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20 Mar 2020
Avondale-Jc - R04

Avondale JC 20 March 2020 – R 4 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 23 March 2020

R 649 (3)
GJones (chair)
Mr A Calder - Class A Rider
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Weighing-in light

This charge arises following running of Race 4, The GRASSROOTS PETITION MAIDEN 1200 metres. Pursuant to Rule 649 (3), the Informant, Stipendiary Steward Mr A Coles, alleged that the rider of YOUKNOWHATIMEAN (A Calder) weighed in 1 kg underweight.

Mr Calder acknowledged that he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

Rule 649(3) provides that:

If, on being weighed in, a Rider cannot draw the proper weight (meaning thereby the weight allotted by the Handicapper for his horse to carry and adjusted only by any re-handicap, by having been declared overweight, by penalty or by authorised allowance) the Clerk of the Scales shall allow such rider 0.5 kg and if the allowance is not sufficient to enable the proper weight to be drawn then subject to sub-Rule (4) of this Rule then in addition to any other penalty which may be imposed the horse shall be disqualified for the Race.

A Rider must not weigh-in at a weight that exceeds or is less than the proper weight as is defined in and with the allowance permitted by Rule 648(3).

At an earlier ‘Request for a Ruling’ hearing in relation to this matter, evidence was presented resulting in the disqualification of YOUKNOWHATIMEAN due to its rider, A Calder weighing in 1 kg under its handicapped weight of 60.5 kg.

For expediency at the commencement of this hearing Mr Calder agreed that the evidence of the earlier hearing was accepted and uncontested. As a result, judicial notice was taken of the fact that Clerk of the Scales, Mr R Sanders identified following the running of the race that Mr Calder weighed in at 1 kg under his allocated handicapped weight of 60.5 kg, and that the weight discrepancy took into account the 1 kg allowance for his protective vest.

He said that he used the same saddle and gear from his previous 2 rides and was at a complete loss to explain the weight differential. He readily accepted responsibility albeit the reason can not be established. He added that although he did not dispute the Clerk of the Scales' evidence, he realised he should have been more observant in noting his weight when weighing out prior to the start of the race. 


As Mr Calder admitted the breach the Committee finds the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Coles produced Mr Calder’s record which showed no previous breach under this Rule. He placed this breach in the low-range and submitted that previous breaches of the rule, under similar circumstances have resulted in fines ranging from $100 to $300 fines.

In response Mr Calder highlighted the fact that this was his first ever breach of this rule. He said a moderate fine would be appropriate.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees provides no starting point, as breaches of this rule are rare and are fact dependant. In our determination of penalty, we have taken guidance from the very limited number of precedent cases. In this regard we felt that the circumstances relating to many of the precedent cases differ somewhat from this case in that they have resulted in a disqualification after the horse has finished in a dividend or stake bearing placing and this has been viewed as a significant aggravating factor. Whereas in this case the horse concerned, YOUKNOWHATIMEAN finished 7th out of a field of 8 runners. We identified two cases where fines ranging from $100 (Calloway) and $500 (Magorrian) have been imposed.

The reason for the weight discrepancy has not been established and to his credit Mr Calder has readily accepted that it is his responsibility to meet the correct weight. Mr Calder otherwise has an unblemished record in so far as this rule is concerned.

Taking these factors into account we place the breach in the low range and we deem that a fine is an appropriate penalty in this case.


Accordingly, we impose a $300 fine and order that Mr Calder’s riding fee be forfeited.

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