENT OR DEATH OF HORSE

417 (1) On the retirement of any registered horse from racing and/or breeding, the Owner or Racing Manager of the Horse (as the case may be) at the time of retirement shall, within one month of the date on which the horse was retired, notify NZTR of the retirement by completing the prescribed form and forwarding it to NZTR.

(2) On receipt of a notice of retirement of a horse under Rule 417(1), NZTR shall de-register the horse from racing and/or breeding (as the case may be) and update the appropriate register(s). Rule 411(3) shall apply to a horse that has been de-registered under this Rule.

(1) (3) On the death of any registered horse, the Owner or Racing Manager of the Horse (as the case may be) at the time of death shall, within one month of the date on which the horse died, notify NZTR in writing to that effect of the death of the horse by completing the prescribed form and forwarding it to NZTR.

NZTR will make consequential amendments to NZTR Form SR24 which notifies NZTR why the horse has been retired and plans for the horse post-racing (for example equestrian or live stock sale). This form is not required to be completed for horses retiring from racing and immediately entering the Thoroughbred breeding population.

4. Rule 423 – Change of Owner(s) or Lessee(s)

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 423 to avoid the need for all owners/lessees to sign NZTR Forms SR16 and SR20 each time ownership/lease arrangements change (to be replaced by the person transferring an interest, the person acquiring an interest and the Racing Manager) and the addition of a new Rule 423(9) to clarify that when a horse is sold subject to the terms of a registered lease, the lease remains in place and the new owner(s) is bound by its terms unless the new owner(s) and the lessee(s) notify NZTR otherwise.

CHANGE OF OWNER(S) OR LESSEE(S)

(423) (1) Notice of any change in the legal or beneficial Ownership of a horse or in the lessees of a horse (including, for the avoidance of doubt, any change in the percentage interest held by any Owner or lessee of the horse) must be given to NZTR within seven days after any such change takes place, and before the horse is started in any Race, provided that where any such change takes place:

...

(2) The notice of a change in the Ownership of a horse or in the lessees of a horse must be submitted by the new Owner(s), new lessee(s) or new Racing Manager (as the case may be) on the prescribed form to NZTR, with such further information as NZTR may require in its absolute discretion, and must:

...

(c) be signed by each person:

(i) referred to in Rules 423(b)(i) and (ii) above;

(ii) named as an Owner of the horse on the register kept by NZTR in accordance with Rule 410; and

(iii) named as a lessee of the horse on the register kept by NZTR in accordance with Rule 410, where the interest being acquired is an interest as lessee in an existing registered lease,

except:

(iv) in cases of death or incapacity;

(v) where such person has been absent from New Zealand for more than one month and is unable to be located, in which event the remaining persons comprising Owner(s) or lessee(s), as applicable, agree to indemnify NZTR from and in connection with any loss, claim or damage that may arise from their failing to obtain the absent person’s signature on notice of any change in the legal or beneficial Ownership of a horse or in the lessees of a horse; or

(vi) if the relevant interest in the horse is no more than 20%, in which case if the horse has a Racing Manager then that Racing Manager, if duly authorised to do so, may sign on behalf of one or more Owner(s) or lessee(s); and

(i) each person who is selling, transferring or otherwise disposing of all or any part of any interest he or it has in that horse (whether as Owner, lessee or otherwise);

(ii) each person who is acquiring any interest in that horse (whether as Owner, lessee or otherwise); and

(iii) the Racing Manager,

or by a person who has been authorised to sign the notice on behalf of any such person; and

(d) if applicable, specify whether the new owner/lessee is now registered under the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985, and if so specify its Good and Services Tax registration number.

...

(9) If a horse in respect of which a lease has been registered is sold subject to the terms of that registered lease, the registered lease will remain in full force and effect notwithstanding the sale and the registration of a notice of change in the Ownership of the horse, and the new Owner of the horse shall be bound by the terms of the registered lease, unless the new Owner and the lessee(s) of the horse notify NZTR otherwise in writing.

5. Rules 602 and 902(2)(a)(ii): Control of Race Meeting On Race Day and Functions and Duties of Judicial Committee

NZTR recommends amendments to Rules 602 and 902(2)(a)(ii) to provide the RIU with responsibility for abandonment of race meetings. The current Rules require the matter to be put before the Judicial Committee for determination. The Rule, as it currently reads, has been the cause of comment and complaint over recent years, which has resulted in the Rule not been consistently applied particularly around the interpretation of the words “any question.” This has been interpreted as “the meeting’s continuation is in question” and, as such, this falls within the Rule, and differences between various parties as to whether a meeting should continue or not. This Rule change replaces the responsibility for abandonment of a race meeting from the Judicial Committees to the RIU Stewards.

