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Matamata RC 8 May 2019 - R 6 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 09 May 2019

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
ADooley (chair)
Name(s):
Ms T Thornton - Rider of GIRL OF STEEL
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Cameron - Rider of CRAFTYAFFAIR
Mr C Grylls - Rider of CHATELAINE
Informant
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A11099
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of race 6, NZB Pearl Insurance Series Race, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).The Informant, Mr Jones, alleged that Ms Thornton permitted her mount GIRL OF STEEL to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of CRAFTYAFFAIR which was dictated inwards crowding CHATELAINE which was checked near the 700m metres with GIRL OF STEEL again shifting inwards forcing CRAFTYAFFAIR inwards near the 600 metres.

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

Ms Thornton denied the breach and acknowledged that she understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Jones advised the Committee he would be calling 3 witnesses namely Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson, Mr Cameron the rider of CRAFTYAFFAIR and Mr Grylls the rider of CHATELAINE.

Mr Williamson demonstrated the alleged incident using all the available video films. He identified that passing the 800 metres Ms Thornton was racing in a 3 wide position. He said that GIRL OF STEEL commenced to lay in and Ms Thornton turned her horse's head out and relieved the inward pressure. He said shortly after Ms Thornton allowed her mount to shift in when only a neck in front of CRAFTYAFFAIR which was dictated inwards crowding CHATELAINE which was crowded and checked when racing adjacent to the running rail. He said that runner came back onto MISS BUMBLEBEE when checked. He showed on the films that Ms Thornton shifted in from a 3 wide position to a 1 off position at the 600 metres. In conclusion he said Ms Thornton was never clear to shift inwards.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Williamson said that Ms Thornton was a neck to ½ a length clear of CRAFTYAFFAIR and to that runner's inside was CHATELAINE who was ¾ of a length away.

Ms Thornton did not wish to cross examine Mr Williamson’s evidence.

Mr Jones called Mr Grylls, the rider of CHATELAINE as a witness. He said that Mr Cameron was racing in a 1 off position and CHATELAINE was improving on his inside. He said that he was ½ a length in arrears of CRAFTYAFFAIR when Mr Cameron crossed him as a result of the inward pressure from his outside.

Ms Thornton did not wish to cross examine Mr Grylls.

Mr Jones called Mr Cameron, the rider of CRAFTYAFFAIR as a witness. He said that GIRL OF STEEL was racing on his outside passing the 800 metres when Ms Thornton slowly began to shift in. He said that he called out to Ms Thornton because he had Mr Grylls racing ¾ of a length away on his inside. He said that Ms Thornton continued to allow her mount to shift in and he was forced inwards and he ended up on the fence. He said Ms Thornton was only ½ a length in front of him when she crossed over.

Ms Thornton did not wish to cross examine Mr Cameron.

Ms Thornton was then given the opportunity to present her case. She said that her mount was having its first start and it was racing awkward. She added that her mount was wearing a set of rings. She stated that she was blown away by how over emphasised the incident had been referred to and in her opinion there was no pressure anywhere. She said that her mount shifted in for 1 stride and she took the necessary corrective action. In conclusion Ms Thornton said that she was possibly unaware that Mr Grylls was racing on the inside of Mr Cameron.

In summing up Mr Jones said that the Stewards had a different interpretation of the incident than Ms Thornton. He said the video films show that the first check occurred at the 700 metres and then a further checked happened at the 600 metres. He said that Ms Thornton allowed her mount to shift in when not sufficiently clear.

When invited to sum up Ms Thornton said she had nothing to add.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and studied the video films of the alleged interference.

When reviewing the incident the Committee found that Ms Thornton allowed her mount to gradually shift in passing the 800 metres. As a result Ms Thornton was only ½ a length clear of CRAFTYAFFAIR which was crowded and forced inwards onto CHATELAINE. As a consequence that runner was crowded and suffered a minor check near the 700 metres. Following that incident GIRL OF STEEL continued to shift in from an original 3 wide position to a 1 off position near the 600 metres. This forced CRAFTYAFFAIR to race adjacent to the running rail.

At no stage was Ms Thornton her own length and one other length clear at the time of crossing Mr Cameron’s mount CRAFTYAFFAIR. This is despite the fact that Ms Thornton had several looks to her inside when shifting ground.

Decision:

For the reasons detailed above the Committee found the charge against Ms Thornton proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Jones produced Ms Thornton's record which showed 3 previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being 28 January 2019. He described the level of carelessness as low to mid-range and submitted a penalty should reflect that.

Ms Thornton advised that she had firm commitments up to and including 15 May at Ruakaka and any proposed suspension could start after that date. She said the level of carelessness was low range.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee after reviewing the video films, as detailed above, deemed the level of carelessness displayed by Ms Thornton was low range.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a low range carelessness is 6 national days which was adopted.

There can be no discount applied for admission of the breach however, similarly the Committee apply no uplift for the fact that the charge was defended, as that is Ms Thornton’s right.

Ms Thornton’s record was considered to be a neutral factor.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 6 national riding days.

Penalty:

The Committee grants a deferment to Ms Thornton’s suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, the Committee suspended Ms Thornton’s license to ride in races for the period to commence after racing on 15 May and conclude after racing on 23 May 2019.

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