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Hawke's Bay RI 29 April 2017 - R 7 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 30 April 2017

NMoffatt (chair)
Ms K Cowan - Apprentice Rider
Mr K Smith - Riding Master assisting Ms Cowan
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 7 (Hawke’s Bay Owners Association 1200), an Information was lodged by Mr N Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) in that apprentice jockey, Kate Cowan allowed her mount SAVE THE STARS to shift in shortly after the start dictating STORYTIME inwards onto WORLDCLASS which was checked.

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

Ms Cowan is apprenticed to Mr K Myers but was assisted today by Mr Kane Smith. She confirmed to the Committee that she both understood the charge and admitted the breach.

The head on view of the start was the most useful. Mr Turner (WORLDCLASS) began from barrier one, Ms McNab (STORYTIME) from barrier two and Ms Cowan (SAVE THE STARS) was in barrier three. Mr Goodwin explained how Ms Cowan’s mount took a few strides to get coordinated, after beginning awkwardly, but was racing in a tractable manner soon after. Ms Cowan then allowed her mount to move inwards when not clear of STORYTIME placing pressure on Ms McNab and causing Mr Turner to run out of room on the rail. As a result WORLDCLASS received a sharp check and lost significant ground.

Mr Goodwin identified Mr Riddell’s mount out wider on the track which was “hanging” but said this had no bearing on the incident because Ms Cowan was ahead of that runner.

Ms Cowan explained how she had been trying to settle her mount when it got its head up in the air soon after the start. She had been reluctant to pull back on its mouth and risk making things worse so instead she dropped her hands and concentrated on getting SAVE THE STARS to settle. Ms Cowan admitted making a mistake in not adequately steering her mount. She heard Ms McNab yell out and realised she was in some trouble but was unaware of the check to Mr Turner until after the race.


As Ms Cowan admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin submitted that a term of suspension was warranted following the incident caused by Ms Cowan but also suggested the Committee take into account her inexperience. (Ms Cowan said she had been riding since February and had had approximately 46 rides).

Mr Goodwin said while Ms Cowan’s inward movement was gradual the check to Mr Turner was quite severe.
Speaking on behalf of Ms Cowan, Mr Smith said she was a very promising apprentice and was riding winners and doing very well. He said she was still learning and mistakes would be inevitable.

In his opinion the breach was not high end and had been made worse by Mr Turner kicking up on the rail even though he was entitled to do that.

We were advised that Ms Cowan had riding commitments through until Otaki next Thursday.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee took into account all of the submissions and adopted the five day starting point for careless riding as outlined in the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees. It was our opinion that Ms Cowan’s degree of carelessness was at the lower end but the consequences of her carelessness were more towards midrange. Ms McNab and Mr Turner were entitled to be where they were in the running but, as a result of the interference, Mr Turner lost several lengths.

Mitigating factors were Ms Cowan’s admission of the breach, her inexperience and her clear record with this being her first breach of the rules since beginning riding three months ago. We have allowed a two day discount from the starting point and impose a three day suspension.

We heard from the Stewards and Ms Cowan that she has ridden in the North on various occasions and at Riccarton. In order to set a genuine penalty we enquired more specifically as to Ms Cowan’s riding programme. As a result of what we were told we did not include the Counties meeting on May 5th or the Ashburton meeting on May 10th as Ms Cowan has no history of having ridden at either venue. We explained that intent to ride at a meeting was not sufficient reason on its own to have a day included in a suspension.


Ms Cowan is suspended from the close of racing on Thursday May 4th up to and including racing on Thursday May 11th.

Days included are:
6/5/17 - Waikato/Canterbury
7/5/17 - Wanganui
11/5/17 - Hastings


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