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

Created on 13 July 2020

SChing (chair)
Mr B Murray - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 11, the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Rating 74, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Jockey (Class A), Mr B Murray, alleging that, as the rider of WHISKEY IN THE JAR in the race, he struck his mount excessively prior to the 100m.

Mr Murray 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.

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 Murray riding WHISKEY IN THE JAR, positioned midfield and wide as the field entered the home straight. He said that Mr Murray drew the whip and used it on 9 occasions prior to the 100m.

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


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Murray had three previous breaches of this rule being firstly on 21 March 2020 where he received a $450 fine for 8 strikes in a Group 3 race at Riccarton. He stated that Mr Murray’s second and third offences were today where he received a $400 fine in Race 2 for 9 strikes, and a 6 National Day suspension for 11 strikes, in Race 10. Mr Oatham stated that the JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 6-day suspension for 3rd and consequential breaches of this rule. Mr Oatham stated that after taking all factors into consideration, including the financial implications of Covid 19 and restricted opportunities going forward, that a suspension commensurate with this being Mr Murray's 4th offence since March 2020, his third today, be considered as penalty.

Mr Murray elected to make no submissions on penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of a 6 National Day suspension for a third and consequential breaches of this rule. Aggravating factors were that this was Mr Murray's third offence today, his 4th in totality over the previous 12 months. His record, we considered, was appalling.

Taking all factors into consideration, for which the majority were aggravating, as well as the financial implications of Covid 19 and future opportunities, we decided that a meaningful penalty was warranted. We determined that an uplift was warranted from his previous penalty of 6 days in Race 10. That uplift we set at 1 day.

We therefore determined that a 7 National day suspension was an appropriate penalty in this case.


Accordingly, Mr Murray is suspended from the conclusion of racing 8 August up to and including 23 August 2020.

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