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Canterbury JC 15 February 2018 - R 2 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 20 February 2018

SChing (chair)
Miss T Jonker - Licensed Class B Apprentice Rider
K Parsons - Class A Trainer
Mr D Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Miss T Comignaghi - Rider of "TOMM JONES"
Mr M Davidson – Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

Following the running of Race 2, the Hughes Racing Stables Rating 85, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, against Class B Rider, Miss T Jonker, permitted her mount BONAPARTE, to shift inwards when steadying and not sufficiently clear of TOMM JONES, who had to check to avoid the heels of BONAPARTE near the 900m.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides as follows:

“(1) A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:

(d) careless”

Miss Jonker had indicated on the Information that this breach of the Rules was not admitted, and he confirmed this at the hearing. Miss Jonker also agreed that she understood the charge and the Rule it was brought under. Mr D Walsh, NZTR Apprentice Mentor, assisted Miss Jonker at the hearing.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Davidson, with the assistance of Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr J Oatham, gave evidence and used video coverage to show that approaching the 900m, BONAPARTE, ridden by Miss Jonker, improved past the leader, TOMM JONES, ridden by Miss T Comignaghi and shortly afterwards assumed the lead. Mr Oatham stated the Stewards were of the opinion that Miss Jonker was not clear throughout this manoeuvre and was easing at the same time as shifting across TOMM JONES which caused Miss Comignaghi to check off the heels of BONAPARTE. He stated that the side on films showed Miss Jonker taking a hold to a degree, when shifting, and at that point was only 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lengths clear of TOMM JONES, which he said put Miss Comighaghi in an awkward spot and could have clipped a heel at that point. He said that Miss Comighaghi had a hold on TOMM JONES and was content to let Miss Jonker assume the lead. Mr Oatham stated that the onus was on Miss Jonker that once she shifts ground she still has to be clear and do it in a safe manner. She should not leave it to Miss Comignaghi to take a hold to let her cross. He said the 2- length clearance required was for safety reasons and that 2- length space allows for that margin of error. In the Stewards view, he said, not only has Miss Jonker cut down the margin when shifting in but also steadying her mount and as a result interference was suffered by Miss Comignaghi.

Miss Comignaghi gave evidence that passing the 1000m she steadied her mount to let Miss Jonker go to the lead. After Miss Jonker crossed, her horse began to race keenly and then VOLCANO improved up on her outside, which caused her horse to over race and get up on the heels of BONAPARTE. Miss Comignaghi stated that Miss Jonker was clear when she crossed. She said it was a few strides after Miss Jonker crossed that her horse got keen and got on the heels of BONAPARTE. Viewing the films, Miss Comignaghi, stated that there appeared to be only 1 ½ lengths between herself and Miss Jonker but reiterated that Miss Jonker was clear when crossing to the lead.

Mr Walsh asked Miss Comignaghi to confirm, that in her opinion, Miss Jonker was clear when she crossed her. She replied that was the case. She also confirmed that her horse began to over race when VOLCANO came up on her outside which was the reason she got up on the heels of BONAPARTE.

Mr Walsh gave evidence using the films and pointed out Miss Jonker stating that in his opinion she was clear of Miss Comignaghi when crossing over. He stated that 100 horses each race day will get crossed with under 2 lengths clearance. Mr Walsh submitted that the only reason, the so called alleged interference occurred, was that TOMM JONES began to over race. He said that in his opinion Miss Jonker has not eased her horse at all. They went race time 1.23 and home in 35 which suggests a very evenly run race. Mr Walsh said he did not believe that Miss Jonker ever restrained her horse and thought she rated it beautifully. TOMM JONES is a normal front runner and not used to being in that position, so tended to over react when being restrained. He said that if TOMM JONES had settled, we would not have finished up in the judicial room and there would not be an issue. Mr Walsh also showed on the films that a gap between the leaders and the trailing runners got bigger as the incident happened which proved TOMM JONES improved its speed when over racing and getting onto the heels of Miss Jonker’s mount, BONAPARTE.

Miss Jonker stated that she believed that she was clear when crossing TOMM JONES and did not ease the pace, believing she kept BONAPARTE at an even pace. 

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee is satisfied that Miss Jonker riding BONAPARTE, improved forward approaching the 900m and assumed the lead with TOMM JONES trailing. The Stewards alleged that Miss Jonker crossed TOMM JONES when not clear and easing the pace causing TOMM JONES to check off heels. After carefully considering all the evidence and reviewing he available films this Committee found that Miss Jonker has assumed the lead with a minimum of clearance without interference to TOMM JONES. This Committee was also satisfied that when TOMM JONES was in the trail and being passed by VOLCANO on its outer, it began to over race and improved forward onto the heels of Miss Jonker's mount.

We found the evidence given by Miss Comignaghi to be compelling and credible. We also found the submissions by Mr Walsh to be of assistance.

The Committee was not satisfied to the required standard, on the balance of probabilities, that Miss Jonker rode carelessly in this incident and therefore dismiss the charge.


The charge was dismissed.

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