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Otago RC 2 February 2019 - R 5 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 07 February 2019

GHall (chair)
Ms K Cowan - Apprentice Jockey
Mr D Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor assisting Miss Cowan
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 5, the White Robe Lodge Staff Reunion 2200 metres, the Stewards lodged an Information alleging Ms Cowan breached rule 638(1)(d) (careless riding) in that she permitted her mount MOSSY CREEK to shift outwards passing the 200 metres causing COUNTESS RUBY (L Hemi) to be severely checked and to blunder.

Ms Cowan admitted the charge and appeared at the hearing assisted by Mr D Walsh.

Mr McLaughlin, with the aid of the video replays, said Ms Cowan (MOSSY CREEK) was trailing the leaders into the home straight. Prior to the 200 metres mark Ms Cowan shifted outwards into clear racing room. However, Ms Cowan continued to shift outwards and took the line of COUNTESS RUBY (L Hemi). Ms Hemi was forced to take a hold of her mount causing her mount to be severely checked and blunder. Ms Hemi was almost dislodged in the incident and lost any chance.

Mr Davidson stated that Ms Cowan did not need to come out as far as she did. She had shifted at least three to four horse widths and was barely a length clear before the interference occurred.

Ms Cowan said she had made an error and it was a bad mistake on her part. She said her horse was going well and she had misjudged how far she had shifted outwards.

Mr Walsh stated that Ms Cowan used the whip in her left hand and had shifted wider than she needed to.


Ms Cowan admitted the charge and it is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson said Ms Cowan had five previous suspensions within the past 12 months. She had ridden 111 times this season with about 80 rides since her last suspension at Ashburton on 29 October. He said this incident resulted in a severe check and a rider was almost dislodged. He sought a penalty at the higher end of the scale.

Ms Cowan asked for a deferment until after Riccarton on 9 February.

Mr Walsh stated Ms Cowan had admitted the charge at the earliest opportunity and was remorseful.

Reasons For Penalty:

Ms Cowan has shifted out abruptly when she was not her length and another clear. Ms Hemi was badly checked and she was lucky not to fall. The breach is thus high end. We take a 10-day starting point and increase this to 14 days for record and the severity of the breach.

Ms Cowan has frankly admitted the breach and is extremely remorseful. She said she had never had to practice right hand whip action at apprentice school. Many of the tracks in the North island were right-handed tracks and thus she did not have the same problem of her horse shifting out under her left hand whip action. She expressed a willingness to take instruction with respect to this issue. She said she had not anticipated her horse shifting out to the extent that it had. We give a two-day discount for her openness with respect to the admission of the breach and her evident desire to upskill in regards to her whip action.


Ms Cowan is suspended from the completion of racing on 9 February up to and including 28 February 2019 (12 days).

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