602 (1) From 7.30am on Race day, the Stipendiary Stewards shall:

(a) have the control of the Race Meeting and be charged with the duty of ensuring that the provisions of these Rules are applied and enforced in respect of that Race Meeting;

(b) determine any question as to whether that day of racing or any part thereof should be postponed, abandoned or cancelled;

(2) A Club must follow any directives, policies, guidelines or practices of NZTR (including the National Racing Bureau) necessary for the administration and control of a Race Meeting or related to Races or racing, including any decision by NZTR to cancel a Race day, or a Race Meeting, which may be made prior to or after 7.30am on a Race day of that Race Meeting.

902 (1) The Judicial Committee shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all proceedings commenced pursuant to these Rules, which are not expressly stated by any of these Rules to be within the jurisdiction of any other person or body.

(2) The functions of a Judicial Committee shall be:

(a) from the commencement of the first proceeding which it commences to deal with on any day of a Race Meeting or one hour prior to the starting time of the first Race of that day until after the conclusion of the last proceeding which it commences to deal with on that day, or thirty minutes after the last Race run on that day (whichever is the later) to:

(i) hear all matters of a judicial nature which arise during and in relation to that day of racing and are submitted to it;

(ii) determine any question as to whether that day of racing or any part thereof should be postponed, abandoned or cancelled;

(iii)(ii) declare a Race null and void and if it thinks expedient order that such Race be run again; and

(iv)(iii) exercise the powers, duties and functions conferred or imposed on Judicial Committees by these Rules and the Racing Act 2003;

6. Rule 604(2) – Control of Race Meeting on Race Day (Persons Warned Off)

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 604 to provide more clarity and, in this regard, the addition of a new Rule 659 to define warning off. There has been confusion around the exact application of warning off.

NZTR also considered whether clubs should retain the power to warn off (clubs can issue trespass notices if there is an individual about whom they are concerned).

604 ...

(2) All persons warned off a Racecourses by a Club or NZTR, or off a racecourses or racing facility facilities by Another Racing Authority shall be excluded from every Racecourse when any matter connected with racing is in progress.

...

WARNING OFF

659 NZTR may warn a person off Racecourses if it considers, on reasonable grounds, that the presence of that person on a Racecourse may have an undesirable impact on the conduct or integrity of racing. A person warned off by NZTR may not enter any Racecourse when a Race Meeting, trial or jump-out is being held.

7. Rule 631(8) – At The Start

Currently the Rules are silent with respect to horses starting from an incorrect barrier. NZTR recommends an addition to Rule 631 to provide for this in the Rules to read as follows:

(8) If any horse starts from an incorrect stall position, the Judicial Committee shall have the discretion to confirm the Official Result of Placings, declare the race to be void or declare any horse in the Race to be a non-starter.

8. Rule 638(3) – Running Races (Use of the Whip)

NZTR considered a review by the RIU of whip offences and recommended amendments to Rule 638(3)(b) so that whip offences can be more accurately recorded and reported, and reviewers can access relevant data quicker.

638(3) A Rider shall not:

...

(b) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is unnecessary, excessive or improper;

(i) unnecessary

(ii) or excessive

(iii) or improper;

9. Rule 648(5) – Weighing-In (Riders Weighing-in Overweight)

NZTR recommends amendments to Rule 648(5) which is currently generous in that it provides a Rider with an ability (without the fear of penalty) to weigh in 1 kg in excess of the weight at which he/she weighed out, particularly in light of Rule 620(2) which already permits a declared rider to ride up to 0.5 kg over the carded weight. The proposed amendments to Rule 648(5) would provide that a rider who weighs in at a weight of 0.5 kg or more in excess of the weight at which the rider weighed out is committing a breach of the Rules.

(648) ...

(5) If the Rider of a horse weighs in at a weight of 0.51kg or more in excess of that weight at which the Rider he weighed out:

(a) that Rider; and

(b) any other person who a Tribunal conducting an inquiry finds was at fault, , the Clerk of the Scales shall record the weight by which the Rider on weighing in exceeded the weight at which he weighed out and inform a Stipendiary Steward and that Rider commits a breach of these Rules.