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Canterbury JC 9 August 2017 - R 7 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 14 August 2017

Rules:
638(3)(b)(ii)
Committee:
SChing (chair)
RMcKenzie
Name(s):
Mr R Firdhaus - Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
Mr D Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A09504
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Excessive use of the whip
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 7, the McMillan Equine Rating 85, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr J McLaughlin, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr R Firdhaus, alleging that, in the race, he “used the whip excessively on his mount ELECTRONIC MOTION.”

Mr Firdhaus was present at the hearing of the information, assisted by Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mr D Walsh. Mr Firdhaus had indicated on the information that he admitted the breach which he confirmed to the hearing. He also confirmed that he understood the rule he was being charged with and was aware of the Guidelines regarding acceptable use of the whip effective from 1 August 2017.

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 had Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, show video replays of the final 300 metres of the race. Using the lateral camera view, he pointed out Mr Firdhaus riding ELECTRONIC MOTION, in a challenging position about 3-wide, approaching the 250m. He said that Mr Firdhaus drew the whip and used it on 11 to 12 occasions before going back to the whip rein near the 100m. He said he then pushed for 5 strides as required by the Guidelines but was inside the 100m.

Mr Firdhaus said he did not dispute the number of strikes and stated that he normally did not use the whip in that fashion. He said he usually gave his mount one or two strikes and then used hands and heels to the line. He said he just got excited and got carried away with the moment as the horse was travelling well and a winning prospect at that time.

Mr Walsh submitted that Mr Firdaus had got carried away with the moment, had that “winning feeling” and forgot to put the whip away for the required number of strides.

Decision:

Mr Firdhaus having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McLaughlin told the Committee that Mr Firdhaus had a clear record under the Rule and had admitted the breach. He submitted the breach was at a mid-level as the horse was the eventual winner. Mr McLaughlin submitted that a fine was an appropriate penalty in this case and that fine in keeping with recent similar breaches and penalties imposed, being in the range of $250 to $300.

Mr Walsh submitted that a fine similar to the fines recently imposed at the meeting for apprentices, being $250, be considered as penalty in this case.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the starting point of a $300 fine for a mid-range first breach of the Rule. There were no aggravating factors, in the Committee’s view, that would warrant an uplift to that starting point. We therefore adopted a $300 starting point.
Mitigating factors are Mr Firdhaus’s good record and his frank admission of the breach. We believe that a discount of $50 is appropriate for a combination of those two factors.

Penalty:

Mr Firdhaus is fined the sum of $250.

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