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Canterbury R 5 August 2017 - R 9 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 08 August 2017

RMcKenzie (chair)
J R Lowry
Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
D M Walsh
Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr J M McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
J P Oatham
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of Whip

Following the running of Race 9, Gold Club Premier, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr J R Lowry, alleging that Mr Lowry, as the rider of LONDONDERRY AIR in the race, “used his whip in an excessive manner prior to the 100 metres”.

Mr Lowry was present at the hearing of the information, assisted by Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mr D M Walsh. Mr Lowry indicated that he understood the charge and that he admitted the breach. He also confirmed that he was aware of the Guidelines regarding acceptable use of the whip effective from 1 August 2017.

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 Oatham had Stipendiary Steward, Mr J M McLaughlin, show video replays of the final 300-400 metres of the race. He began with the rear-on view and pointed out LONDONDERRY AIR, ridden by Mr Lowry, racing 3-wide outside the leaders as the field entered the final straight. Shortly thereafter, Mr Lowry commenced using his whip. He used it five times and then, without pushing for five strides, used it on a further five occasions prior to the 100 metres without pushing for the required five strides, Mr McLaughlin said, well outside of the guidelines.

Mr Lowry told the Committee that he had been away for four weeks. He had been accustomed to observing the restrictions prior to the 200 metres and he had not made the necessary adjustment on this occasion, he said.

Mr Walsh submitted that Mr Lowry had clearly been “a bit rusty”, not displaying his usual “polished style”. He may have been trying to keep the horse straight, as it was drifting out in the run home, but he may have been better to have put the whip away, Mr Walsh said.


Mr Lowry having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Lowry had a clear record under the Rule going back 12 months. The breach was towards the lower end of the scale and he submitted that a fine not too dissimilar to the Cowan and Weatherley fines earlier in the day was appropriate, $250-300.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the starting point of a $300 fine for a first breach of the Rule. There were no aggravating factors, in the Committee’s view, justifying any uplift to that starting point. Although the breach was in the low-end range, we have not applied any reduction in the starting point.

Mitigating factors are Mr Lowry’s previous good record and his frank admission of the breach. We believe that a discount of $50 is appropriate for a combination of those two factors.


Mr Lowry is fined the sum of $250.

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