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Canterbury R 14 April 2012 - R 9

Created on 18 April 2012

RMcKenzie (chair)
C R Van Der Werf - Licensed Apprentice Jockey
M R Pitman - Licensed Trainer
A L Ray - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Careless riding 


Following the running of Race 9, Speight’s Rating 65, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr A L Ray, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey, Miss C R Van Der Werf, alleging a breach of Rule 638 (1) (d) in that Miss Van Der Werf, as the rider of PEACE in the race, “allowed her mount to shift out passing the 300 metres resulting in BREMUSA (K Williams) having to be checked”.

Miss Van Der Werf was present at the hearing of the information and she indicated that she admitted the breach. She was assisted at the hearing by her employer, Licensed Trainer Mr M R Pitman.

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 Ray showed video replays of the relevant part of the race, between the 400 and 300 metres. He pointed out Miss van Der Werf, riding PEACE, racing 3-wide behind the leader. On her outside was BREMUSA (K Williams) and on its outside was THE HAMMER HEAD (R A Doherty). On the outside of that horse was ORABELLA (S Muniandy). BREMUSA and THE HAMMERHEAD raced tightly for some distance due to ORABELLA shifting in. Miss Van Der Werf had been charged because, from that point, her mount had shifted out under the whip to a point where she crossed the running of BREMUSA, which had to be checked, Mr Ray said. Miss Van Der Werf should have made a greater effort to keep her mount straight, Mr Ray submitted.

Miss Van Der Werf said that they were racing in tight quarters at the top of the straight and there was pressure from inside and outside. BREMUSA had been the worst affected and, as Miss Williams had eased that runner, Miss Van Der Werf said that her mount PEACE had shifted out. It is inclined to run about once it gets in the open, she said. Miss Van Der Werf said that she had hit her mount “a couple of times” and then realised that it had shifted ground and she straightened it again.

Mr Pitman referred to the head-on video replay and submitted that the first movement had come from ORABELLA on the outside, which had come across and caused “bumping” to the horses inside it. The effect of this was to cause PEACE to move out once Miss Williams had relieved the pressure. He conceded that Miss Van Der Werf had struck her mount a couple of times with her whip before straightening it. He submitted that BREMUSA had been eased before it was crossed.

Mr Ray admitted that there had been some movement from ORABELLA, that the four horses were racing tight and that there had been some contact between THE HAMMERHEAD and BREMUSA. However, Miss van Der Werf had continued to “ride forward” using her whip and had shifted out to a point where Miss Williams on BREMUSA had to check her mount. The majority of the movement had come from Miss Van Der Werf, Mr Ray submitted. 


Miss Van Der Werf having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Ray said that Miss Van Der Werf had recently returned to race riding following an injury. Miss Van Der Werf told the Committee she had had about 8 rides since being injured in August 2011. She said that she had never been suspended. Mr Ray conceded that she had an excellent record. There were also contributing factors to the incident, Mr Ray said. He submitted that a suspension for a “minimum term”, 2 days, was appropriate.

Miss Van Der Werf said that she had engagements at the meeting of Canterbury Racing on 21 April and wished to be able to fulfil those. There were three race meetings on that date and there would be a shortage of available riders for the Canterbury meeting, Mr Pitman said. Miss Van Der Werf therefore sought a deferment of any suspension to enable her to ride at that meeting. It was agreed that the next three South Island meetings were at Otago on 22 April and two days at Marlborough on 26 and 29 April. 

Reasons For Penalty:

In arriving at penalty, the Committee took into account Miss Van Der Werf’s admission of the breach and her riding record, which was acknowledged as “excellent” by Mr Ray. The Committee noted Mr Ray’s submission as to an appropriate penalty. The Committee also took into account that, in its view, the breach was at the lower end of a scale of seriousness and that there were contributing factors, in particular, the tightening caused by the initial inward movement of ORABELLA.  


Miss Van Der Werf’s Apprentice Jockey’s Licence was suspended from after the conclusion of racing on Saturday, 21 April 2012, up to and including Thursday, 26 April 2012 – effectively, 2 riding days. 

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