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R Rotorua 1 December 2011 - R 8

Created on 05 December 2011

RSeabrook (chair)
Mr R Hutchings
Mr G Rogerson
Mr M Williamson
Mr A Coles
Information Number

Careless riding charge.


Following Race 8, an information was filed pursuant to rule 638(1)(d).  The informant, Mr Coles, alleged that Mr R Hutchings allowed his mount, SAVABEEL STAR to shift in over the final 50 metres when not clear of Mr TOOGOOD ( M Sweeney), which was crowded and checked.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Williamson demonstrated the video films, which showed SAVABEEL STAR ( R Hutchings), racing on the outside of the field approaching the last 90 metres.  Shortly after this, it was clear that Mr Hutchings started an inward movement while riding hard with the whip.  In doing so, he moved into the line of Mr TOOGOOD ( M Sweeney), who was crowded and checked.  Mr Williamson submitted that Mr Hutchings was riding with the whip throughout the inward movement, while only half a length clear of Mr TOOGOOD. He said that Mr Hutchings moved in 2 horse widths and  did little to straighten his mount.

Mr Rogerson submitted that SASSYTRIK ( A Forbes), contributed to the interference by shifting out.  He said that if Mr Forbes had maintained his line, Mr Sweeney would not have been checked.  Further to that, he said SAVABEEL STAR was now in foal and she had become cantankerous, which could have been a mitigating factor.  He said the interference was only three strides from the post.

Mr Coles, in his statement, said that the interference occurred eight strides from the post when Mr Sweeney was checked.  He conceded that Mr Hutchings put the whip away for two strides, but then persisted with the whip to the line.  Mr Coles said that any outward movement from SASSYTRIK was minimal, and the films clearly show Mr Hutchings was not the required distance clear when moving in.

Reasons For Decision:

The committee is satisfied that interference did occur in the final 50 metres.  The films clearly show SAVABEEL STAR moving into the line of MR TOOGOOD, when not sufficiently clear.  We are further satisfied that the outward movement of Mr Forbes was minimal.  We concede that Mr Hutchings put his whip away momentarily, but then continued riding his mount with the whip, making no attempt to relieve the pressure on Mr Sweeney.  It is also significant that Mr Sweeney had his mount's head turned inwards throughout the movement, which clearly indicates that the pressure was coming from the outside. 


For the above reasons we find the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Coles said that Mr Hutchings had incurred two suspensions in the last 12 months, which he conceded was a good record.  He submitted that today's charge was in the lower to mid range of carelessness.

Mr Rogerson said, on behalf of Mr Hutchings, that the interference was minimal and could be dealt with by way of a warning or a fine.

Mr Hutchings said that he had commitments up to and including 8 December.

Reasons For Penalty:

The committee considered all submissions and evidence before imposing an appropriate penalty.  Mr Rogerson had asked the committee to consider SAVABEEL STAR'S racing manners because she was in foal.  We do not believe that this condition had any bearing on the interference.  It was soley through Mr Hutchings' continued use of the whip without taking any corrective measures.  The committee pointed out to Mr Rogerson, that a fine was not appropriate in this case.  It was explained to him that the starting point for carelessness is now 5 days.  However, because we find Mr Hutchings' carelessness at the low end, coupled with his good record, we reduce this penalty to one of 4 days.


Accordingly, after taking all of the above into account, we impose a suspension on Mr Hutchings from riding in races, which is to start after racing on 8 December and conclude after racing on 14 December (4 days).  This deferment comes pursuant to rule 1106.

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