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Otaki-Maori RC 25 February 2017 - R 6 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 27 February 2017

NMoffatt (chair)
Ms D Hirini - Apprentice Rider
Mr M Breslin - Licensed Trainer assisting Ms Hirini
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 6, (Hunting & Fishing Otaki Handicap), an Information was lodged by Mr N Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 638(1) (d) in that “D Hirini allowed her mount DR WATSON to shift out when insufficiently clear of KAIRANGA LAD nearing the 200 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 Hirini confirmed to the Committee that she understood the charge and she admitted the breach. Mr Breslin, her employer, was present to assist.

Mr Balcombe used the films to identify the individual runners involved. Ms Hirini (DR WATSON) was midtrack and had KAIRANGA LAD to her outside. There was some minor jostling between these two runners but nothing to concern the Stewards until approximately the 200m mark when Ms Hirini angled outwards in search of a run. Her mount was travelling much better than KAIRANGA LAD and the rider, Mr Tinsley, was attempting to hold DR WATSON in. The charge of careless riding was a result of Ms Hirini pushing out when not clear of KAIRANGA LAD causing a check to Mr Tinsley’s mount. Mr Goodwin said while the Stewards were in favour of competitive riding, on this occasion, Ms Hirini had taken it too far. In addition Ms Hirini continued to use her whip when she should have been trying to straighten her line of running.

Mr Breslin said Ms Hirini was an apprentice rider with a 2kg claim and she was still learning. She erred in coming out one horse width too far when in fact she should have been closer in, in which case she would only have brushed Mr Tinsley’s mount.


As Ms Hirini admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin told the Committee that Ms Hirini is a very promising apprentice with a good record. Her only other careless riding charge was at Wairoa one year ago. He said she rarely bothered the Stewards and was always very polite. Mr Goodwin’s submission was for a period of suspension taking into account the lower level of carelessness.

Mr Breslin asked the committee to consider Ms Hirini’s very good record and also explained that she had ridden in the South Island on the West Coast circuit and at Riccarton. Ms Hirini said that while she had never ridden at Ashburton she had fielded calls about riding there.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee advised Ms Hirini of the five day starting point for careless riding charges as outlined in the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees. The Stewards placed the degree of carelessness at the low end however we viewed it as more midrange. Ms Hirini’s outward movement was not insignificant and she continued to ride forward with the whip rather than make an attempt to straighten her mount. Evidence was heard that Mr Tinsley’s mount was tiring, suggesting she did not affect his chances, however he was still entitled to a clear line of running.

Mitigating factors were Ms Hirini’s good record and her admission of the breach. We considered her apprentice rider status as a neutral factor as she has been riding now for approximately 15 months and is not completely inexperienced.

Balancing up all of these factors it was our opinion that a four day suspension was an appropriate penalty.


Ms Hirini is suspended from the close of racing on Sunday February 26th up to and including racing on Saturday March 11th.The days included in this period are:

2/3/17 - Hastings
3/3/17 - Awapuni
10/3/17 - Otaki
11/3/17 - Egmont

Despite Mr Breslin being firm in his submission that Ashburton (Thursday March 9th) should be included in the period of suspension we did not believe that it represented a genuine riding day for Ms Hirini. We heard evidence that she had received requests about riding at Ashburton in the past but Mr Breslin said it hadn’t been worth her while to travel down for only one or two rides. Without a pattern of riding at Ashburton we could not agree to this day being included.

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