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Counties RC 23 June 2021 – R 3 – Chair, Mr A Smith

Created on 25 June 2021

ASmith (chair)
Ms E Nicholas – Apprentice Rider of Snake Eye
Mr N Harris – Apprentice riding master
Ms L Selvakumaran – Stipendiary Steward
Mr A Coles –Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of whip

This charge arises from the running of Race 3, A Maiden event over 1200m. An Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (3)(b)(ii) by the Informant, Mr Coles, alleging that Apprentice Rider Ms E Nicholas used her whip excessively when riding SNAKE EYE prior to the 100 metres.

Ms Nicholas was assisted at the hearing by Mr N Harris (Northern Apprentice Riding Master).  Ms Nicholas said that she understood the Rule and confirmed that she admitted the breach.

Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) provides:

A Rider shall not strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:

(i) unnecessary, or

(ii) excessive, or

(iii) improper

Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b), a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Flat Races

Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out:

(i) The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions.

(ii) The whip should not be used in consecutive strides.

(iii) The rider may at their discretion use the whip with a slapping motion down the shoulder, with the whip hand remaining on the reins.

In the final 100 metres, the whip may be used at the Rider’s discretion.

Using available race film footage Ms Selvakumaran demonstrated the breach and identified Ms Nicholas’ mount, SNAKE EYE, shortly after entering the home straight. She said that between the straight entrance to the 100-metre mark Ms Nicholas struck her mount 8 times.

In response Ms Nicholas said that she agreed with the number of strikes. She said that she had been away from riding for a period of time and needed to adjust to the Whip Rule.


As Ms Nicholas admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Coles said that Ms Nicholas had a clear record under the Rule and a fine in line with the Penalty Guide would be appropriate.

Ms Nicholas had nothing further to add.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee viewed the video evidence during the hearing, qualified the number of strikes and identified that there were pauses and they weren’t overly forceful.

Upon consideration of all the evidence and submissions the Committee took the view that a $300 fine was appropriate in this instance, which is in line with the Penalty Guide for a first offence within 6 months.


Ms Nicholas is fined $300.

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