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Hawke's Bay RI 19 September 2020 - R 10 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 21 September 2020

NMoffatt (chair)
Ms D Johnson - Class A Rider
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following Race 10 (Group 1 Tarzino Trophy), Stipendiary Steward, Mr Goodwin lodged an Information with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) in that Ms Johnson used her whip excessively when riding AVANTAGE prior to the 100m.

At the outset of the hearing, Ms Johnson confirmed she understood the Rule and that she admitted the breach.

Mr Goodwin had Mr Jones explain the reason for the charge using the videos. He showed Ms Johnson used her whip a total of 8 times before the 100m mark while riding AVANTAGE, and within these 8 strikes there were two occasions where the whip use was consecutive.

While Ms Johnson was satisfied that the number of strikes was accurate, she stated that she was only three-over the guidelines.

In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Goodwin confirmed AVANTAGE ran third, and all other riders used their whips in accordance with the guidelines. 


Ms Johnson admitted the breach; therefore, the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin said this was the second whip charge for Ms Johnson within the last 12 months. The previous charge was in January.

The Steward’s submission was for a monetary penalty to reflect the Group 1 status of the race.

Ms Johnson previously reminded the Committee she was only three strikes over the guidelines.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees provides the following starting points for breaches of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii):
1st breach - $300
2nd breach - $500
3rd breach - suspension
However, if the number of strikes is 10 or more a 6-day suspension is the starting point.

The Committee considered all submissions. This was Ms Johnson’s second breach of the whip rule within the last 12 months, and at 8 strikes the starting point is a $500 fine.

There were two aggravating factors. The whip guidelines which came into effect 11 months ago clearly set out the restriction on consecutive strikes of the whip. Ms Johnson used her whip consecutively on AVANTAGE twice before the 100m (within the total number of 8).

The second aggravating factor was the Group 1 status of the race. The Stewards made no suggestion that Ms Johnson gained any advantage, however riders must ensure that they ride within the well-established whip guidelines. Any penalty must be sufficient to act as a deterent particularly in these high stake/status races.

Taking into account all factors the Committee determined an $800 monetary penalty appropriate.


Accordingly Ms Johnson is fined the sum of $800.

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