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Canterbury R 3 August 2013 - R 8

Created on 06 August 2013

RMcKenzie (chair)
D S Johnson
Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Mr M Zarb - Stipendiary Steward
R L Neal
Co-Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Careless Riding 


Following the running of Race 8, Estaronline 116th Winter Cup, an information was filed by Co-Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr R L Neal, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Miss D S Johnson, alleging that Miss Johnson, as the rider of KARLA BRUNI in the race, “rode her mount carelessly nearing the 1400 metres when shifting ground down the track causing interference to THRIVE, ridden by M Cameron”.

Miss Johnson was present at the hearing of the information and she indicated that she 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 head-on and side-on video replays of the first 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out KARLA BRUNI, ridden by Miss Johnson, which had drawn the outside barrier in the 18-horse field at the 1600 metres start and THRIVE, ridden by Mr Cameron, which had drawn barrier 9.

Mr Zarb then pointed out Miss Johnson, after approximately 200 metres, “take her mount in at quite an acute angle” and come into contact with THRIVE causing that runner to become off balance and lose ground. At no stage was Miss Johnson’s mount clear of THRIVE when it shifted inwards. It was only ¾ length to a length clear, Mr Zarb alleged.

Miss Johnson was asked to comment and she submitted that she had not “crossed” Mr Cameron’s mount. Her mount had “overreacted”, Miss Johnson said. Mr Cameron’s mount had not contacted her heels.

Mr Neal submitted that Mr Cameron was entitled to the line of running that he was on. As a consequence of Miss Johnson shifting in, he had been taken off that line and had to take a “strong hold” of his mount. Miss Johnson was no more than a length clear, “marginally a length clear”, Mr Neal submitted. 


Miss Johnson having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Neal provided details of Miss Johnson’s record to the Committee. The most recent breach of the careless riding charge was on 16 February 2013 at Taranaki. Prior to that, she had received suspensions on 8 December 2012 at Auckland, 24 November 2012 at Counties and 29 September 2012 at Auckland.

Mr Neal informed the Committee that Miss Johnson had had some 200 rides since her last suspension in February, which was “in her favour”. He said that any rider who makes such a sharp inward movement to obtain a position more adjacent to the rail runs the risk that, if it does not come off, there will be “inevitable consequences” for those in a position on her inner. Miss Johnson had cleared everyone but Mr Cameron, who had to take evasive action and steady his horse abruptly. He was taken off the run to which he was entitled, which the video clearly showed, he submitted. The degree of seriousness, Stewards saw as being “above mid-range”, Mr Neal said. It was a Group 3 race and the biggest race of the day – this was an aggravating factor, Mr Neal submitted.

Mr Neal asked the Committee to take into account Miss Johnson’s admission of the breach and the fact that she had had approximately 200 rides since her last suspension for careless riding in February 2013. He submitted that a period of suspension of 5 to 6 days was appropriate.

Miss Johnson informed the Committee that she wished any period of suspension to commence from after racing today. She tried to travel throughout the country when there were rides available, she said. Mr Neal said that it would be reasonable to expect that Miss Johnson would have been riding on the 2nd and 3rd days of the carnival and she did ride throughout the North Island. 

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee took a starting point of 5 days as recommended in the Penalty Guide. Miss Johnson was entitled to a discount of 1 day for her admission of the breach, which was a mitigating factor.

Aggravating factors were that the breach was, in the Committee’s view, in the mid-to-high range of seriousness and that the race was a Group 3 race for a stake of $100,000. These factors warrant an uplift in the penalty of 2 days.

The Committee regarded Miss Johnson’s record as being reasonable and it was neither an aggravating nor a mitigating factor.


Miss Johnson’s jockey’s licence is suspended from the conclusion of racing on 3 August 2013 up to and including Wednesday 14 August 2013- effectively, 6 riding days. The days intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Canterbury on 7 August, Hastings on 8 August, Te Aroha on 9 August, Pukekohe or Canterbury on 10 August, Matamata on 12 August and Whangarei on 14 August.

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