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Auckland RC 9 September 2017 - R 7 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 11 September 2017

ADooley (chair)
Mr S Fannin - Class D Rider
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 7, Irvines Great Northern Steeplechase (Prestige Jumping Race) an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1) (d). The Informant, Mr Oatham alleged that Mr Fannin permitted his mount MR MOR to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear crowding AMANOOD LAD after jumping the second fence on top of the hill on the final circuit.

Mr Fannin acknowledged that he understood the Rule and confirmed his 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 Jones used the available video footage to demonstrate the incident. He identified Mr Fannin and said that he was riding his mount forward with the whip after jumping the 2nd fence on top off the hill. He said that Mr Fannin allowed his mount to shift in when only a bare length clear of AMANOOD LAD which resulted in that being crowded. He said that Mr Kuru the rider of AMANOOD LAD had to steady his mount due to Mr Fannin shifting inwards.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Oatham stated that the Stewards focus was on Mr Fannin’s careless riding and not the fact that Mr Kuru lost an iron and was dislodged from AMANOOD LAD shortly after the incident.

Mr Fannin admitted to the Committee that he permitted his mount to shift in which resulted in AMANOOD LAD being tightened for room. He said at the point that he realised what had occurred he “pulled his mount off” and straightened up.


As Mr Fannin admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham advised that Mr Fannin had a clear record under this Rule in the last 12 months. He said the JCA starting point for Jump / Highweight riders was a 3 day suspension. He said that Mr Fannin had a good record and he should be given credit for his admission of the breach. He said the aggravating feature was the incident occurred in a Prestige Jumping race which Mr Oatham described as the Premier race of the season and it carried a significant stake of $125,000. He said under the Rules this fact needs to be taken into account and submitted that a suspension would be an appropriate penalty.

Mr Fannin said that he had a clear record and he was very apologetic for his actions. He stated that it was uncharacteristic for him to do anything like this. Mr Fannin noted that when the incident occurred AMANOOD LAD was well out of contention and not in a winning position. On that basis he believed the status of the race wasn’t so relevant.

When discussing upcoming riding opportunities Mr Fannin confirmed that there were only 3 days race dates left until the completion of the Jumping season. Mr Fannin recognised that 17 September at Rotorua was outside the 7 day deferment Rule.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee considered that a period of suspension was appropriate, and adopted a starting point of a 3 riding day suspension. This starting point is in recognition of the limited opportunities for Jumps riders and is a reduction from the starting point of 5 days as identified in the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees.

When reviewing the incident it was evident that Mr Fannin allowed his mount to shift in when only a bare length clear of AMANOOD LAD. This meant that Mr Kuru was forced to restrain his mount when its rightful running line was taken. The onus is on the rider who is shifting ground to be at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing. The Committee deemed the level of carelessness to be in the low to mid-range and this was a neutral factor.

Rule 920(2) provides: On finding a breach proved the Judicial Committee may impose any penalty provided by these Rules. In imposing a penalty provided in these Rules the Judicial Committee may have regard to such matters as it considers appropriate including:

(a) the status of the Race;

(b) the stake payable in respect of the Race;

(c) any consequential effects upon any person or horse as a result of the breach of the Rule; and/or

(d) the need to maintain integrity and public confidence in racing.

The Committee had regard for Rule 920(2) and deemed the aggravating factors were the carelessness occurred in a Prestige Jumping race which is recognised as the Iconic Jumps race of the season with stakes payable of $125,000. For these collective factors we applied a 1 day uplift.

The mitigating factors were Mr Fannin's admission of the breach, albeit inevitable given the compelling video evidence, and his very good record under this Rule. For these collective factors we gave Mr Fannin a 1 day reduction.

When fixing penalty the Committee had regard for the fact that 1 October is scheduled for Jump / Highweight and Amateur riders.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered an appropriate suspension was 3 riding days.


Accordingly, Mr Fannin had his license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 9 September and conclude after racing on 1 October 2017 2017 (3 riding days).

That period of suspension encompasses meetings at

17 September – Rotorua

21 September – Wanganui

1 October – Te Aroha

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