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Canterbury JC 28 May 2010 - R 6 (heard at Otago RC on 6 June)



638(1)(d)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Informant:  Mr M Davidson - stipendiary steward

Defendant:  Ms L Allpress - licensed jockey

Information No:  5524

Meeting:  Canterbury JC (heard at Otago RC on 6 June)

Date:  28 May 2010

Venue:  Riccarton Racecourse

Race:  6

Rule No:  638(1)(d)

Judicial Committee:  G Hall Chairman – D Steel, Committee Member 

Plea:  Not Admitted

Also Present:  Mr T Hazlett, licensed jockey

 

CHARGES:

Ms Allpress is charged with committing a breach of R 638(1)(d) (careless riding) in that being the rider of GOOSEBUMPS she permitted her mount to shift outwards when not clear of JUST LUCE (A Denby) causing that horse to clip a heel and fall near the 700 metre mark.

 

FACTS:

Mr Davidson called Ms Denby who stated she had no recollection of the incident at the time that it happened. She said this was due to poor visibility on the day and she had not seen Ms Allpress move. She explained her goggles were covered in mud and, although she had sensed movement from her inside, the first thing she knew was when her horse clipped heels and fell. She had subsequently viewed the video of the incident and was thus now able to describe it. She said she was racing outside Ms Allpress, although perhaps half a length behind her when they were turning for home. She said she hit her horse with the whip and her horse had straightened as a consequence. She did not believe she had moved in. She said Ms Allpress had moved out, not a lot, but enough to come into contact.

 

Mr Davidson showed the Committee the only video angle that he said clearly demonstrated the incident. Immediately before Ms Denby fell, she was racing on the outer of Ms Allpress. He described Ms Allpress as moving out one to one and a half horse widths when not clear of Ms Denby. He said this was after Ms Allpress had hit her horse with the whip and it had moved in as a consequence. Mr Davidson described the track as being a heavy 11 with persistent rain. 

 

Mr Hazlett was called by Ms Allpress. He gave evidence as to the conditions on the day. He said it was the worst winter track on which he had ridden, worse than the Grand National day in 2008. The horses were getting deep into the track and were rolling around as a consequence. He added visibility was extremely poor. He agreed, when questioned by Mr Davidson, that it was safe to race on the day.

 

Ms Allpress also stated that the conditions were atrocious and visibility was marginal. She had worn 2 or 3 sets of goggles and these had become crusted. She was aware of the need to protect fellow riders. Furthermore, she was aware her horse had moved in shortly after being hit with the whip and she said that when she shifted outwards, she was simply moving back into to her rightful line of running.

 

SUBMISSION(s):

Mr Davidson submitted that Ms Denby had not rolled in. Ms Allpress had moved out one to one and half horse widths.

 

Ms Allpress submitted Ms Denby had moved or, at least, leaned in, and while she accepted she had moved out, Ms Denby had contributed to the incident.

 

REASON(s):

We are satisfied the movement from Ms Allpress was one and a half to two horse widths. This was after GOOSEBUMPS had moved in shortly after being struck with the whip. Significantly, we do not believe Ms Denby has moved in. She was moving wider on the track as indeed the field was generally when turning for home. When struck with the whip, her horse had straightened but had not moved in. We accept the horse’s head was turned outwards but we do not believe the horse or Ms Denby has contributed to the incident.

 

We accept the conditions under which Ms Allpress was riding were very difficult, one of the worst she, and also Mr Hazlett, who is a very experienced jumps rider, have experienced. We further find that the outwards movement was not because Ms Allpress was looking for a run wider on the track but was because she was trying to move back into what she believed was her correct line in order, as an experienced jockey, to protect other riders. Unfortunately, in our view, she has simply come out half to a one horse width too far. The consequence is that she has come into Ms Denby’s racing line when not her length and another clear. The horses have clipped heels and JUST LUCE has fallen.

 

DECISION:

We find Ms Allpress to be in breach of R 638)(1)(d), careless riding.

 

SUBMISSION(s) ON PENALTY:

Mr Davidson described the breach as mid to high range, noting that a horse and rider had fallen. He emphasised that although Ms Denby had had some bruising, both she and the horse had escaped the incident relatively unscathed. He submitted a 2 to 3 week suspension was appropriate. Ms Allpress submitted that the Committee consider a lesser penalty, emphasising that by moving out she thought she was protecting her fellow riders, and that the conditions were close to, if not the worst, in which she had ridden.

 

REASON(s):

This is one of those breaches where the consequences of the breach are significantly more aggravating than the nature of the conduct resulting in the breach of the Rules. A horse has fallen. Ms Allpress has moved 1/2 to 1 horse width too wide, but significantly not in order to look for a run that otherwise was not available, but to return to what she believed to be her correct running line after her mount had moved inwards when she had used the whip. A further significant mitigating factor is the atrocious track and weather conditions on the day. 

 

Mr Davidson has informed the Committee that Ms Allpress has 2 breaches of this Rule this season, the latter being in November.  She is a very busy rider and has had 450 rides since this time. We believe this can be described as a very good record. In the Committee’s view a 2 to 3 week suspension is too lengthy when consideration is given to the large number of riding days Ms Allpress, as a national jockey, would otherwise be available to ride in this period. Balancing culpability against consequences, and giving emphasis to Ms Allpress’ good record but, in particular, to the very testing conditions under which Ms Allpress and her fellow jockeys were riding on the day, we believe a 6 day suspension is appropriate.

 

PENALTY:

Ms Allpress has declared rides tomorrow. She is suspended from the end of riding 7 June up to and including 16 June.

 

 

G Hall                          D Steel

CHAIR                         Committee Member

5524

 

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