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South Canterbury RC 20 March 2014 - R 7

Created on 24 March 2014

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
SChing
Name(s):
Mr C W Johnson - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Informant
N G McIntyre
Co-Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A4310
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 7, McIntosh Catering Stayers, an information was filed by Co-Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr N G McIntyre, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Mr C W Johnson, alleging that Mr Johnson, as the rider of ROSHEEN in the race, “directed his mount out near the 350 metres when not clear and crowded GALLANT SATIN (C R Barnes) and PENNY KATE (S L Wynne) both of which were checked”.

Mr Johnson was present at the hearing of the information and he indicated that he admitted the breach.

Rule 638 provides as follows:

(1) A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:
    (d) careless.

Mr McIntyre had Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Zarb, show the incident on video replays. He pointed out the three horses involved as the field approached the home turn. He submitted that, as the field rounded the home turn, Mr Johnson could be seen to direct his mount, ROSHEEN, outwards. He initially came into contact with GALLANT SAINT who, in turn, came into contact with PENNY KATE. Outside of those two runners was OUR MEMOIR (R Hutchings). Stewards believed that he had kept a straight line, Mr Zarb said. GALLANT SAINT and PENNY KATE had run out of room, were crowded and had to be checked by their riders. He submitted that Mr Johnson was “a bare half length” clear when he started coming out.

Mr Johnson said that, at the time, he was going forward quick enough and the runners outside him were “sort of battling”. He thought that he was further clear of them than he actually was, he said. He said that OUR MEMOIR was a half length in front of GALLANT SAINT and PENNY KATE, and keeping a straight line. This made it tight for those two runners – had OUR MEMOIR not been there, there would have been room for a bit more movement, he submitted. He accepted that he had come out to go around the horse in front of him and had caused tightening.   

Decision:

Mr Johnson having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McIntyre began by outlining Mr Johnson’s record under the Rule which was as follows:

Oamaru JC, 16 August 2013 3 days
Canterbury JC, 13 November 2013 3 days plus $750 fine
Canterbury JC, 16 November 2013 6 days
Counties RC, 23 November 2013 6 days

Since his last suspension, Mr Johnson has had 191 rides, Mr McIntyre said.

Mr McIntyre submitted that the particular breach was in the mid to high range of carelessness. The consequential effects to two other runners in the race were also in the mid to high range, with both riders having to steady at an important stage of the race, Mr McIntyre submitted.

Mr Johnson pointed out to the Committee that the two 6-days’ suspensions referred to by Mr McIntyre were in Group races. Today’s meeting was an Industry Meeting, he said.

Mr Johnson stated that he had confirmed riding engagements for the Canterbury JC meeting on 22 March and he sought a deferment of any suspension to enable him to carry out those engagements. He indicated that he did not wish to seek a deferment beyond that date.

Mr McIntyre told the Committee that Mr Johnson had been riding quite regularly in the North Island in recent times, including on 2 days at the recent Auckland Cup meeting. Mr Johnson indicated that any riding that he is likely to do in the near future would be at Central Districts rather than Northern meetings. It was agreed that Mr Johnson would not be riding at industry meetings at Paeroa on 28 March, Matamata on 2 April or Dargaville on 4 April.

Mr McIntyre submitted that a suspension of 5 or 6 days was appropriate.

Reasons For Penalty:

In deciding on an appropriate penalty, the Committee took, as a starting point, a suspension of 5 days as provided in the Penalty Guide. Mr Johnson was entitled to a discount of 1 day for his admission of the breach. This was a mitigating factor. An aggravating factor was that the carelessness, on this occasion, was in the mid to high range as were the consequences of the carelessness, the chances of two other runners having been affected. In this respect, we agreed with the submission of Mr McIntyre. We have added 1 day for this factor, bringing the term of suspension back to 5 days. As far as Mr Johnson’s riding record is concerned, we viewed it as being quite good (191 rides since his last suspension) but it was his 5th term of suspension for careless riding since August 2013. We assessed Mr Johnson’s record as being neither a mitigating nor an aggravating factor.

In calculating the meetings for which Mr Johnson was to be suspended, the Committee accepted that Mr Johnson can quite properly be regarded as a Southern and Central Districts rider. 

Penalty:

Mr Johnson’s Jockey’s Licence is suspended from after the conclusion of racing on Saturday, 22 March 2014, up to and including Thursday, 3 April 2014 – effectively 5 riding days. The five meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Beaumont RC on 24 March, Wanganui JC on 27 March, either Manawatu RC or Southland RC on 29 March, Woodville-Pahiatua RC on 31 March and Otaki-Maori RC on 3 April 2014. 

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