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

Created on 30 March 2020

SChing (chair)
Mr J Laking - 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 J Laking, alleging that, as the rider of BENEFICIAL in the race, he struck his mount excessively prior to the 100m.

Mr Laking 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 Laking riding BENEFICIAL, positioned approximately 10 wide and in contention approaching the 200m. He said that Mr Laking drew the whip and used it on 9 occasions, with the last 4 strikes consecutively, 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 Laking elected to make no submissions.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Laking’s record showed a prior breach on 14 January at Westland where he was fined $300. He said that the JCA Penalty Guide provides a stating point of a 6 day suspension and a fine at the committee's discretion (not exceeding the rider's percentage of prize money) where the breach is 9 strikes or more in a Group or Feature race, as this was. Of note he said, was that Mr Laking finished in 3rd place. Mr Oatham submitted a suspension and fine commensurate with the Penalty Guide be considered as penalty in this case.

Mr Laking elected to make no submissions in regard to penalty apart from requesting any suspension to start as soon as possible.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the JCA Penalty Guide starting point of a 6-day suspension and a fine, at the committee’s discretion for a breach with 9 strikes in a Group race. The starting point of 6 days is for a mid-range breach which this Committee, after consideration of all factors, determined that this particular offence, was. We therefore determined that a 6 National day suspension was appropriate. In addition to the suspension, we decided that as Mr Laking had finished in 3rd placing, a fine not exceeding the rider’s percentage, should be imposed. This fine we set at $200.


Accordingly, Mr Laking is suspended from the conclusion of racing 23 March up to and including 2 April 2020. Mr Laking is, in addition, fined the sum of $200.

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