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Rangitikei RC 23 November 2019 - R 5 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 25 November 2019

NMoffatt (chair)
Ms C O'Beirne - Apprentice Rider
Mr S McKay - Rider of SAGUNTO
Mr J Benner - Licensed Trainer
Ms K Clapperton - Central Districts Apprentice Mentor
Mr W Robinson - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 5, an Information was lodged by Mr Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 638 (1) (d) in that C O’Beirne allowed her mount to shift in near the 350m contacting and checking SAGUNTO.

Ms O’Beirne confirmed her understanding of the charge and said that she denied the breach. The hearing progressed as a defended hearing with Mr S McKay appearing as a witness for the RIU. Following an adjournment for a race, Ms O’Beirne indicated she wished to admit the breach and the information was amended accordingly.

Mr Goodwin had Stipendiary Steward Mr Robinson explain the careless riding charge using all available video angles. He began by showing the race from the end of the back straight through until the incident near the 350m. The purpose of this was for Mr Robinson to point out where PROLETARIAT had laid in earlier in the race and to explain that the stewards accepted that Ms O’Beirne’s mount had a tendency to do so. PROLETARIAT rounded the bend with no difficulty, but when Ms O’Beirne used her stick the horse laid in making firm contact with Mr McKay’s mount driving that runner into the running rail.

Mr McKay told the Committee that the horse to his outside (PROLETARIAT) rolled in on him when Ms O’Beirne hit it twice with the stick. On rounding the bend PROLETARIAT was 3-wide but moved in sharply when only ½ length in front severely interfering with his running. Mr Benner asked Mr McKay if he thought PROLETARIAT had “ducked in very quickly”. Mr McKay agreed but said it rolled in only when Ms O’Beirne hit it twice and by the time she tried to straighten it was too late.

The hearing was adjourned to allow Ms O’Beirne to take her ride in the next race. On return, Ms O’Beirne advised she would like to admit the breach. In the absence of Mr Benner, who had left to take horses home, Ms Clapperton was available to assist.

Ms O’Beirne explained that PROLETARIAT is a very big horse and down the back straight he was laying in. She changed her stick to the inside, and he began to race more kindly. On rounding the turn Ms O’Beirne gave Mr McKay more space in an attempt to preempt any inward movement. PROLETARIAT appeared to be travelling well, and it was only with the second strike of the whip that the horse moved in quickly onto Mr McKay. Ms O’Beirne said the incident happened so fast and as soon as she could she put her hands back on the reins and pulled him over. Ms O’Beirne said she tried her best and the films show that the horse continued pulling towards the running rail all the way through until the finish.

Ms Clapperton said PROLETARIAT took advantage of the inside horse when he got ½ length in front. Ms O’Beirne hit him once without incident, but on the second strike of the whip, he laid in causing the interference to SEGUNTO.


As Ms O’Beirne admitted the breach, it was deemed to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin produced Ms O’Beirne’s riding record, which showed 2 careless riding charges in the last 12 months. These were incurred on the same day at Hastings in September, and as a result Ms O’Beirne was suspended for quite some time. Before that Ms O’Beirne’s record was good. Mr Goodwin said the degree of carelessness was below midrange. Ms O’Beirne’s due lack of care was in not straightening her mount up in the required time. The resulting interference to Mr McKay was serious, and the Stewards' submission was for a suspension.

Ms O’Beirne was invited to make submissions on penalty. She asked the Committee for leniency saying that she had just had a month's suspension and the time away made it very difficult to come back to riding. She advised of riding commitments through until next Saturday, November 30th.

Ms Clapperton said she sympathised with Ms O’Beirne agreeing it was difficult to get rides back after a period away.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee considered all submissions including close viewing of all the films provided. Earlier in the race, PROLETARIAT displayed a tendency to lay in upon which Ms O’Beirne changed the whip to her left hand. She was clearly aware that her mount had the potential to lay in again, which is why she gave Mr McKay more space around the home bend. It was the opinion of the Committee that being aware of the horse’s wayward tendencies and knowing that Mr McKay was directly to her inside, Ms O’Beirne should have displayed more care. In striking her horse twice Ms O’Beirne lost control, albeit briefly, but this was sufficient to allow PROLETARIAT to roll in and severely hamper Mr McKay. Ms O’Beirne did make an attempt to pull off SAGUNTO however the damage had already been done. We placed the degree of carelessness within the midrange and adopted a starting point of 8 days suspension in line with the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees.

The interference suffered by Mr McKay was severe. SAGUNTO hit the running rail and was fortunate to stay on its feet. Mr McKay’s safety was significantly compromised, and in addition SAGUNTO had its chances extinguished as a result of being forced into the rail and loss of substantial ground. We considered these significant aggravating factors.

The Committee also took into account Ms O’Beirne’s admittance of the breach. We considered her record to be a neutral factor due to the close proximity within which the three recent charges fall.

Balancing up all factors, it was our opinion that a suspension of 10 days was an appropriate penalty.


Accordingly, Ms O’Beirne’s license is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday, November 30th up to and including racing on Saturday, December 14th 2019.

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