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Auckland RC 7 November 2017 - R 3 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 08 November 2017

ADooley (chair)
Ms D Johnson - Licensed Jockey
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 3, Ideal Electrical Legrand 1200, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (1)(d). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Ms Johnson permitted her mount ROCANTO to shift in when not sufficiently clear of KITAYA which was hampered and blundered near the 700 metres.

Ms Johnson acknowledged that she understood the Rule and confirmed her admission of 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.

Mr Coles demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified that Ms Johnson allowed ROCANTO to shift in 1 horse width when improving to the lead near the 700 metres. He said that KITAYA had been racing on the inside of ROCANTO for some distance and when Ms Johnson shifted in she was only a bare length clear. This resulted in KITAYA being hampered and blundered when getting onto the heels of ROCANTO.

Ms Johnson said that she thought Ms Fawcett was going to lead on KITAYA and she probably misread the situation. Ms Johnson stated that she tightened up KITAYA when shifting in.


As Ms Johnson admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Ms Johnson’s record which showed 3 previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being 23 September 2017. He said the Stewards had some sympathy for Ms Johnson's plight because she appeared to give Ms Fawcett sufficient time for her to restrain her mount. However, he said at the point when KITAYA was hampered Ms Johnson was not sufficiently clear and he noted that Ms Johnson steadied her mount when crossing KITAYA. Mr Oatham stated that the overall carelessness was definitely in the low range and a penalty in line with that would be appropriate.

Ms Johnson advised that she had upcoming engagements on 11 November and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension. She asked the Committee to take into account that her penalty would include missing some of the Christchurch carnival.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

When reviewing the video footage the Committee observed that Ms Johnson allowed her mount to gradually shift in 1 horse width when only a bare length clear of KITAYA. As a result of that shift Ms Fawcett was required to take a hold of KITAYA when hampered. In our view Ms Johnson erred in taking a hold of ROCANTO at the time of crossing KITAYA. The consequences were KITAYA appeared to clip the heels of ROCANTO and blundered with KITAYA losing at least 1 length. The Committee deemed the totality of the carelessness displayed by Ms Johnson was in the low to mid -range.

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees effective 1 November 2017 states that the starting point for low range carelessness is 6 National riding days.

There were no aggravating factors.

The only mitigating fact was Ms Johnson’s admission of the breach and a 1 day reduction was applied.

The Committee considered Ms Johnson’s record as a busy rider to be average and a neutral factor.


The Committee granted a deferment to Ms Johnson’s suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Ms Johnson had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 11 November and conclude after racing on 17 November 2017 (5 National riding days).

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