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Hawke's Bay RI 19 September 2020 - R 2 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 21 September 2020

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr T Harris - Class A Rider
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following Race 2, Stipendiary Steward, Mr Goodwin lodged an Information with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) in that Troy Harris used his whip excessively prior to the 100m.

At the outset of the hearing, Mr Harris confirmed he understood the Rule and that he admitted the breach.

Mr Goodwin used 3 different video angles to show the number of times Mr Harris used the whip. He was behind the leaders just before the home turn and began to use his whip soon after entering the home straight.

It was clear that Mr Harris went over the 5 permitted strikes prior to the 100m but depending on which camera angle was used his total number was either 9 or 10 strikes. The Stewards said there was doubt in favour of Mr Harris.

Mr Harris believed that he was right on the 100m mark when he used his whip on the 10th occasion.


Mr Harris admitted the breach; therefore, the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin said Mr Harris had an excellent record with no previous whip charges in the last year, and sometime prior. Although Mr Harris won the race Mr Goodwin said the Stewards were satisfied he would have won regardless of being over the whip guidelines.

Mr Harris told the Committee he was only back riding very recently after undergoing shoulder surgery. He is aware of the new whip guidelines but is perhaps not as familiar with them as other riders. Mr Harris said he was not a “whip rider”, a statement the Stewards concurred with.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees provides the following starting points for breaches of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii):
1st breach - $300
2nd breach - $500
3rd breach - suspension
However, if the number of strikes is 10 or more a 6-day suspension is the starting point.

The Committee considered all submissions. The guidelines state that if the number of strikes is 10 or more, a 6-day suspension is the starting point. Taking into account the proximity of the last strike to the 100m, and the anomaly of the side-on camera angle we have given Mr Harris the benefit of the doubt in counting his number of strikes prior to the 100m as nine. We note that the strikes were not overly forceful.

This being his first breach the starting point is a $300 fine. An uplift from the starting point was deemed appropriate due to Mr Harris using the whip consecutively on one occasion, and taking into account the total number of strikes.


Accordingly Mr Harris is fined the sum of $450.

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