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Canterbury Racing 11 December 2012 - R1

Created on 12 December 2012

RMcKenzie (chair)
Mr J S Bullard - Licensed Jockey
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Alleged breach of Rule 638(1)(d).

Following the running of Race 1, Waimakariri Businesses Maiden, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr J M McLaughlin, against Licensed Jockey, Mr J S Bullard, alleging a breach of Rule 638 (1) (d) in that, as the rider of JACK ROMANOV in the race, Mr Bullard “near the 150 metres permitted the gelding to shift in when not clear of HARDEN UP SON (R Hutchings) which clipped heels, blundered and lost ground”.
Mr Bullard was present at the hearing of the information and he indicated that he admitted the breach.
Rule 638 provides as follows: (1) A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:
(d) careless.
Submission For Decision:
Mr M Zarb, Stipendiary Steward, showed the incident and pointed out the affected runners on head-on and side-on video replays. Mr McLaughlin submitted that Mr Bullard had ridden forward using his whip. His mount had shifted in. It could clearly be seen that HARDEN UP SON had clipped the heels of Mr Bullard’s mount and blundered. Mr Bullard was not his required distance clear when he shifted in, Mr McLaughlin alleged. DUNROAMIN (S L Wynne) was also affected, he said.
Mr Zarb stated that Mr Bullard stopped using the whip when he got across the path of Mr Hutchings but it was too late and Mr Hutchings got on his heels.
Mr Bullard having admitted the breach, the charge is proved.
Submission For Penalty:
Mr McLaughlin submitted that a term of suspension of no less than 3 riding days was an appropriate penalty. He said that Mr Bullard has recently ridden up in the Central Districts and the Stewards did not oppose a Central Districts date being included in any term of suspension.
Mr Bullard’s record was very good for a leading South Island/National rider. He has had two suspensions in the past 12 months – on 16 March 2012 at Ashburton and, prior to that, on 30 December 2011 at Kurow. He received a 3 days suspension on each occasion, Mr McLaughlin said. When asked by the Committee, Mr McLaughlin replied that the breach was “low end careless”. Mr Bullard had simply been slow to react. Mr McLaughlin agreed that he was barely his own length clear, maybe 1¼ lengths, he said.
Mr Bullard asked the Committee to take into account Mr McLaughlin’s submission that the breach was at the lower end of careless. He had heard the call from Mr Hutchings but admitted that he had been slow to react, he said.  Mr Bullard stated that he had booked his flights to the meetings at Invercargill and Dunedin on 15th and 17th December respectively. He therefore sought a deferment to enable him to complete engagements at those two meetings. He said that he had ridden at Otaki about a fortnight ago (30 November) and asked if the Committee could take into account the upcoming meeting there on 20 December. Mr McLaughlin had no objection to this.
Reasons For Penalty:
In deciding penalty, the Committee took the starting point of 5 days as recommended in the Penalty Guide.  The mitigating factors in this case are Mr Bullard’s very frank admission of the breach, his very good record and, also, that the breach was at the lower end on a scale of carelessness. In that regard, we agreed with Mr McLaughlin’s assessment.  In our view, it was appropriate to allow a discount from the 5 days’ starting point of 2 days and to impose a period of suspension of 3 days for this breach.

We were happy to grant Mr Bullard’s request for a deferment. He had told us that he had his air tickets booked for the meetings at Invercargill and Dunedin within the next 7 days. In determining the effective 3 days of the suspension, we were prepared to allow the meeting at Otaki on 20 December on the basis that Mr Bullard has ridden there recently and may well have had the opportunity to accept rides at the meeting.

Mr Bullard’s Jockey’s Licence was suspended from after the close of racing on Monday, 17 December 2012 up to and including Sunday, 23 December 2012 – effectively 3 riding days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Otaki on 20 December, Ashburton on 21 December and Gore on 23 December.
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