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Canterbury R 21 March 2020 - R 8 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 30 March 2020

SChing (chair)
Mr B Murray - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following the running of Race 8, Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders Group 3, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Jockey (Class A), Mr B Murray, alleging that, as the rider of THE PRECIOUS ONE in the race, he struck his mount excessively prior to the 100m.

Mr Murray was present at the hearing of the information and had endorsed the information that the breach was admitted, which he confirmed at the hearing. He also confirmed that he understood the rule he was being charged with.

Rule 638 provides as follows:

(3) A Rider shall not:

(b) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:

(ii) excessive

The “Guidelines with Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provide as follows:

Flat Races-Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out: i (i) The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions. ii (ii) The whip should not be used in consecutive strides. iii (iii) The rider may at their discretion use the whip with a slapping motion down the shoulder, with the whip hand remaining on the reins. In the final 100 metres, the whip may be used at the Rider’s discretion.

Mr Oatham, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, gave evidence and showed video replays of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Murray riding THE PRECIOUS ONE, positioned in a trailing position and in contention as the field entered the home straight. He said that Mr Murray drew the whip and used it on 8 occasions, prior to the 100m. Mr Oatham stated that it was the sheer number of strikes prior to the 100m that brought about the charge.

Mr Murray elected to make no submissions.


Mr Murray having admitted the breach; the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Murray had a clear record in relation to this rule since the reset in October 2019, and this was his first offence. He said that the sheer number of strikes was a concern, being only one under the threshold of 9 in a Group race where a suspension is the starting point. Mr Oatham stated that the JCA Penalty Guide provided a $300 for a first offence with this rule, however as the status of the race was Group 3 with a stake of $80,000, he submitted that an uplift in penalty to a fine in the vicinity of $500, be considered in this case.

Mr Murray elected to make no submissions in regard to penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine, mitigation inclusive, for a first offence of this rule. We agreed with Mr Oatham that there was an aggravating factor, that being the status of the race, which we determined warranted an uplift in penalty. This uplift we set at $150.

We therefore determined that a fine of $450 was appropriate.


Accordingly, Mr Murray is fined the sum of $450.

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