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Ashburton RC 1 August 2020 - R 8 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 03 August 2020

SChing (chair)
Mr R Cuneen - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 8, the Valachi Downs, an Information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Jockey (Class A), Mr R Cuneen, alleging that, as the rider of HE KIN FLY in the race, he used his whip excessively prior to the 100m.

Mr Cuneen was present at the hearing of the Information and had endorsed the Information that the breach was admitted. He also confirmed that he understood the provisions of the Rule he was being charged with.

Rule 638 provides as follows:
(3) A Rider shall not:
(b) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:
(ii) excessive

The “Guidelines with Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provide as follows:
Flat Races-Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out: i (i) The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions. ii (ii)

The whip should not be used in consecutive strides. iii (iii) The rider may at their discretion use the whip with a slapping motion down the shoulder, with the whip hand remaining on the reins. In the final 100 metres, the whip may be used at the Rider’s discretion

Mr Oatham, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, gave evidence and showed video replays of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Cuneen riding HE KIN FLY, positioned 5 or 6 off the rail and in contention as the field entered the home straight. He said that near the 300m, Mr Cuneen drew the whip and used it on 8 occasions, prior to the 100m.

Mr Cuneen did not dispute the number of strikes contended by Mr Oatham.


Mr Cuneen having admitted the breach; the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Cuneen had a clear record in regard to this Rule. Mr Oatham stated that the JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $300 fine for a first offence. Mr Oatham stated that after taking all factors into consideration a fine in line with the provisions of the penalty guide for a first offence be considered as penalty in this case.

Mr Cuneen elected to make no submissions in relation to penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine, mitigation inclusive, for a first offence of this Rule. We determined that there were no aggravating factors to consider, therefore no uplift warranted.

We therefore determined that a $300 fine was an appropriate penalty in this case.


Mr Cuneen is fined the sum of $300.

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