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Otaki-Maori RC 16 May 2019 -R1- Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 20 May 2019

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr S Fannin - Licensed Class D Rider
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of Whip

Following Race 1 (Riverstone Cafe) Mr Balcombe lodged an information with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638 (3) (b) (ii) in that S Fannin used his whip excessively prior to the 100m without the necessary respite.

Rule 638(3) (b) provides:-
A Rider shall not:
(ii) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is excessive
The “Guidelines with Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provide:
Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3) (b) a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:
Inside the final 600 metres of any Race, official trial or jump-out a horse may be struck with the drawn whip up to five times after which the rider must cease their use of the whip for a minimum of five strides before striking the horse again with the drawn whip, with this restriction to apply prior to the final 100 metres. The whip may then be used at the rider’s discretion until the winning post is reached. Prior to the final 600 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out the use of the drawn whip is acceptable if used in moderation and not continually.

Mr Balcombe played the videos and counted the number of times Mr Fannin’s used his whip from just prior to the 200m up to the 100m mark of the race. Mr Balcombe said it came to 10-11 strikes broken up by two pauses, one of four strides and one of two strides,.
Mr Fannin said that was an accurate account by the Stewards.


As Mr Fannin admitted the breach, the charge was found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Balcombe said this was Mr Fannin’s third charge of excessive whip use within the last 12 month period. He was suspended for 6 days in July 2018 and for 2 days in June 2018.  The Stewards described today’s breach as low -end . Mr Balcombe said that Mr Fannin used the whip twice on the shoulder of his horse because it was laying out and it was these strikes which took him over the threshold. If Mr Fannin had kept his hands on the reins, those strikes would not have been counted. The Stewards’ submission was for a period of suspension in line with the penalty guidelines.
Mr Fannin said he only used the whip on the shoulder to correct his horse’s running line. He said he was in a competitive position in the race and he simply neglected to return his hands to the reins. If the horse had run straight, the whip would not have been used at that time.  Mr Fannin asked the Committee to take into account that he had had close to 60 rides since his last breach of this rule. He has riding commitments through until Sunday 19th May.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees provides the following starting points for breaches of Rule 638(3) (b) (ii):
1st breach $300
2nd breach $500
3rd or subsequent breach 6-8 national riding days.

In determining penalty, the Committee considered the starting point of 6-8 national riding days for 3rd and subsequent breaches of the rule. Mr Fannin is a jumps/highweight rider, therefore, has fewer riding opportunities available to him over the racing calendar than a Class A rider. We have adjusted the starting point down to one of 4 days in reflection of this.  We took into account that Mr Fannin’s whip use was not continuous and while we accept that his mount was laying out over the final stages, he did have the option of stopping riding and correcting his line of running. Instead, Mr Fannin chose to use his whip as a way of correction because he was vying for the lead at the time.
Balancing up all factors, it was our opinion that a suspension of four jumps/highweight days was an appropriate penalty.


Accordingly, Mr Fannin is suspended from the close of racing on Sunday May 19th up to and including racing on Sunday June 2nd.

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