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Auckland RC 7 September 2019 - R 8 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 09 September 2019

ADooley (chair)
Ms E Farr - Class D Rider
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of race 8, Network Visuals Great Northern Steeplechase (Prestige Jumping Race), an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (3)(b)(ii). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Ms Farr used the whip excessively prior to the 100 metres when riding MR ENTHUSIASTIC.

Ms Farr said that she understood the Rule and confirmed that she admitted the breach.

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” 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 Ms Farr and showed that she hit her mount 10 times prior to the 100 metres. He said the first 3 strikes were backhanders.

Ms Farr said that she accepted the number of strikes outlined by Mr Oatham. She said MR ENTHUSIASTIC hit the last fence hard and as a result the horse lost all momentum. She said her mount did respond to her using the whip but recognised it was outside the Whip Guidelines.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that Ms Farr had 1 previous breach under this Rule in the last 12 months. He referred to the JCA Penalty Guide which provides a $500 fine as the starting point for a 2nd breach of this Rule. He said the Committee may consider an uplift due to the status of the race.

Ms Farr submitted that she would prefer a suspension instead of a fine due to the limited riding income she earned as a Jumps / Highweight rider.

In response to a question from the Committee Ms Farr confirmed that she was in a financial position to pay a fine.

When questioned by the Committee, Mr Oatham believed that a fine in line with the JCA Penalty Guide would be an appropriate penalty. He did not support a suspension being imposed.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee was satisfied that Ms Farr used her whip on 10 occasions prior to the 100 metres. The use of the whip was not continuous or forceful.

Ms Farr was unable to provide any exceptional circumstances or compelling reasons for the Committee to deviate away from the JCA Penalty Guide.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a 2nd breach of this Rule is a $500 fine which was adopted. This fine includes admission of the breach.

Under the provisions of Rule 920(2) the aggravating factors were the breach occurred in a Prestige Jumping Race with $125,000 stakes payable. These collective factors warranted a $100 uplift in penalty.


Accordingly, Ms Farr was fined $600.

In conclusion Ms Farr was advised by the Committee that a 3rd breach of this Rule within 12 months would result in a suspension.

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