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Manawatu RC 25 July 2019 - R4 - Chair, Mr T Utikere

Created on 26 July 2019

TUtikere (chair)
Mr L Myers - Class E Rider
Mrs K Clapperton - Apprentice Jockey Mentor assisting Mr Myers
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following the running of Race 4 (UNREAL GRASS & THE BNI HEARTLAND LEGENDS 2100), Information A12290 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It alleged a breach of Rule 638(3)(b)(ii) and stated that Class E Rider L Myers: “used the whip excessively on his mount THE GREAT GURU prior to the 100 metres”.

Rule 638(3) states: “A rider shall not…(b) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is…(ii) excessive.”

Mr Myers was assisted by Apprentice Mentor Mrs K Clapperton, and confirmed that he understood the Rule and that he admitted the breach.

Using the available head-on and side-on and rear view films, Mr Oatham identified Mr Myers (THE GREAT GURU) entering the straight. He had drawn his whip and used it on three occasions before providing a brief respite. He identified that it was clear from the films that even though some periods of respite had been given, Mr Myers had used his whip a total of eight to nine times prior to the 100 metres without the necessary respite.

In response, Mr Myers had said he had simply lost count and believed that it was less than eight strikes prior to the 100 metres. Mrs Clapperton identified that there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the incident that meant Mr Myers wanted to win the race. These were raised with the Committee, and we do not intend to go into further details. Mrs Clapperton described THE GREAT GURU as a big lazy horse and that Mr Myers had overcounted.


As the charge was admitted, the Committee deemed the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin submitted that the respondent had two previous breaches that had resulted in fines of $250 (Te Aroha - August 2018) and $400 (Auckland - 3 June 2019). He submitted a period of suspension as appropriate and asked the Committee to consider his amateur status.

Mr Myers said that he believed this should have been treated as his second breach as he should have received a warning for the first breach. Mrs Clapperton also asked the Committee to consider the limited riding opportunities that amateur riders had when considering the length of a period of suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee considered all of the submissions placed before it. From our assessment of the available films, it is clear that Mr Myers used his whip on nine occasions prior to the 100 metres, without the necessary reprieve. While it is clear that he waved his whip a few times, these are not included in our calculation. The JCA Penalty Guide identifies a six to eight National Riding Days for a third breach of this rule; and we are satisfied that this is his third breach within the previous 12 month period. We also note that his most recent appearance before a Judicial Committee signalled a further excessive whip breach was likely to result in a period of suspension. When we consider the limited riding opportunities that Amateur riders have, the application of a starting point at that level would be wholly disproportionate and unfair. When we consider Mr Myers’ admission of the breach, we consider a two day period of suspension as appropriate.


Mr Myers is suspended from the conclusion of racing on Thursday 25 July until the conclusion of racing on Wednesday 14 August 2019.

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