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Canterbury JC 11 July 2020 - R 2 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 13 July 2020

Rules:
638(3)(b)(ii)
Committee:
SChing (chair)
Name(s):
Mr B Murray - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Informant
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A12822
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Excessive use of the whip
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 2, the Riccarton Park Function Centre Maiden 2YO and Up, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Jockey (Class A), Mr B Murray, alleging that, as the rider of KNEAZLE 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 KNEAZLE, positioned in a prominent position, 2 off the rail 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 and said that he just got a little over eager with the whip in the home straight.

Decision:

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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Murray had a previous breach of this rule on 21 March 2020 where he received a $450 fine for 8 strikes in a Group 3 race at Riccarton. 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 Murray 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 Murray 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 very similar, we set a discount at a 20% reduction, being $100.

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

Penalty:

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

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