Driver of Auckland Reactor Mark Purdon was suspended six weeks for his drive of the pacer last week.
Chairman of stewards Martin Knibbs said Purdon was charged under rule 149.1, which states : "a driver shall take all reasonable and permissible measures. . . to ensure that the horse is given full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing in the field".
In our piece below we looked at how chalk is driven here from time to time, and I think we should open the lines of communication between drivers, judges and the public. And I would like to see it done only when the driver makes no effort to win. However, six weeks for this is way too excessive. This driver at least got his horse to the outside, was probably outdriven in a new land (he says so himself), and he succumbed to the vagaries of harness racing. On any given night in North America and elsewhere you can see a horse driven like this as a favourite, mistake or not.
What do you think?
Details on the hearing itself here.