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Auckland RC 7 September 2019 - R 8 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 09 September 2019

ADooley (chair)
Mr S Fannin - Class D Rider
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of race 8, Network Visuals Great Northern Steeplechase (Prestige Jumping Race), an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (3)(b)(ii). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Mr Fannin used the whip excessively when riding WISE MEN SAY prior to the 100 metres.

Mr Fannin said that he understood the Rule and confirmed that he admitted the breach.

Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) provides: A Rider shall not:

(ii) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is excessive

The “Guidelines With Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provides:

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 Oatham demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified Mr Fannin and showed that he hit his mount 8 times prior to the 100 metres. He said there were pauses but not for the minimum 5 strides.

Mr Fannin said that he accepted the number of strikes and the incident occurred near the end of a long race. He said he thought that he had given his mount the necessary respite of 5 strides.


As Mr Fannin admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that Mr Fannin had 1 previous breach under this Rule in the last 12 months. He stated that last season Mr Fannin was having difficulties with this Rule but he had turned it around this season. He referred to the JCA Penalty Guide which provides a $500 fine as the starting point for a 2nd breach of this Rule. He said the Committee may consider an uplift due to the status of the race.

Mr Fannin submitted that he paused for 3 and 4 strides and the breach was low range. He made no submissions regarding a monetary penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Fannin used his whip on 8 occasions prior to the 100 metres. There were pauses for 3 to 4 strides but not for the minimum 5 strides.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a 2nd breach of this Rule is a $500 fine which was adopted. This fine includes admission of the breach.

Under the provisions of Rule 920(2) the aggravating factors were the breach occurred in a Prestige Jumping Race with $125,000 stakes payable. These collective factors warranted a $100 uplift in penalty.


Accordingly, Mr Fannin was fined $600.

In conclusion Mr Fannin was advised by the Committee that a 3rd breach of this Rule within 12 months would result in a suspension.

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