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Auckland RC 20 February 2016 - R 8 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 22 February 2016

ADooley (chair)
Mrs L Allpress - Rider of GOBSTOPPER
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Ms R Myers - Rider of BAMURRU
Mr A Rodley - Rider Agent
Mr J Oatham - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 8, Rutherford Rede 2100, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Mrs Allpress permitted her mount GOBSTOPPER to shift inwards in the final straight causing BAMURRU (R Myers) to be checked near the 100 metres.

Mrs Allpress acknowledged that she understood the Rule and confirmed that she denied the breach.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Oatham told the Committee he would be calling 2 witnesses namely Stipendiary Steward Mr Coles, and rider Ms R Myers.

The following are the salient points of this lengthy hearing.

Mr Coles identified the 2 horses involved in the alleged incident by using all the available video footage. He said that Ms Myers angled her mount out around the final turn and made slight contact with Mrs Allpress' mount. He paused the films at the 350 metres and identified that both BAMURRU and GOBSTOPPER had clear running ahead of them with a gap between each horse. He pointed out that after that point Mrs Allpress allowed her mount to shift inwards into BAMURRU for approximately 200 metres. He said it is clear to see that Mrs Allpress has GOBSTOPPER's head tuned in when she carries on riding her mount forward putting pressure onto BAMURRU racing directly on her inside. He said this denied Ms Myers clear running and highlighted this fact by using the back on film of the incident.

Mrs Allpress questioned Mr Coles as to whether Ms Myers had the right to push her mount out around the final turn. He responded by saying Ms Myers is entitled to ride competitively and she had correctly established a run which did not unbalance her mount GOBSTOPPER. He added the manoeuvre by Ms Myers did not give Mrs Allpress the right to place pressure back onto Ms Myers.

Ms Myers stated in evidence that she received pressure from Mrs Allpress in the final straight which forced her inwards across the heels of NEALA which meant she had to check her mount near the 100 metres. She said BAMURRU and GOBSTOPPER were racing side by side and noted Mrs Allpress was never clear of her when shifting inwards.

Ms Myers acknowledged to Mrs Allpress that she made slight contact with her mount around the final turn.

At this point Mr Oatham emphasised the particulars of this charge related to the interference that occurred from the 350 metres to the 100 metres. He said that the Stewards had viewed the incident around the final turn and it had no relevance to this charge against Mrs Allpress.

Mrs Allpress stated that she was doing her best to ride her mount forward in the final straight when Ms Myers placed pressure on her by continuing to ride into her. She said this resulted in her horse leaning back onto BAMURRU and she stated that it was never Ms Myers' position to start with. She believed Ms Myers dictated her mount from the 400 metres and this made her horse lay in. Mrs Allpress added that she is entitled to her line of running.

Mr Oatham in summing up reiterated the incident that occurred around the final turn is irrelevant to this charge. He stated this charge relates to after the 350 metres when Ms Myers is clearly established into a run on the inside of Mrs Allpress’ mount. He said Mrs Allpress moved in 2 horse widths over a 200 to 250 metre period when not the required distance clear which resulted in Ms Myers having to check her mount off heels near the 100 metres. He added that Ms Myers is entitled to her running line and there is no obvious outward movement from her. Mr Oatham said all the inward movement is from Mrs Allpress and concluded by saying Ms Myers' chances in the race were affected by some considerable degree.

Mrs Allpress in summing up submitted that Ms Myers did come out at the top of the straight and made contact with her mount. She believed her horse retaliated by leaning back into Ms Myers' mount. She stated that her mount would have gone straight if not for Ms Myers pressuring her.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions as presented. Having reviewed the video films several times we established that at the 350 metres Ms Myers had clear running to the inside of Mrs Allpress’ mount with a gap between the 2 horses. It is clearly evident after that point Mrs Allpress continues to ride her mount forward when it shifts in for approximately 200 metres. At no stage is Mrs Allpress the required distance clear of Ms Myers who had her rightful running line impeded by the constant inward movement by Mrs Allpress. It is significant to note that when Mrs Allpress did briefly straighten her mount it responded well which momentarily created room for Ms Myers. However, that is short lived because Mrs Allpress then quickly commenced to ride her mount forward again which resulted in Ms Myers being awkwardly placed on the heels of NEALA near the 100 metres. When Ms Myers had to check her mount its momentum is badly inconvenienced which affected BAMURRU chances of finishing in a better placing.

