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Canterbury JC 8 August 2018 - R 5 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 11 August 2018

SChing (chair)
Miss K Murphy - Licensed Amateur Rider (Class E)
Mr J McLaughlin - 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 Stipendiary Steward, Mr J McLaughlin, against Licensed Amateur Jockey (Class E), Miss K Murphy, alleging that Miss Murphy used the whip excessively on her mount MADAME LIBRE.

Miss Murphy had endorsed the Information that the breach was admitted which she confirmed at the hearing. She also confirmed that she understood the rule she 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 McLaughlin showed video replays of the final 300-400 metres of the race. He pointed out Miss Murphy riding MADAME LIBRE, racing on the rail with 400m to run. He said that Miss Murphy drew the whip inside the 400m and used it on approximately 20 occasions with only brief pauses, not the required respite of 5 strides as per the Guidelines, prior to the 100m. Mr Oatham stated that of further concern was that when Miss Murphy was in restricted room she used the whip forward of the shoulder down the neck on approximately 6 occasions, which is also in contravention of the Guidelines.

Miss Murphy stated that she was totally in the wrong and was not aware that she could not tap them down the neck. She said that she had wasted hard for the ride as she had taken on an unrealistic weight to achieve. Miss Murphy said her judgement was impaired and it did not cross her mind how much she was using the whip. She wanted to make sure the horse was giving her all. She also said she was inexperienced as todays ride was only her 4th.


Miss Murphy having admitted the breach; the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McLaughlin told the Committee that Miss Murphy had a clear record in regard to this rule. He stated that the breach was high-level and submitted that a term of suspension be considered as penalty in this case. Mr McLaughlin stated that there were 5 more Amateur races this season up to 30 September. He said that a previous historical case on 26 July 2018 at Manawatu where an Amateur rider, Mr S McNab, was suspended for 3 days for a first offence with 16 strikes.

Miss Murphy stated that her financial situation was not good and requested that a suspension be considered as penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to Miss Murphy’s submission for a suspension due to her financial circumstances and the Stewards' strong support for the same. After consideration we acceded to the submission for a suspension and determined that after taking all matters into consideration a suspension up to and including the last Amateur event of the year, being 30 September 2018, would be an appropriate penalty in this case.


Miss Murphy is suspended from the conclusion of racing today 8 August up to and including 30 September 2018. Relevant meetings in this period are Te Aroha on 15 August, Te Rapa on 25 August, Rotorua on 16 September and Te Aroha on 30 September 2018.

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