A Hill End man charged with using a mobile phone while riding a horse, who elected to have it heard in Mudgee Local Court, had the matter dealt with without a criminal conviction being recorded - where it was labelled 'trivial'.
The 30-year-old was seen riding the horse along the Hill End Road at Tambaroora, north of Hill End, at 11.08am on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
While travelling at an estimated speed of 10km/h, he was seen to be holding the phone up to his right ear, before he was stopped by police.
Under the road rules a horse is a vehicle...and he didn't have a hands-free device fitted to the horse.Magistrate David Day
It was noted that at the time the traffic on the road was light.
In court last Wednesday, police prosecutor Kris O'Brien tendered the paperwork for the charge of 'Driver use mobile phone when not permitted', and noted "it's not made clear in the charge, but the vehicle is a horse".
Magistrate David Day appeared to wince with laughter and suggested that this was perhaps something that Equestrian Australia should educate riders on.
And went onto say he hadn't dealt with such a matter before and added, "I've had someone charged with being drunk on a horse before - but just one".
Read more in court:
The defendant's solicitor, Tim Cain, submitted that the matter was "trivial" and that his client pleaded guilty "because he concedes that the horse was in motion".
Magistrate Day said, "under the road rules** a horse is a vehicle...and he didn't have a hands-free device fitted to the horse".
Although, questioned whether the incident occurred on "a quiet day", and concurred it was "trivial - in the extreme".
"Especially in a rural area where animals are a form of transport," he said.
A three-month Conditional Release Order was imposed without a conviction recorded.
**Under NSW legislation, Road Rules 2014, Road users and vehicles, a 'vehicle' includes an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle. With a 'ride' defined as the rider of a motor bike or animal-drawn vehicle, includes to be in control of.