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Marton JC 4 July 2020 - R 2 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 06 July 2020

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr C Thornton - Te Akau Stables
Mr N Goodwin - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Neglect in Saddling

An Information was lodged by Mr Neil Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 614 (2) in that C Thornton saddled the wrong runners in race 2, AL HARAM and RICHARD OF YORK.

Mr Goodwin told the Committee that both runners presented as normal in the enclosure and it was only when the riders came to mount up that they noticed the incorrect saddles were on each runner.

Mr Thornton explained that the stable had won the previous race, and a staff member was in the swab box with the winner, leaving the stable short on staff to saddle their two horses for race 2.

Ms Burdan carried both saddles and gear down from the weighing room and placed them beside each horse. Mr Thornton asked her if she had the right numbers for each horse, and when she checked she realised she did not. The saddlecloths were then changed but for some reason the saddles were not.

Both horses “passed” the Stewards’ gear inspection because the correct numbers were on the right horses.

It was only when the riders came out to mount up that the mistake was picked up.


As Mr Thornton has admitted the breach the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin said the Stewards’ submission was for a fine in the vicinity of $300. This was based on information supplied by Mr Oatham.

Mr Thornton said it was a stressful situation saddling up two horses with limited staff, and recent times had been tough with pay-cuts etc.

Reasons For Penalty:

Neglect in saddling (Rule 614(2)) covers a broad range of offences from omitting a lead bag to presenting a horse without a saddlecloth. Although the horses arrived in the birdcage with the incorrect saddles this was quickly noticed by the riders involved, and the error rectified immediately. There were no negative consequences for the betting public and no safety issues with today’s breach. The Committee considered it to be a low-level offence.

Taking into account similar breaches of Rule 614(2) the Committee was satisfied that a fine of $300 was an appropriate penalty.


Accordingly, Mr Thornton is fined the sum of $300.


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