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Gore RC 20 January 2018 - R 7 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 23 January 2018

GHall (chair)
Ms S Wynne - Licensed Jockey
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Mr Davidson alleged that Ms Wynne used her whip excessively prior to the 100 metres on her mount PIPIANA in race 7, the LIQUORLAND GORE GUINEAS 3YO SW 1335 metres.

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 excessive.”

The “Guidelines with Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provide:

“Without affecting the generality of r 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.”

Ms Wynne acknowledged that she understood the rule and confirmed her admission of the breach.

Mr Davidson had Mr McLaughlin demonstrate the breach using the videos. He pointed out there were 14 strikes before the 100 metres. There were 2 breaks but neither was for the required 5 strides. At best, the pause was for 4 strides.

Ms Wynne agreed that this was a fair assessment by the Stewards. She said she was pausing but was returning to the whip one stride too soon. She indicated she was counting and panicking at the same time.


As Ms Wynne has admitted the breach, we find the breach proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson produced the respondent’s record, which evidenced 3 previous breaches of this rule, one on 12 August when she was fined $300, one on 11 November when she was fined $500 and the last on 15 November when she was suspended for 7 National days. He described the breach as low to mid range and said Ms Wynne was only 1 stride out each time. He submitted a penalty in the 6 to 8 day range was appropriate.

Ms Wynne did not disagree.

Reasons For Penalty:

New whip guidelines were introduced on 1 August this year and updated penalty guidelines pertaining to whip use came into effect on 1 November.

The updated starting points for breaches of r 638(3)(b)(ii) are:

1st breach $300

2nd breach $500

3rd or subsequent breach 6-8 national riding days suspension.

The breach is low to mid range. Ms Wynne has endeavoured to break up the strikes but her counting has let her down on this occasion. This may be because this was a Listed race and she was attempting to get the best out of her horse. Nonetheless, as she realises, this has to be within the Rules. We have considered her admission of the breach and have noted the Listed status of the race.

Ms Wynne has engagements on Thursday and we are informed mounts are pencilled in for Saturday. There are 3 meetings scheduled for the country that day and it is agreed it is better for her to ride. We thus grant a 7 day deferment.


Ms Wynne is suspended from the end of racing on 27 January up to and including 7 February. On the day, we calculated this period as being 7 National days. However, we are now aware that Ellerslie is no longer racing on 7 February. One meeting encompassed by the disqualification period is Otago RC at Wingatui on 3 February. This is the only Premier meeting south of Christchurch, and thus this will have a significant impact on the respondent’s potential earning capacity. In these circumstances, we leave the period of the breach as determined on the day.

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