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Canterbury R 26 June 2021 - R 4 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 30 June 2021

RMcKenzie (chair)
K Williams
Licensed Jockey (Class A)
J P Oatham
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of Whip

Following the running of Race 4, Optimise Fertilisers & Equi-Lise Rating 74, an Information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Ms K Williams, alleging that as the Rider of MISS TAVI in the race, she committed a breach of Rule 638 (3) (b) (ii) in respect of her “whip use prior to the 100 metres”.

Ms Williams had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that she admitted the breach. She confirmed this at the hearing at which she was present.

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 NZTR Directive regarding Acceptable Use of the Whip provides as follows:

Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b), a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out:

(i) The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions.

(ii) The whip should not be used in consecutive strides.

(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.

Mr Oatham showed a video replay of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out MISS TAVI, ridden by Ms Williams, improving 3-wide to the lead as the field entered the home straight. Shortly thereafter, Ms Williams commenced using her whip and, Mr Oatham alleged, she used it on eight occasions prior to the 100 metres.

Ms Williams said that one of the strikes was on the horse’s shoulder. She said that the mare had her ears pricked for the entire race. She was not stopping but, rather, looking around and she was just trying to keep her going, she said. However, she had admitted the breach, she said. Mr Oatham agreed that the horse appeared to be doing it too easily and “loafing”.


Ms Williams has admitted the breach and, accordingly, the charge is found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that the breach was low-end. Ms Williams has an excellent record and is not a Rider that Stewards have to speak to often about her whip use, he said. He submitted that a possible aggravating factor was that MISS TAVI had gone on to win the race, but he was not submitting that the whip use had a lot to do with its win, the horse having won comfortably. A fine of $300 as per the NZTR Revised Penalty Guidelines was appropriate unless the Committee decided that the horse winning the race was an aggravating factor, he said.

Ms Williams declined the opportunity to make any penalty submission.

Reasons For Penalty:

A fine of $300 as per the Penalty Guidelines is appropriate for this breach. It was a clear low-level breach and, the Committee accepts, the whip use was most likely, as explained, to keep the horse’s mind on the job. While in certain circumstances, the whip use could be viewed as an aggravating factor, the Committee does not necessarily see it as such in this case and, in any event, is of the view that that factor is more than offset by Ms Williams' excellent record.


Ms Williams is fined the sum of $300.

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