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Auckland RC 11 July 2020 – R 7 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 13 July 2020

GJones (chair)
Ms E Farr - Class D Rider of BLANCO BAY
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of whip

This charge arises from the running of Race 7 the Barfoot and Thompson 2200. An Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (3)(b)(ii) by the Informant, Mr Williamson, alleging that Ms Farr used her whip excessively prior to the 100 metres.

Ms Farr said that she understood the Rule and confirmed her admission of the breach.

Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) provides:

A Rider shall not strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:

(i) unnecessary, or

(ii) excessive, or

(iii) improper

Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b), a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Flat Races

Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out:

(i) The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions.

(ii) The whip should not be used in consecutive strides.

(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.

Notwithstanding the above, it will also be deemed to be unacceptable where a rider uses the drawn whip:

(i) when a horse is out of contention.

(ii) when a horse is showing no response.

(iii) when a horse has no reasonable prospect of improving or losing its position.

(iv) when a horse is clearly winning.

(v) after passing the winning post.

(vi) using the whip with the arm above shoulder height.

(vii) causing injury to the horse.

Using available race film footage Stipendiary Steward Mr Coles demonstrated the breach. He identified BLANCO BAY (E Farr) racing 2 or 3 back on the inner as the field rounded the home turn. He said that from the turn to the 100-metre mark she struck her mount 9 times prior to the 100 metres, with the first strike being a light backhander.

In response Ms Farr said she accepted that she struck her mount 9 times. She said her mount, BLANCO BAY, was a steeplechaser whose trainer said was being prepared for future races, including 3000 plus metre races. She said that he further instructed her to keep him up to the mark to ensure he was fit for his next race assignment.


As Ms Farr admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson submitted that Ms Farr has not breached the whip rule since the revised Whip Directive came into force on 7 October 2019. He submitted that although the number of strikes was 9, the first was a backhander, there was a pause between strikes and they were not forceful. He submitted that a fine of $300 would be appropriate.

Ms Farr had nothing to add when offered the opportunity to make submissions as to penalty. 

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide establishes starting point of a $300 fine for a first breach of this rule. This starting point is inclusive of an admission of the breach and riding record.

The Committee considered all the evidence and submissions and took particular note of the number and frequency of strikes as well as the force used. In that regard we confirmed the number of strikes as 9 and noted that, for the most part, they were not forceful nor were they continuous. Ms Farr's explanation was not persuasive and carried no weight in our decision making. There are no aggravating factors.

Taking all matters into account there are no compelling reasons to deviate from the Penalty Guide starting point of $300.  


Accordingly, Ms Farr is fined $300.

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