You are here: Home / Race Days / Taranaki RC - 5 September 2019 / Taranaki RI 5 September 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Taranaki RI 5 September 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 06 September 2019

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Ms D Hirini - Apprenticer Rider of HANDSOME BLUE
Ms K Clapperton - Apprentice Riding Mentor
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive Use of the Whip

Following the running of Race 1 (Taranaki & Wanganui Owners Assn Mdn) Information No. A11623 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It was alleged by the Informant Mr Balcombe that Ms Hirini the Rider of HANDSOME BLUE used her whip excessively prior to the 100m.

Ms Hirini confirmed that she understood the Rule after it was read and confirmed that she admitted the breach.

Mr Balcombe showed the film replays and said that Ms Hirini hit her horse 9 times prior to the 100m with a possible break of 3 strides to break it up.

Ms Hirini said that her horse hung the last time she rode it; that she put the stick away and used force on the left rein to try and keep it straight. She said but this made it worse. She said today she used the whip to tickle him up and that he was not much better.

Ms Clapperton said that the horse was a very awkward ride and was trying to run out the whole time. She said the head-on film showed it had its head out all the time and that she herself would have been tempted to do exactly the same thing and that the horse was in contention and looked like he was going to win the race. She said that Ms Hirini had hit the horse, but it was not behind the saddle and that she was only trying to keep it straight. She added that the whip was used in a manner to keep the horse straight and not to beat it up.

At this time of proceedings the Committee became aware that Ms Clapperton had not seen the films prior to the hearing proper, and that Ms Hirini had not been assisted by Ms Clapperton prior to the charge being admitted.

After being given the opportunity by the Judicial Committee to discuss this matter, Ms Hirini requested and was granted approval to change the plea to one of not admitting the breach.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Balcombe was then invited to again give his evidence. He said that the horse HANDSOME BLUE had a tendency to lay out, nevertheless the whip has to be used within the guidelines, if Ms Hirini had have had her hand on the rein and used the whip in a slapping motion down the shoulder that would have been acceptable.

There were no questions from either Ms Clapperton or Ms Hirini for Mr Balcombe.

Ms Hirini said that it was self explanatory really, in that she had her hand on the left rein and the stick on the right hand side, to try and keep him in. She added that the horse did the same thing last time and that he fought her more this time than the previous start. She added that on this occasion she thought she would just try something different.

Ms Clapperton said the whip was used in a slapping motion and that it was not used aggressively and that Ms Hirini did a very good job in trying to keep the horse straight when in a challenging position.

Mr Balcombe concluded by saying that the guidelines are fairly clear.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee in determining this matter looked at the overall picture surrounding the charge of excessive use of the whip by Ms Hirini. There is far more to consider regarding this charge than just counting the number of strikes of the whip.

• The horse had hung outwards at its previous start with Ms Hirini on board.
• On that occasion she tried to correct its line of running by using force on the left rein but this was not successful.
• When the horse showed the same tendency today, Ms Hirini tried something different (slapping down the shoulder).
• We observed that Ms Hirini slapped her mount a total of 9 times with 2 of those slaps being behind the saddle.
• Ms Hirini slapped the horse 3 times, gave a break of 3 strides and then slapped the horse a further 6 times, making the total 9, as outlined by the Informant.

We emphasize the word “slapped” as that is all that it was, with only minimal force used.

Taking all of these matters into account the Committee determined that the whip use was only just outside the guidelines. The Guidelines are just that; guidelines only and as shown today there are other matters to be taken into consideration, such as force or lack thereof. Whilst Ms Hirini used her whip in a slapping motion a total of 9 times, it was the Committee’s opinion that the manner in which she used it did not constitute excessive.

The Committee was concerned that Ms Hirini, being an Apprentice Jockey, was not afforded the opportunity of the C.D. Riding Mentor’s assistance and guidance prior to her entering a plea.

It is an Apprentice Jockey’s fundamental right to be assisted in such matters, and must be adhered to at all times in the interests of correct procedure and fairness.


The charge of Excessive Use of The Whip preferred against Apprentice Rider Ms D Hirini was dismissed.

Document Actions