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Ashburton RC 15 March 2018 - R 6 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 19 March 2018

RMcKenzie (chair)
S L Wynne
Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Mr D Wadley - Stipendiary Steward
J M McLaughlin
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following the running of Race 6, R D Petroleum Maiden, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr J M McLaughlin, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Ms S L Wynne, alleging that Ms Wynne, as the rider of FUNNY FACE in the race, “used her whip excessively on her mount FUNNY FACE prior to the 100 metres”.

Ms Wynne was present at the hearing of the information. She indicated that she understood the charge and that she admitted the breach.

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 D Wadley, show a video replay of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out Ms Wynne’s mount, FUNNY FACE, racing outside the leader as the field approached the home turn. Shortly after straightening, FUNNY FACE took the lead. Stewards were alleging, Mr Wadley said, that Ms Wynne had struck her mount with the whip ten times without ceasing for the necessary five strides. Mr McLaughlin said that there had been a couple of breaks but he believed that Ms Wynne had used her whip again on the fourth stride on each occasion.

Ms Wynne said that she had been trying a bit too hard. She has been working hard on her use of the whip, she said, but she had got too excited on this occasion.


Ms Wynne having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McLaughlin outlined details of Ms Wynne’s record under the Rule which showed four previous breaches as follows:

12 August 2017 $300 fine at Canterbury
11 November 2017 $500 fine at Canterbury
15 November 2017 suspended for 7 days at Canterbury (Group 2 race)
20 January 2018 suspended for 7 days at Gore

Mr McLaughlin said that Ms Wynne’s record under the Rule was not good. The breach on this occasion was mid-range but a term of suspension was required, the term of which he would leave to the Committee, Mr McLaughlin said.

Ms Wynne asked if the Committee could show some leniency. She admitted that she has a lot to work on and today was caught “off guard”. She thought her mount was a winning chance and she put herself “at risk” but she had no excuse, she said. She is commencing a term of suspension for an earlier breach after today’s meeting and undertook to work on her problem over the term of her suspension.

Mr McLaughlin confirmed to the Committee that Ms Wynne is to begin a term of suspension after today’s meeting, which is up to and including 5 April 2018.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee took the starting point suggested in the Penalty Guide of a 6-8 national riding days suspension. This breach was, in the Committee’s view, no worse than mid-range and we have, therefore, taken 6 days as a starting point.

Obviously, a significant aggravating factor is Ms Wynne’s poor record under the excessive use of the whip Rule – this breach being the fifth in 6½ months. The only positive thing that we can take from that record is that there has been only one breach in the last 4 months.

We note that two most recent penalties of 7-days’ suspensions appear not to have deterred Ms Wynne from continuing to breach the Rule and, clearly, the penalty for this breach needs to be increased. The Committee considers that 3 days should be added to the starting point of 6 days for Ms Wynne’s poor record. Accordingly, we have arrived at a penalty of 9 national riding days.

The sole mitigating factor is Ms Wynne’s admission of the breach. However, that factor is unexceptional and no discount is given for it.


Ms Wynne’s jockey’s licence (Class A) is suspended from 6 April to 18 April 2018, both days inclusive.

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