The video footage does not support Mrs Allpress' interpretation of the incident.

The evidence presented by Mr Oatham, Mr Coles and Ms Myers is compelling and supported by the video footage.


For the reasons detailed above we find the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Mrs Allpress' record which showed 1 previous breach under this Rule in the last 12 months. He said this is a good record for one of the busiest riders in the country who rode in most districts on a regular basis. He described the level of carelessness as certainly mid – range if not higher given the incident went on for 200 to 250 metres. He said this placed Ms Myers in a pretty awkward position and he believed BAMURRU's chances were seriously affected. Mr Oatham submitted a suspension in the 5 to 6 day range would be appropriate.

The Committee asked Mrs Allpress if she had spoken to her Manager Mr Rodley before questioning her for penalty submissions, she replied in the affirmative.

Mrs Allpress requested a deferment to her proposed suspension because she had engagements up to and including 27 February. Mrs Allpress asked if she would miss the race meeting on 5 March at Ellerslie. The Committee advised Mrs Allpress that we would consider the race meetings involved when deliberating on an appropriate penalty.

Mrs Allpress when prompted said in mitigation Ms Myers clearly rode into her which resulted in her horse leaning back. She regarded the incident as not being serious and said she was doing the best for her mount to finish in a better position. She reminded the Committee of her good record.

Reasons For Penalty:

Mr Rodley was present at the hearing when the Committee announced the reasons for penalty.

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. We have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The only mitigating fact is Mrs Allpress’ very good record under this rule given that she is a busy rider. However, this has to be balanced against the consequences of Mrs Allpress’ actions. We assess the level of carelessness is upper mid – range if not higher because the incident continued on for at least 200 metres. The films clearly show that Mrs Allpress shifted in at least 2 horses from the 350 metres to the 100 metres. Mrs Allpress failed to make sufficient effort to prevent her mount from shifting in and dictating the rightful running line of BAMURRU. This resulted in that horse being impeded and checked when awkwardly placed on the heels of NEALA near the 100 metres. Consequently the chances of BAMURRU improving in the race are badly inconvenienced at that point. We consider these to be significant aggravating facts which justify an uplift in penalty.

The Committee advised Mrs Allpress that she is not penalised for denying the breach but she loses the benefit of a discount on penalty that might otherwise have been given for an admission of a breach.

The Committee is satisfied that Mrs Allpress has a recent history of riding all over the country.

After taking into account all of the above the Committee considered an appropriate penalty is a 6 day suspension. However, a 1 day reduction is fixed after we had regard for the financial impact of Mrs Allpress missing an Iconic race day at Ellerslie on 5 March. We also factored into our decision that Hastings on 2 March is a feature race meeting.

The Committee explained to Mrs Allpress that the circumstances of this breach do not fit the criteria which enables Committees to consider exercising their discretion and impose a suspension / fine combination. In our opinion there are no compelling or exceptional circumstances placed before us to merit a combined penalty in this particular case.


We grant Mrs Allpress’ request to seek a deferment to her suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Mrs Allpress had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 27 February and conclude after racing on 5 March 2016 (5 days).

This encompasses 28 February Wairoa, 2 March Hastings, 3 March Te Rapa, 4 March Awapuni and 5 March Ellerslie.

After the penalty is announced Mr Rodley requested a change to Mrs Allpress’ earlier submissions so she could ride at Ellerslie on 5 March.

The Committee granted Mrs Allpress a brief adjournment to discuss this matter with Mr Rodley.

Upon her return Mrs Allpress advised the Committee and the Stewards that she did not wish to change her penalty submissions. Mrs Allpress acknowledged that she would miss riding at Ellerslie on 5 March.

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