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Waikato RC 24 October 2020 - R 6 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr BJ Scott

Created on 28 October 2020

BScott (chair)
Owners of MADAM HASS
Ms D Johnson - Rider of FESTIVITY
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
Mr S Weatherley - Rider of MADAM HASS
Mr D Ellis - Represnting the connections of FESTIVITY
Mr R Wellwood - Co Trainer of MADAM HASS
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Following the running of the PAK'NSAVE CLARENCE ST 1200, an Information instigating a protest was lodged by Ms D Johnson, the Rider of the second placed horse FESTIVITY against the first placing of MADAM HASS on the grounds of interference in the final straight.

Rule 642(1) provides : If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference within the meaning of this Rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with.

For the purposes of Rule 642 interference is defined as :

(1)  a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse

      at the time of crossing.

(2)  a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by some other horse or Rider or that

      the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault ; or

(3)  a horse itself , or its Rider , in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race , unless it is

      proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered

      with was partially at fault.

Ms Johnson the Rider of FESTIVITY was present at the hearing and was accompanied by Mr D Ellis the Principal of Te Akau Racing and he was representing the connections of FESTIVITY.

Mr S Weatherley the Rider of MADAM HASS was present at the hearing and he was accompanied by Mr R Wellwood the Co Trainer of MADAM HASS and he represented the connections of that horse.

At the beginning of the hearing the Committee explained that there were two parts to a protest that had to be satisfied if the protest was to be successful. The first was that the Committee had to be satisfied that interference had occurred and the second was that the Committee had to be satisfied that but for the interference the horse interfered with would have beaten the horse that caused the interference.

The Parties acknowledged that they understood the protest requirements.

Ms Johnson demonstrated the incident by use of the race films. She said that she was racing one off the fence and that on the final corner her horse was run off by MADAM HASS and this put her horse off balance. She then said that MADAM HASS kept coming towards her and as a result she was unable to use her whip and had to change it to the right hand. She said that she should be able to race without being dictated to by the horse inside her.

Ms Johnson pointed out that the margin at the finish was only a nose and if she had have been able to ride her horse out she would have beaten MADAM HASS.

Mr Ellis then said to the Committee that he watched the race side on but that it wasn't until he saw a head on replay of the final straight that he realised the significance of the movement of the horses concerned. He said that FESTIVITY was entitled to maintain its line in the straight. He further said that FESTIVITY had received quite a bump from MADAM HASS at about the 150 metres mark. He further said that

if the margin at the finish was 1 length then it would have no bearing but the margin was a nose and it had a massive bearing. Mr Ellis believed that FESTIVITY was pushed out 6 to 7 horse widths.

Mr Weatherley said that his horse is not an easy horse to ride and around the turn it was hanging but he had not intended to come out. He said that his horse had not straightened properly but he did not believe that there was any contact between the two horses. He said that

FESTIVITY had run away from his horse under strong riding and he further said that his horse was well and truly headed by Ms Johnson's horse. He then went on to say that he didn't believe that there was interference and that Ms Johnson having headed his horse was going better at that stage. He also said that Ms Johnson did not stop riding her horse.

Mr Wellwood said that he agreed with Mr Weatherley's evidence and said that both horses naturally rolled out on the corner. He said that there was no contact between the 2 horses and that when FESTIVITY ran wide it was through no fault of MADAM HASS.

Mr Wellwood further said that after being headed MADAM HASS picked itself up and won on her merits.

Mr Williamson said that MADAM HASS had run out and dictated FESTIVITY wider on the corner  and he also said that there was minor contact in the straight when FESTIVITY shifted in and MADAM HASS  shifted out.

He said that the Committee had to be satisfied that FESTIVITY  "would " have beaten MADAM HASS rather than "may" have beaten.

Submissions For Decision:

The Parties relied on their evidence with Ms Johnson and Mr Ellis believing that the chances of FESTIVITY were affected by the movement of MADAM HASS and Mr Weatherley and Mr Wellwood submitting otherwise.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee spent some time reviewing the race films. Special attention was given to the head on film. The movement on the corner was, in our view, not significant as it happens in most races and did not have a bearing on the finish.

The head on film showed that although the horses came close together at one stage there was no contact.

In our view it was significant that FESTIVITY headed MADAM HASS in the straight and MADAM HASS came back to win the race. We believe Ms Johnson did not stop riding and also that when FESTIVITY ran wide in the straight it was not caused by MADAM HASS.

We are doubtful that there was significant interference but in any event we do not believe that the chances of FESTIVITY were affected.


The protest is dismissed. It is ordered that Dividends and Stakes be paid in accordance with the Judge's placings.

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