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Hawke's Bay RI 23 September 2017 - R 5 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 25 September 2017

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Ms D Johnson - Licensed Jockey
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

Following the running of Race 5 (Bay Ford NZ Punter of The Year 7 Oct), Information No. A10013 was filed with the Judicial Committee. The Informant alleged that Ms Johnson (ARRAIGNMENT) had allowed her mount to shift ground when not sufficiently clear of POKER FACE and CONSTANT BARRAGE who had to steady over the final stages.

Rule 638 (1)(d) provides:
A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:
(d) careless

Ms Johnson said that she understood the Rule; the charge preferred against her and confirmed that she admitted the breach.

Mr Goodwin, Stipendiary Steward, identified the three horses on all film replays and said that early in the run home Ms Johnson was racing in a 5-wide position. He said Ms Johnson then continued to ride with vigour with her horse ARRAIGNMENT shifting in and tightening both POKER FACE and CONSTANT BARRAGE in the shadows of the post. He said that Ms Johnson did attempt to relieve the pressure but that it was after the interference had occurred.

Ms Johnson in response said that it was self-explanatory, that her horse did run in under pressure and that she was only a stride too late in easing the pressure.


As Ms Johnson had admitted the breach it was found to be proved by the Judicial Committee.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that Ms Johnson had a good record considering that she is one of the busier riders in the country, with only two suspensions being imposed during the past 12 months. Ms Johnson’s record showed that her most recent suspension was on 16 August 2017 when a 5-riding day suspension was imposed. Mr Oatham placed the carelessness is the mid-range area and submitted that a suspension in line with that be imposed.

Ms Johnson said that she rides in the Central Districts as well as the Northern area but did not ride in the South Island. She said that she would like any suspension imposed to start after racing on 27 September and added that she would like to be able to ride at Te Rapa on 6 October. She invited the committee to consider imposing a suspension and a fine to enable this to happen.

When questioned by the Committee Mr Oatham agreed that Ms Johnson does ride in the Central Districts.

Reasons For Penalty:

In fixing quantum of penalty the Committee had regard to the JCA starting point of 5-riding days suspension for careless riding. The Committee placed the carelessness in the mid-range category as Ms Johnson did not take any corrective action to straighten her mount’s line of running until after the interference had occurred.

The aggravating factors were the degree of carelessness and that two horses suffered interference. This in the opinion of the Committee justified a lift to a 6-riding day suspension.

The mitigating matters were Ms Johnson’s good record and that she had admitted the breach. For the mitigating factors Ms Johnson was afforded a discount of one day.


Ms Johnson’s Jockey’s Licence was suspended from the end of racing on 27 September 2017 up to the conclusion of racing on 6 October 2017 (5 days).

The days being:
Waipukurau - 28 September 2017
Ellerslie - 30 September
Ruakaka - 4 October
Waverley - 5 October
Te Rapa - 6 October

A suspension together with a fine was not considered to be an appropriate penalty.

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