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Canterbury JC 7 August 2019 - R 5 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 09 August 2019

SChing (chair)
D Frye
Licensed Amateur Rider (Class E)
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
J Oatham
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 5, the Nautical Boat Insurance Grand National Amateur Championship, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, against Licensed Class E Amateur Rider, Mr D Frye, alleging that as the rider of MRS GEE EYE in the race, used his whip excessively prior to the 100 metres.

Mr Frye was present at the hearing of the information. Mr Frye 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:

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 any 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.

Mr Oatham with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward, Mr J McLaughlin, showed video replays of the final 400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Frye riding MRS GEE EYE in a challenging position approximately 2 off the rail as the field entered the home straight. Mr McLaughlin showed that from near the 300m, Mr Frye drew the whip and struck MRS GEE EYE on 14 occasions, on the shoulder and behind the saddle with no respite, prior to the 100m, not the required respite as per the Whip Guidelines.

Mr Frye did not dispute the number of strikes and said that he got carried away due to MRS GEE EYE being a chance at the top of the straight. He also stated that most of the strikes were on the shoulder with only 3 or 4 behind the saddle.


Mr Frye having admitted the breach the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Frye had a clear record under the Rule over the previous 12 months. He said the JCA Penalty Guide provides a $300 fine for an initial breach of this rule. Mr Oatham stated that Mr Frye was a licensed Amateur rider and did not receive a riding fee for his services. He produced historic penalties for whip breaches for Amateur riders as follows;

6 July 2018- C Isdale-$250 fine for a low to mid-range breach-10 strikes prior to 100m.

15 August 2018-L Myers- $250 fine for a low range breach- 12 strikes prior to 100m.

Mr Oatham submitted that this breach was at a low level and taking into consideration Mr Frye’s status as an Amateur rider, submitted that a fine of between $150 and $200 be considered as penalty.

Mr Frye accepted that a monetary penalty was appropriate and added that “if you do the crime, you do the time”.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the starting point of a $300 fine, normally mitigation inclusive, for a first breach of this Rule. There were no aggravating factors to consider so therefore no uplift in penalty was warranted. We however, determined that consideration be given to Mr Frye’s status as an Amateur rider, as with historic breaches of this rule by Amateur riders. In one case the breach was low to mid, with 10 strikes and with the other low end with 12 strikes and in both cases the riders were given a discount of $50 for their status. This Committee determined that this breach was at a similar level and after taking into consideration these historic breaches we were, for the sake of consistency, prepared to include this mitigation as a discount of $50 in this case. We therefore determined that a fine of $250 was an appropriate penalty.


Accordingly, Mr Frye is fined the sum of $250.

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