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Canterbury JC 11 July 2020 - R 1 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 13 July 2020

SChing (chair)
Mr K Chowdhoory - Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
Mr M Pitman - assisting Mr Chowdhoory
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 1, the Hygain/Mitavite Maiden 2YO and Up, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr K Chowdhoory, alleging that, as the rider of READY TO ROAR in the race, he“ used his whip in an excessive manner prior to the 100m.”

Mr Chowdhoory was present at the hearing of the information and had endorsed the information that the breach was admitted, which he confirmed. He also confirmed that he understood the rule he was being charged with. Mr Chowdhoory was assisted at the hearing by his employer, Mr M Pitman.

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 gave evidence and showed video replays of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Chowdhoory riding READY TO ROAR, racing on the extreme outside of the field and in contention as the field turned for home. He said that Mr Chowdhoory drew the whip near the 400m and used it on 9 occasions prior to the 100m.

Mr Chowdhoory did not dispute the number of strikes and added that he could not see properly due to the track conditions and thought he was closer to the 100m when he used the whip.

Mr Pitman stated that it was very difficult when a rider was out wide to see where they were in relation to the 100m mark. He added this was only the second day back since March and the conditions were not the best. Mr Pitman said the horse responded to the whip but when the whip was put away the horse put its head to the side and lost ground.

Mr Oatham responded by stating that the outside rail on the track was marked with distance markers for horses racing wide on the track.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Chowdhoory had a previous breach of this rule on 21 February 2020 where he received a $300 fine for a first offence. Mr Oatham stated that the JCA Penalty Guide provided a $500 for a second offence with this rule. He submitted there were no aggravating factors but mitigating to consider. Mr Oatham stated it was the second day back racing since the lockdown, today's racing conditions were difficult and the financial situation most riders found themselves in, were, in his opinion, mitigating factors to consider.

Mr Chowdhoory stated that he had been financially affected with the Covid 19 lockdown and subsequent lack of racing over several months during that period.

Mr Oatham stated that the Stewards were not opposed to a discount in penalty due to the circumstances and the lack of opportunity for riders with the reduced racing dates scheduled in the future.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of a $500 fine for a second offence of this rule. We determined that there were no aggravating factors to consider, therefore no uplift in penalty warranted.

We also determined that there were exceptional mitigating factors to be considered as noted in Penalty submissions. We determined that due to the financial situation that Mr Chowdhoory found himself in, as a result of the Covid 19 lockdown and lack of opportunity, a discount for that mitigation was warranted in this case. To be consistent with recent penalties set where the circumstances of the breach were similar, we set a discount at a 20% reduction, being $100.

We therefore determined that a fine of $400 was appropriate in this case.


Accordingly, Mr Chowdhoory is fined the sum of $400.

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