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Ashburton RC 1 September 2017 - R 8 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 05 September 2017

RMcKenzie (chair)
Mr JR Lowry - Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
Mr AG Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr JM McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of Whip

Following the running of Race 8, Fiona Stuart Retirement Maiden, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr JM McLaughlin, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr JR Lowry, alleging that Mr Lowry, as the rider of FORGED in the race, used his whip in an excessive manner prior to the 100 metres.

Mr Lowry was present at the hearing of the information. He indicated that he understood the charge and that he admitted the breach. He waived the right to have assistance at the hearing. He also confirmed that he was aware of the Guidelines regarding acceptable use of the whip effective from 1 August 2017.

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:
Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b) a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Inside the final 600 metres of any Race, official trial or jump-out a horse may be struck with the drawn whip up to five times after which the rider must cease their use of the whip for a minimum of five strides before striking the horse again with the drawn whip, with this restriction to apply prior to the final 100 metres. The whip may then be used at the rider’s discretion until the winning post is reached. Prior to the final 600 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out the use of the drawn whip is acceptable if used in moderation and not continually.

Mr McLaughlin had Stipendiary Steward, Mr A G Coles, show video replays of the final 300 metres of the race. He pointed out FORGED, ridden by Mr Lowry, in the middle of the track, the field having spread wide entering the home straight. Mr Lowry then used his whip on a couple of occasions but put it away for five strides. From the relevant point prior to the 100 metres, Mr Coles demonstrated that Mr Lowry used his whip on a further 12-13 occasions. He did cease using the whip on one occasion but only for 3-4 strides, Mr Coles submitted.

Mr Lowry accepted what Mr Coles had said and did not wish to add anything.


Mr Lowry having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McLaughlin informed the Committee that Mr Lowry had been fined $250 for excessive use of the whip at the meeting of Canterbury JC on 5 August last. This being a second breach in terms of the Penalty Guide, the starting point for penalty was a fine of $500. An aggravating factor was that Mr Lowry had gone on to win the race, he said.

The process for determining penalty was explained by the Committee to Mr Lowry. He declined the opportunity to make any submission regarding penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the Penalty Guide starting point of a $500 fine for a second breach of the Rule, which this was. The breach was, perhaps, above mid-range and Mr Lowry’s mount had gone on to win the race. However, they were not aggravating factors, in the Committee’s view, justifying any uplift to that starting point

The sole mitigating factor was Mr Lowry’s frank admission of the breach. However, that factor was unexceptional and no discount was given for it.


Mr Lowry was fined the sum of $500.

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