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Canterbury JC 7 August 2019 - R 10 (heard 10 August 2019 at Riccarton) - Chair, Mr S Ching



638(3)(b)(ii)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Informant: J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: S Weatherley - Licensed Jockey (Class A)

Information No: A5750

Meeting: Canterbury Racing

Date: 7 August 2019

Venue: Riccarton Park

Race: 10

Rule No: 638 (3) (b) (ii)

Judicial Committee: S Ching, Chairman - R McKenzie, Panellist

Plea: Admitted

FACTS:

This was an adjourned hearing held at the Canterbury Racing meeting at Riccarton Park on 10 August 2019.

Following the running of Race 10, the Lindauer Rating 82, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Licensed Jockey (Class B), Mr S Weatherley, alleging that, as the rider of TURNCOAT in the race, “used his whip excessively in the home straight.”

Mr Weatherley was present at the hearing of the information and confirmed to the hearing that he understood the rule he was being charged with and that he admitted the breach. Mr Weatherley, as a Class B rider, was entitled to have assistance at the hearing but advised the Committee that he was comfortable to continue without any assistance.

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:

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

Inside the final 600 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out a horse may be struck with the drawn whip up to five times after which the rider must cease their use of the whip for a minimum of five strides before striking the horse again with the drawn whip, with this restriction to apply prior to the final 100 metres. The whip may then be used at the rider’s discretion until the winning post is reached. Prior to the final 600 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out the use of the drawn whip is acceptable if used in moderation and not continually. Notwithstanding the above, it will also be deemed to be unacceptable where a rider uses the drawn whip:

• when a horse is out of contention • when a horse is showing no response
• when a horse has no reasonable prospect of improving or losing its position
• after its chance of winning or being placed is clearly gone
• when a horse is clearly winning • after passing the winning post
• using the whip with the arm above shoulder height.

A rider may at their discretion use the whip with a slapping motion down the shoulder, with the whip hand remaining on the reins, at any time.

SUBMISSION(S):

Mr Oatham gave evidence and showed video replays of the final 300 metres of the race, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward, Mr J McLaughlin. He pointed out Mr Weatherley, riding TURNCOAT, racing in a prominent position as the field approached the 300m. Mr McLaughlin said that Mr Weatherley drew the whip and used it on 10 occasions with several periods of respite but these periods of respite were only for 1 to 2 strides, not the required 5 strides as per the Guidelines. Mr McLaughlin stated that an aggravating factor was the fact that Mr Weatherley had gone on to win the race.

Mr Weatherley stated that had made a mistake and that it was a long way down the Riccarton straight on a heavy track. He said he had just returned from a long stint riding in Australia and was still getting used to the change in whip rules. He said that the horse responded with each strike of the whip and added that he had used the whip to win the race.

DECISION:

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

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Weatherley’s record was clear in regard to this rule for the previous 12 months as he had been riding in Australia where his record was also clear. He said the breach itself was low level but the aggravating factor was the fact that Mr Weatherley went on to win the race. He submitted that an uplift in penalty be considered when assessing penalty for this breach.

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

PENALTY REASONS:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the starting point of a $300 fine, mitigation inclusive, for a first breach of this rule within a 12-month period. We agreed with Mr Oatham that the level of the breach was low, however the fact that Mr Weatherley had gone on to win the race with his whip use, readily admitted by Mr Weatherley, was an aggravating factor and warranted an uplift. This uplift we set at $100. The Committee therefore determined that a fine of $400 was appropriate penalty in this case.

DECISION:

Accordingly, Mr Weatherley is fined the sum of $400.

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