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Avondale JC 25 March 2015 - R 4

Created on 26 March 2015

ADooley (chair)
Ms R Smyth - Apprentice Rider
Mr N Tiley - Trainer assisting Ms Smyth
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 4, Ray White Commercial 1200, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (1)(d). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Ms Smyth permitted her mount WHERE THERES SMOKE to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of NOTHINLYKHER(M Du Plessis) which was checked near the 250 metres.

Ms Smyth acknowledged that she understood the nature of the charge, the Rule and confirmed her admission of the breach. Mr Tiley assisted his apprentice Ms Smyth at the hearing.

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 identified on the video films that near the 300 metres Ms Spratt’s mount who was racing on the outside of Ms Smyth made slight contact with WHERE THERES SMOKE. He said shortly after this point Ms Smyth continued to ride her mount forward when it shifted in. He said this resulted in NOTHINGLYKHER (M Du Plessis) being checked. Mr Coles added that Ms Smyth moved in about 1 horse width when only a bare length clear of Mr Du Plessis.

Mr Tiley told the Committee that Ms Smyth hit her horse once and it rolled in which resulted in NOTHINLYKHER being checked. He acknowledged that the Stewards had to be proactive and charge riders when interference has occurred. However, he noted that WHERE THERES SMOKE was having its first start and was a very green horse.

Ms Smyth confirmed her horse was green and had nothing further to add.


As Ms Smyth admitted the breach the Committee find the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Ms Smyth’s record which showed 6 previous breaches under this rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being on 26 December 2014 at Ellerslie which attracted a 6 day suspension. He said Ms Smyth’s record “isn’t the greatest” but noted 2 of her suspensions occurred nearly 1 year ago. He submitted in today’s breach there were several mitigating factors namely her mount was having its first start, the level of carelessness was low and Ms Spratt’s mount made the initial contact with Ms Smyth’s mount. He said Ms Smyth was too slow to react when her mount shifted in one horse width. He added that Ms Smyth’s riding had improved in recent months. Mr Oatham submitted a suspension at the lower end would be appropriate for today’s breach.

Ms Smyth advised that she had upcoming engagements at Ellerslie on 28 March, and any proposed suspension could commence after that.

Mr Tiley advised that he had received calls from other Trainers requesting Ms Smyth to ride their horses on April 8 at Te Awamutu. He said this meeting is scheduled for apprentice riders only and asked the Committee to take this into account when considering penalty.

Mr Oatham submitted that the Stewards had no objection to a 4 day suspension being imposed. He advised that this would allow Ms Smyth to ride at Te Awamutu.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The Committee have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The mitigating factors are Ms Smyth’s admission of the breach, the level of carelessness was at the low end of the scale, Ms Smyth’s mount was having its first start and Ms Spratt did make slight contact with WHERE THERES SMOKE just prior to the interference. Ms Smyth did attempt to take corrective action when her mount shifted in one horse width but it was too late to avoid Mr Du Plessis being checked.

Ms Smyth’s record under this rule is poor even taking into account that she is an apprentice rider and 2 of her suspension occurred nearly 1 year ago. This is the only aggravating factor.

After taking into account all the above and placing emphasis on the notable mitigating factors the Committee considers an appropriate penalty on this occasion is a 4 day suspension.


The Committee grant Ms Smyth’s request to seek a deferment to her suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Ms Smyth had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 28 March and conclude after racing on 6 April 2015 (4 North Island days).

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