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Wellington RC 20 January 2018 - R 9 (heard 21 January 2018 at Te Rapa) - Chair, Mr A Dooley



638(3)(b)(ii)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION
Informant:
Mr J Oatham – Chief Stipendiary Steward
Respondent: Mrs T Thornton – Rider of SAMPSON
Information No: A10036
Meeting: Wellington Racing Club
Date: 20 January 2018 (heard 21 January 2018 at Te Rapa)
Rule: 638(3)(b)(ii)
Judicial Committee: Mr A Dooley, Chair - Mr G Jones, Committee Member
Charge: Excessive use of the whip
Plea: Admitted

 

Evidence
Following the running of race 9, Wallaceville Estate Castletown Wellington Cup (Group 3), an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(3)(b)(ii). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Mrs Thornton used the whip excessively on her mount SAMPSON prior to the 100 metres.

 

Mrs Thornton acknowledged that she understood the Rule and confirmed her admission.

 

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” effective 1 August 2017 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.

 

Mr Oatham demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified Mrs Thornton and showed that she struck her mount 11 times prior to the 100 metres. He said there were some pauses with the whip but they were outside the Guidelines.

 

Mrs Thornton acknowledged that she struck her mount 11 times prior to the 100 metres and had nothing further to add.

 

Decision
As Mrs Thornton admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

 

Submission for Penalty
Mr Oatham said that Mrs Thornton had a clear record and the starting point for a 1st offence was a $300 fine. He said the aggravating factors were the breach occurred in a Group 3 race worth $250,000 and Mrs Thornton’s mount finished in 2nd place. He advised the Committee that Ms Johnson incurred a $600 fine in the same race yesterday when breaching the whip Rule. He said that Ms Johnson also had clear record and her mount finished in 3rd place. Mr Oatham submitted a fine in the vicinity of Ms Johnson’s should be considered.

 

Mrs Thornton made no submissions on penalty.

 

The Committee advised Mrs Thornton the JCA Penalty Guide starting points for excessive use of the whip.

Reasons for Penalty
The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

 

The starting point for a 1st breach of this Rule is a $300 fine. That level of fine includes a clear record and admission of the breach.

 

The aggravating factors were the status of the race (Group 3), the stakes payable were $250,000 and SAMPSON finished in 2nd place.

Theses combined factors warranted an uplift in penalty. The fact that Ms Johnson incurred a $600 fine for a similar breach we therefore considered that it would be fair and reasonable to apply the same amount to Mrs Thornton.

Penalty
Mrs Thornton was fined $600.

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