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Counties RC 10 August 2019 - R 2 (heard 11 August 2019 at Ruakaka) - Chair, Mr A Smith



Informant: Mr M Williamson - Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: Mrs L Satherley- Class A Rider

Information Number: A11323

Meeting: Counties Racing Club

Date: 10 August 2019

Rules: 638 (3)(b)(ii)

Race: 2

Judicial Committee: A. Smith, Chairman – G Jones, Committee Member

Plea: Admitted

Charge: Excessive use of the whip on a horse that was out of contention

Also Present: Mr B Jones, Stipendiary Steward


This charge arises from the running of race 2, Mount Shop 2100 at Counties Racing Club on the 10th of August 2019. The hearing was opened and adjourned as Mrs Satherley had left the racecourse.

The information was heard at the Ruakaka Race meeting on Sunday 11th August 2019.

The information alleged that Mrs Satherley used her whip excessively on BORNINASANDPIT which was out of contention.

Mrs Satherley endorsed the information that she admitted the breach and did not wish to be present at the hearing.

At the commencement of the hearing Mr Williamson read aloud the “2017” NZTR directive relating to whip use. He pointed out to the Committee that the basis of this charge was for use of whip on a horse out of contention.

Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) provides: A Rider shall not:

(ii) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is excessive

The “Guidelines With Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provides:

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.

Notwithstanding the above, it will also be deemed to be unacceptable where a rider uses the drawn whip;

• When a horse is out of contention
• When a horse is showing no response

Submissions for decision

Mr Jones demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified Mrs Satherley and showed that BORNINASANDPIT (L.Satherley) was racing at the rear of the field near the 600m mark. He said that between the 600m and the 400m BORNINASANDPIT was under a strong ride by Mrs Satherley with the whip, it was well tried and not making any ground on the field. He added that in the Stewards' opinion BORNINASANDPIT was actually losing ground on the rest of the field.

Mr Jones demonstrated from the straight entrance to the winning post, Mrs Satherley struck her mount on 9 occasions when clearly out of contention, beating 2 horses home.

Although Mrs Satherley was not present, during the post race enquiry she told Stewards that her mount was a jumper, having a run in preparation for the Northern meeting. She also said she was under instructions to ensure “the horse found the line”.


As Mrs Satherley admitted the breach, the Committee found the charge proved.

Submissions On Penalty

Mr Williamson said that this was Mrs Satherley’s 2nd breach of the rule within the last 12 months, with the previous breach being on 25 November 2018 incurring a $500 fine. Mr Williamson outlined Mrs Satherley’s current personal circumstances and asked if the Committee would take this into consideration when determining any potential financial penalty.

Reasons For Penalty

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The starting point for a 2nd breach of this Rule is a $500 fine with the expectation that no reduction in penalty is applied unless the mitigating factors are exceptional.

After reviewing the film, the Committee determined that the use of the whip was unnecessary.

It was of particular concern to the Committee that Mrs Satherley’s mount was not only out of contention but also not responding to the whip use. We treat this as an aggravating factor.

Accordingly from a $500 starting point for a 2nd breach the Committee determined that an uplift was warranted and after taking into account Mrs Satherley’s circumstances the Committee applied a $50 uplift.

The Committee note that BORNINASANDPIT finished in 13th position near the rear of the field 17 lengths from the winner.

Although Mrs Satherley admitted the breach, the Committee did not deem this to be an exceptional mitigating circumstance warranting a reduction from the starting point.


Accordingly Mrs Satherley was fined $550.

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