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Avondale JC 29 September 2018 - R 6 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 01 October 2018

ADooley (chair)
Ms J Fawcett - Apprentice Rider
Mr R Sanders - Clerk of the Scales
Mr N Harris - Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Attempted to weigh out without stirrup irons

Following the running of race 6, West Brook Wines Waimauku 1200, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 649(1)(a). The Informant, Mr Williamson, alleged that Ms J Fawcett weighed out without stirrup irons for the horse RICH BILLIE MARSH.

Rule 649(1) (a) provides: A Rider must not:
(a) do or permit any wrongful act or omission with respect to weight or weighing;

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

Mr N Harris assisted Ms Fawcett at the hearing.

Mr Williamson advised the Committee that Ms Fawcett presented herself to weigh out and was a quarter of a kilo overweight. She said to the Clerk of Scales that she could do better and went back to the jockey’s room. When Ms Fawcett returned with her saddle she attempted to weigh out without her stirrup irons.

Mr Williamson called Mr Sanders, the Clerk of Scales, as a witness.

Mr Sanders confirmed that Mr Williamson description of what happened was accurate. He further explained that when Ms Fawcett returned the second time to weigh out she had placed her saddle cloth over her saddle. When asked by Mr Sanders if she had all her gear Ms Fawcett confirmed that she had all her gear to weight out correctly. At that point Mr Sanders lifted up the saddlecloth and found that Ms Fawcett attempted to weigh out without any stirrup irons.

Ms Fawcett confirmed that when she initially went to weigh out she was quarter of a kilo overweight. She said that she went back to the jockey’s room and got her smaller saddle and again presented herself at the scales. She said that she made a mistake when telling Mr Sanders that she had all her gear. Ms Fawcett added that she did not have a weight problem and she had two saddles which weighed 35 grams and 65 grams.

In response to a question from the Committee, Ms Fawcett freely admitted that she was aware her smaller saddle did not have any stirrup irons.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson said that Ms Fawcett had no previous breach under this Rule. He said that he did not think that Ms Fawcett was trying to deceive the Clerk of Scales. He described Ms Fawcett’s actions as being dishonest.

Mr Williamson said that these type of charges are fact dependent and previous penalties ranged from $400 fines to two weeks suspension. He submitted the matter could properly be dealt with by way of fine as opposed to a suspension.

Ms Fawcett said that she accepted that a fine would be an appropriate penalty.

Mr Harris said that Ms Fawcett has had a lot of success in recent times and she needs to comply the Rules at all times. He said that recently he has had to give Ms Fawcett some extra tuition to improve her attitude on certain matters.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The JCA Penalty Guidelines do not provide a starting point for a breach of this particular Rule as penalties are generally fact dependant.

This is reflected in the limited number of breaches of this Rule.

We accept that there was no intent on Ms Fawcett’s part to deceive the Clerk of Scales for the purpose of making correct weight. However, we do prefer the Clerk of Scales account of events in that he was misled when he asked Ms Fawcett if she had all her gear to weigh out correctly.

The Committee is concerned that Ms Fawcett knew in advance that her back up saddle did not include any stirrup irons. We reminded Ms Fawcett that it is imperative that she is honest to Officials in the future otherwise her credibility is at risk. Ms Fawcett acknowledged that her credibility is at stake and she can’t afford to make a mistake like this in the future.

The Committee believes that the weight advantage to be gained by weighing out without stirrup irons was minimal. This is supported by the weight that Ms Fawcett weighed out at. On that basis the Committee is of the view there does not appear to have been anything to be gained by deception. That situation may well have been different had there been evidence presented that Ms Fawcett struggled to make her carded weight inclusive of the 2 kg allowance.

The Committee were familiar with the breach that incurred a $400 fine. In that case the apprentice riders breach was assessed as low range. We deemed the circumstances of this charge to be in the midrange and an uplift from the $400 fine was warranted.

The mitigating factors were Ms Fawcett’s admission of the breach and her clear record under this Rule for which she was afforded a small discount in penalty.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate penalty was a $600 fine.


Ms Fawcett was fined $600.

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