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Banks Peninsula TC 30 September 2018 - R 5 - Chair, Mr G Clapp

Created on 02 October 2018

GClapp (chair)
Mr R L Houghton - Open Horseman
Mrs Tibbs - Stipendiary Steward
Mr S P Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 5 (Charteris Bay Handicap Trot) Information A10866 was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault with the Judicial Committee. It alleged a breach of Rule 869 (2) and clause (b) Use of the Whip Regulations in that “R Houghton (TAKE AFTER ME) used his whip on more occasions than permitted in Clause (b) of the use of the Whip Regulations”.

Rule 869 (2) States: “No Horseman shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board”.

The Use of the Whip Regulation clause (b) reads: “No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than ten occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky”.

Mr Renault used the available films where he had Stipendiary Steward, Mrs Tibbs point out Mr Houghton driving TAKE AFTER ME. He was following the leader and took the passing lane. From the 250-metre mark he proceeded to use his whip on 13 occasions and was in breach of the rule, specifically clause (b) of the Use of the Whip Regulations.

Mr Houghton told the committee that he understood the rule and admitted the breach of the rule. He agreed with the Stewards as to the number of times that he had used his whip.


As the charge was admitted, the Committee deemed the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault told the committee that Mr Houghton had had 21 drives last season and 15 this season. He said that Mr Houghton has had two previous breaches of this rule in the past three months. These being at Rangiora on 22 July 2018. At that time, he was fined $500. He was suspended for four days at the Oamaru meeting held on 29 July 2018. Mr Renault submitted that when there is a second or subsequent breach of this rule within 6 months that the JCA Penalty Guide recommends a starting point of a suspension of 3 – 5-day suspension. Mr Renault said the Stewards believed that with the number of strikes totalling 13 this was at the lower end of the scale and that the Stewards would be seeking a 4-5-day suspension of Mr Houghton’s horseman’s licence.

Reasons For Penalty:

It is clear from the films that Mr Houghton did use his whip 13 times over the concluding 400 metres of the race. This number is outside the number permitted under the Use of the Whip Regulations. The aggravating feature is that this is Mr Houghton’s third breach within 3 months. We believe that this aggravating feature warrants a term of suspension at the top of the Penalty Guide range of 3-5 days in the Regulations. We believe that a 5-days’ suspension is appropriate. Mr Houghton requested a deferment of penalty, which was granted.


Mr Houghton’s Horseman's Licence is therefore suspended from conclusion of racing on 5 October 2018, up to and including 14 October 2018. This includes meetings at Northern Southland 06/10/2018, Timaru 07/10/2018, Addington 21/10/2018, Gore 13/10/2018 and Methven 14/10/2018 (5 days).

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