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R Te Aroha 30 October 2019 - R 3 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 31 October 2019

ADooley (chair)
Mr L Innes - Rider of ITSY BITSY
Mr C Grylls - Rider of TABATA
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 3, Levena (Hines) Laird 100th Birthday 1400, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Mr Williamson, alleged that Mr Innes permitted his mount ITSY BITSY to shift out near the 500 metres when not sufficiently clear of TABATA which was hampered and forced wide.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Mr Innes denied the breach and acknowledged that he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Jones demonstrated the alleged incident using the available video films. He identified on the side on film that near the 500 metres Mr Innes angled ITSY BITSY’s head outwards, rode forward and made firm contact with TABATA. He said as a result TABATA was hampered and forced wider on the track. He said that ITSY BITSY was no more than ½ a length clear of TABATA at the time of the alleged incident.

Mr Innes did not wish to cross examine Mr Jones’ evidence.

Mr Williamson called Mr Grylls, the rider of TABATA as a witness. He said that his horse was laying out just prior to the home turn. He said that he received contact from ITSY BITSY when Mr Innes “was coming out”. He said this resulted in TABATA being pushed out wider on the track.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Grylls said that ITSY BITSY was a neck in front of TABATA when the contact occurred.

Mr Innes opened his submissions by saying the incident doesn’t look good on the video films. He said that ITSY BITSY run out when he gave his mount a “dig”. He said that his mount over reacted and stated that he did not steer his mount outward. He said ITSY BITSY’s outward movement was out of his control and he should not get the blame for his horse not taking the bend. He said the incident happened when coming into the bend at the top of the 500 metre straight. He added that both ITSY BITSY and TABATA did not take the bend well.

In summing up Mr Williamson said that TABATA took the home bend awkwardly and ITSY BITSY improved to the outside of GUS THE MAVERICK. He said that Mr Innes directed his mount out near the 500 metres and then rode his mount forward. He said as a result ITSY BITSY shifted out abruptly and made contact with TABATA which forced that runner wider on the track. He accepted that both horses over reacted to the incident but reiterated that Mr Innes was never the required distance clear to shift ground. He added that had Mr Innes not shifted ground the incident would not have happened.

In summing up Mr Innes said that both horses were green and he reiterated that he did not steer ITSY BITSY outward. He said that his mount run out.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented and reviewed the video films of the alleged incident.

The Committee found that passing the 600 metres ITSY BITSY was racing in the trail with TABATA a neck in arrears on its outside. Shortly after TABATA moved up to a 3 wide position and it had a tendency to lay out. Mr Innes then angled ITSY BITSY outwards on the point of the home straight when only a neck in front of TABATA. As a consequence ITSY BITSY made contact with TABATA which was hampered and forced wider on the track. It was quite clear on the video films that Mr Innes permitted his mount to shift out at least 4 horse widths near the 500 metres. Mr Innes failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference to TABATA.

Mr Innes placed considerable emphasis on the fact that ITSY BITSY run out and he did not steer his mount out. The obligation and responsibility is upon Mr Innes in that a horse crossing another horse must be at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing. This Rule is designed to protect the safety of horse and rider which is paramount.


For the reasons detailed above the Committee found the charge against Mr Innes proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Innes’ record which showed 4 previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being 17 August 2019. He said Mr Innes' record was average and the gravity of the incident was excelled due to the greenness of the horses. However he said that Mr Innes shifted ground when insufficiently clear of TABATA. He described the level of carelessness as low to mid-range and submitted a suspension of 6 to 7 days would be an appropriate penalty.

Mr Innes said that he should not get an extra day added on to his suspension because he defended the charge. He requested a 7 day deferment so he could fulfil his engagements during the next week. He submitted that his suspension would encompass 2 Premier race meetings at Christchurch.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

After reviewing the video films, as detailed above, the Committee deemed the level of carelessness displayed by Mr Innes was low to mid-range.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a low to mid-range breach is 7 national days which was adopted.

There can be no discount applied for admission of the breach however, similarly the Committee apply no uplift for the fact that the charge was defended, as that is Mr Innes’ right.

Mr Innes’ record under this Rule in the last 12 months is not good nevertheless it was deemed to be a neutral factor on this occasion. However, any further careless riding breaches in the near future would be considered an aggravating factor.

The Committee adopted the view that the importance of upcoming Premier meetings should be in the forefront of jockeys’ minds, causing them to be even more determined not to breach the Rules.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 7 national riding days.


The Committee granted a deferment to Mr Innes’ suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, the Committee suspended Mr Innes’ license to ride in races for the period to commence after racing on 6 November 2019 and conclude after racing on 15 November 2019.

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