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South Canterbury RC 28 December 2018 - R 8 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 31 December 2018

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
GClapp
Name(s):
Mr L Callaway - Licsensed Jockey Class A
Mr CA Cambell - Rider of STIRLING LADY
Mr MR Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr JM McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A5745
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 8, Dominator Doors & Onceuponatime Maiden 1600, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr JM McLaughlin, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Mr L Callaway, alleging that Mr Callaway, as the rider of WE BE JAMMIN in the race, “allowed his mount to shift in when not clear of STIRLING LADY (C A Campbell) who clipped a heel and blundered badly passing the 1300 metres”.

Mr Callaway was present at the hearing of the Information. He had indicated on the information form that he admitted the breach but, before the commencement of the hearing, he sought leave to change his plea and deny the charge. Leave was granted.

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.

Submission For Decision:

Mr McLaughlin began by calling Jockey, Mr CA Campbell, rider of STIRLING LADY in the race. Mr Campbell said that approaching the bend, 300 metres after the start, jockeys were jostling for positions. Mr Callaway had crossed in front of him and he had clipped the heel of Mr Callaway’s mount and become unbalanced. Mr Callaway was a “generous length” clear when he crossed. Mr Campbell said that his mount had clipped heels and almost fallen. He had lost his inside iron for some distance. His mount lost all chance. On returning to scale, he said, Mr Callaway’s mount had gallop marks on its hind legs from the incident.

Stipendiary Steward, Mr MR Davidson, then showed video replays of the incident. He pointed out the two runners. Mr Callaway was on a forward move around Mr Campbell whose mount clipped the heel of Mr Callaway’s mount and became clearly unbalanced, nearly unseating Mr Campbell, Mr Davidson said. Mr Callaway had come from a 4-wide position and taken the line of Mr Callaway’s mount, he said.

Mr Campbell said that his horse’s head was turned in just before it stumbled, because he had been forced to take evasive action. He was looking inside to see whether there was a runner inside as he did not wish to cause interference. He had been established in the 3-wide line and Mr Callaway admitted that he had ended up in front of Mr Campbell.

Mr Callaway submitted that Mr Campbell’s mount had not actually clipped heels and the videos showed that he was clear of Mr Campbell’s mount at the time. The marks on his horse’s legs were too high to have been caused by another runner clipping heels, he said. He believed that Mr Campbell’s mount had stumbled free of interference. The films did not show that he was not clear of Mr Campbell when he crossed, he said. He believed that the replays showed that he was clear.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee has carefully listened to the evidence and submissions of the parties and we have carefully viewed the available video replays of the incident.

The Committee was faced with a conflict of evidence. On the one hand, Mr Campbell’s evidence we found to be quite compelling when he said that his mount had clipped the heels of Mr Callaway’s mount when it crossed him when barely his own length clear. Mr Callaway’s evidence, on the other hand, was to the effect that he had been clear when he crossed Mr Campbell and that Mr Campbell’s mount had blundered free of interference.

The video evidence (we saw two angles) was not completely decisive but the Committee found Mr Campbell’s evidence to be quite compelling and we were satisfied it was borne out by the replays that we did see. Mr Callaway’s evidence we found to be unconvincing. He was asking us to accept that it was a coincidence that Mr Campbell’s mount had blundered at the precise moment that Mr Callaway crossed. We could not accept that it was a coincidence. The facts speak for themselves.

We are satisfied that Mr Callaway has crossed Mr Campbell’s mount, some 300 metres after the start, when not the required his own length and another length clear. The consequence of Mr Callaway’s actions was that Mr Campbell was forced to take evasive action and, in doing so, his mount clipped the heels of Mr Callaway’s mount, which was not clear, causing Mr Campbell’s mount to stumble and almost fall. We believe that Mr Campbell showed commendable horsemanship skills to avoid what was potentially a rather nasty incident involving a fall.

The Committee is comfortably satisfied that Mr Callaway has ridden carelessly on this occasion and the charge is found proved.

Decision:

The charge is found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr McLaughlin said that Mr Callaway has two breaches of the careless riding Rule in the last 12 months on his record – on 25 May 2018 at Otago (4 days) and on 2 December 2018 at Otago (mid-range, 7 days).

Stewards saw the present breach as being high-end, Mr McLaughlin said. He submitted that a term of suspension of not less than the Penalty Guide starting point of 10 days for a high-end breach was appropriate.

Mr Callaway said that his horse had been “running around” and had blinkers off for the first time. He submitted that his record of two suspensions in the last 12 months was “pretty good”, considering the amount of riding he has been doing. A 10-day suspension would be harsh given those factors, he submitted. A suspension of that length would put him out for the entire West Coast circuit (commencing 5 January 2019). It would be a significant loss of income, he said. He described the breach as being “marginal”.

Mr Callaway sought a deferment of suspension to enable him to fulfil riding engagements at the meeting of Central Otago RC on 3 January 2019.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee has already expressed its view of the incident in its Reasons for Decision (above). It was a bad piece of riding by Mr Callaway and certainly at the high-end on a scale of carelessness. Having found that, the Penalty Guide provides a starting point for penalty for such a breach of a 10-days suspension. That is an appropriate starting point in this case. There are no aggravating factors. We have taken Mr Callaway’s record as being a neutral factor.

There are no mitigating factors.

Accordingly, there is no need in this case for the Committee to depart from the Penalty Guide starting point referred to.

Penalty:

The Committee grants Mr Callaway’s application for a deferment, it being satisfied that he has riding engagements at the meeting of Central Otago RC on 3 January 2019.

Mr Callaway’s Jockey’s Licence (Class A) is suspended for a period from after the conclusion of racing on 3 January 2019, up to and including 16 January 2019 – 10 national riding days.

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