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Egmont RC 10 October 2020 - R 2 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 12 October 2020

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr H McNeill - Licensed Class D Rider
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Failing to ride out

Following the running of Race 2 (Rough Habits/Hub Catering Hurdles), an Information was lodged by Mr J Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 636(1)(d) in that H McNeill failed to ride his mount ZENTANGLE out to the end of the race when there was a reasonable chance of finishing in a higher placing.

Following a misunderstanding with the Stipendiary Stewards Mr McNeill had left the course prior to the hearing, however he spoke with the Chair of the Judicial Committee over the phone and gave permission for the hearing to proceed in his absence.

Mr Oatham showed the videos of the final stages of the race.

Mr McNeill was clearly in fourth place on ZENTANGLE at the 100m. Short of the line he stood up and stopped riding. AVA MARIA, who was finishing quickly down the outside, got up to beat him by a neck.

Mr Oatham used the slow motion mode to show where Mr McNeill stopped riding approximately 4 strides out from the finish post.

Mr Oatham said Mr McNeill was quite surprised when the Stewards spoke to him after the race but readily admitted the breach once he saw the films.


As Mr McNeill admitted the breach the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

For the Stewards, Mr Oatham said Mr McNeill’s record was clear for the last 12 months. He referenced the Judicial Committee Penalty Guidelines of 2 weeks suspension but admitted it was difficult with a jump’s rider who has reduced opportunities to that of a flat rider. Mr Oatham said he was aware of only 2 remaining jumps days on the racing calendar; one of which is next Saturday and the last on November 1st.

Mr McNeill had advised the Chair in an earlier phone call that he had riding commitments at Ellerslie next Saturday.

Reasons For Penalty:

It is the responsibility of every rider to ensure they ride out fully to the finish, and Mr McNeill neglected to do so on this occasion by a significant 4 strides. The connections of his horse and first-4 punters were affected by his actions.

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees has a sliding scale of starting points relating to the potential placing deemed to have been lost. The starting point for missing fourth placing is a 2-week suspension. It is a fact that jumps/highweight riders have a greatly reduced number of races to compete in over a season, and for this reason penalties are nearly always reduced in comparison to flat riders.

Taking into account all the submissions it was our opinion that an appropriate penalty was a suspension of 2 weeks. As this incorporates only one jumps day the Committee added a monetary penalty of $300.

Mr McNeill advised the Committee of riding commitments next Saturday at Ellerslie. The Rules allow for his suspension to begin after that day.


Accordingly, Mr McNeill is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday October 17th 2020, up to and including racing on Sunday November 1st, 2020. In addition, he is fined the sum of $300.

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