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Counties RC 27 October 2017 - R 9 (heard 8 November 2017 at Te Awamutu) - Chair, Mr A Dooley



Informant: Mr A Coles – Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: Mr J Waddell – Licensed Rider of VITTACHI

Information No: A8888

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

Meeting: Counties Racing Club

Date: 27 October 2017 (heard 8 November 2017)

Race No: 9

Judicial Committee:  Mr A Dooley, Chairman

Also Present: Mr J Oatham – Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr B Jones – Stipendiary Steward

Charge: Excessive use of the whip

Plea: Admitted


Following the running of race 9, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (3)(b)(ii). The Informant, Mr Coles, alleged that Mr Waddell used his whip excessively on VITTACHI prior to the 100 metres.

Mr Waddell acknowledged that he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

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” effective 1 August 2017 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.

The Information was served on Mr Waddell at the Waipa RC on 8 November 2017.

Mr Oatham identified that Mr Waddell was racing on the extreme outside of the track and he said that the charge was in 2 stages. He demonstrated that early in the home straight Mr Waddell struck his mount 9 times without the reset of 5 strides. He said the strikes were not continuous. He then showed that after a respite Mr Waddell struck his mount a further 7 consecutive times.

Mr Waddell stated that it had slipped his mind to count the number of strikes being applied. He said the initial 9 strikes had a break of 4 strides and in the second incident he had 2 horses racing directly to his inside which blocked his vision. He added that he misjudged where the 100 metre mark was.


As Mr Waddell admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submissions For Penalty

Mr Jones said that Mr Waddell had a clear record under this Rule and the Stewards saw no reason to deviate away from the starting point of a $300 fine.

Mr Waddell said that he would reacquaint himself with the new whip Guidelines. He recognised that a $300 fine would be a consistent penalty.

The Committee advised Mr Waddell the JCA Penalty Guide starting points for excessive use of the whip.

Reasons For Penalty

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The starting point for a 1st breach of this Rule is a $300 fine. That level of fine assumes a good record and admission of the breach, otherwise the fine should be higher. The expectation is that no reduction in penalty is applied unless there are exceptional circumstances.

When reviewing the incident it was clear that the strikes were not forceful and in the first incident Mr Waddell was only 1 stride away from complying with the Guidelines.

The mitigating factors were Mr Waddell’s clear record under this Rule and his admission of the breach.


Mr Waddell was fined $300.


Mr A Dooley


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