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Hawkes Bay RI 21 September 2019 - R 7 (heard at Te Rapa on 25 September 2019) - Chair, Mr A Dooley



638(3)(b)(ii)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Hawkes Bay RI 21 September 2019 – R 7 (heard at Waikato RC 25 September 2019) - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Informant: Mr J Oatham – Chief Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: Mr S McKay – Class A Rider

Information No: A11332

Meeting: Hawkes Bay Racing Club

Date: 21 September 2019

Race: 7

Rule No: 638(3)(b)(ii)

Also Present: Mr M Williamson – Senior Stipendiary Steward

Mr B Jones – Stipendiary Steward

Charge: Excessive use of the whip

Plea: Admitted

Evidence

This charge was heard at the Waikato RC on 25 September 2019. The breach arises from the running of race 7 at the Hawkes Bay RI on 21 September 2019.

The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Mr McKay used the whip excessively on his mount THE MITIGATOR prior to the 100 metres.

Mr McKay said that he understood the Rule and confirmed he admitted the breach.

Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) provides: A Rider shall not:

(ii) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is excessive

The “Guidelines With Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provides:

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.

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

• using the whip with the arm above shoulder height.

Prior to the commencement of the hearing Mr Williamson gave the Committee a letter from Mr M Godber, Operations Manager of RIU, which authorised the Stewards to lodge this Information.

Mr Jones demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified Mr McKay and showed that he used his whip on 9 occasions prior to the 100 metres. He pointed out that Mr McKay used his whip with the arm above shoulder height.

Mr McKay accepted that he used his whip on 9 occasions prior to the 100 metres. He confirmed that he was aware it was deemed to be unacceptable where a rider uses the drawn whip above shoulder height. He added that he stopped using his whip for 3 strides and was a total of 4 strikes over the Whip Guidelines.

Decision

As Mr McKay admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submissions For Penalty

Mr Williamson said that Mr McKay had a clear record under this Rule and he admitted the breach. He said there were 2 breaks of 3 to 4 strides but it was of concern to the Stewards that the whip was used above shoulder height. He stated that although the quantity of strikes was low there was some force used.

Mr McKay said that he had not breached this Rule for 2 years and therefore his record was good.

Reasons For Penalty

The Committee considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a 1st breach of excessive use of the whip is a $300 fine which was adopted. This fine includes admission of the breach and a clear record.

When reviewing the video footage the Committee observed that the total number of strikes (9) prior to the 100 metres was in the low range and there were some pauses with the whip. However, the manner in which Mr McKay used his whip was of concern to the Committee. Mr McKay’s arm was above shoulder height which is a breach of the Whip Guidelines and the force applied was in the high range. The Committee deemed these to be aggravating factors which warranted a $100 uplift from the starting point.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that a $400 fine would be an appropriate penalty.

Penalty

Accordingly, Mr McKay was fined $400.

In conclusion the Committee advised Mr McKay the starting points for a 2nd and 3rd breach of this Rule within 12 months.

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