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NZ Metropolitan TC 30 November 2018 - R 6 - Chair, Mr D Jackson

Created on 03 December 2018

DJackson (chair)
Mr R Houghton - Licensed Horseman
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Contravention of the Use of Whip Regulations

Mr Houghton admits an Information laid by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr N Ydgren, alleging that during Race 6 of this meeting he used his whip excessively over the concluding stages of the race when driving STARS TONIGHT.

This is a breach of Rule 869(2), which provides 'No horseman shall during any race use his whip in an unnecessary, excessive, or improper manner'.

The Use of Whip Guidelines (effective 1 November 2017) provides (b) No horseman is permitted to use their whip in a striking motion on more than ten occasions inside the final 400 metres. This is inclusive of “backhanders” and the use applies to the horse, harness and/or sulky.

Mr Houghton countersigned the information admitting the charge and confirmed same when he appeared before the Committee.

Through video evidence Mr Ydgren showed Mr Houghton strike his drive with the whip 13 times during its run down the home straight to the finish.


In light of Mr Houghton’s admission of the charge and the clear video evidence of excessive use of the whip the breach was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Ydgren submitted that Mr Houghton’s record was poor having admitted earlier breaches of this Rule on 22 and 29 July and 30 September 2018. He was suspended for four and five days respectively on 29 July and 30 September 2018. Mr Ydgren submitted that any suspension imposed by the Committee must be in excess of five days to reflect the objectives of denunciation and deterrence.

Mr Houghton did not seek a deferment. He told the Committee that he would like to start his suspension and acknowledged that it was going to be for a period longer than five days. He informed the Committee that he had been a busy driver of late and that he was conscious of improving his whip action and promised the Committee that he was working on it.

Reasons For Penalty:

Mr Houghton’s record is an aggravating factor. His record is poor. The JCA Penalty Guidelines call for a suspension start point of three to five days. We fix the start point as five days. For his record this will be uplifted to seven days.

Mr Ydgren has conceded that Mr Houghton’s suspension can include upcoming meetings at Forbury Park but no further south than that.


Accordingly, Mr Houghton is suspended for seven days from the conclusion of racing on 2 December 2018 up to the conclusion of racing (at Forbury Park) on 19 December 2018.

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