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Hawke's Bay RI 5 October 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 07 October 2019

NMoffatt (chair)
Mrs T Thornton - Class A Rider
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the Whip

Following Race 1 (Bay Ford NZ Punter Of The Year), Mr Oatham lodged an Information with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) in that T Thornton used her whip excessively prior to the 100m on her mount SWEET TREAT.

At the outset of the hearing, Mrs Thornton confirmed that she understood the Rule and that she admitted the breach.

Mr Oatham identified Mrs Thornton racing in a two-wide position at the top of the straight. He counted her use the whip 10 times before the 100m. Mr Oatham said the strikes were broken up by a few pauses but not the required 5 strides.

Mrs Thornton agreed with the number of strikes as presented by Mr Oatham.


As Mrs Thornton admitted the breach, the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said Mrs Thornton had three previous breaches of this rule within the last 12 months:
29/12/18 Matamata - 8 day suspension
30/12/18 Taupo - 8 day suspension
13/4/19 Hastings - 7 day suspension

He said it was the Stewards’ opinion that today’s breach was at the low end and submitted that a penalty in line with the Judicial Penalty Guidelines would be appropriate.

Mrs Thornton did not wish to make any submissions on penalty

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 or subsequent breach - 6-8 national riding days

As this was Mrs Thornton’s fourth breach of the rule within 12 months the Committee adopted a starting point of 6-8 national riding days.

We took into account the number of strikes and the fact that her whip use was not continuous.

While Mrs Thornton’s record appears poor, we note that it has been 5 months since her last breach.

Balancing up all factors, it was our opinion that a 7- day suspension was an appropriate penalty.


Accordingly, Mrs Thornton is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday, October 12th up to and including racing on Wednesday, October 23rd 2019.

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