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Wanganui JC 4 July 2019 – R 1 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 08 July 2019

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr M Cropp -
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of whip

Following Race 1 (Alsco Maiden Highweight 2050) Mr Balcombe lodged an information with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638 (3) (b) (ii) in that M Cropp used the whip excessively on his mount HANDSOME BLUE prior to the 100 metres.

Mr Oatham ran the videos and counted Mr Cropp using the whip thirteen times prior to the 100m mark. He said while the number of strikes was well above the guidelines, they were backhands and not significantly forceful. Mr Oatham also showed where Mr Cropp had paused his whip use for a few strides within those thirteen strikes.

Mr Cropp was satisfied with Mr Oatham’s description of the breach.


As Mr Cropp admitted the breach, the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Balcombe said this was Mr Cropp’s first breach of the rule in approximately three years. He placed today’s breach at below midrange due to the absence of significant force and the fact that there were breaks within the thirteen-strike period. Mr Balcombe said the Stewards were not seeking an increase on the Penalty Guide start point.

Mr Cropp asked the Committee to consider his good record and to impose the minimum penalty available.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees provides the following starting points for breaches of Rule 638(3) (b) (ii):

1st breach                           $300
2nd breach                          $500
3rd or subsequent breach    6-8 national riding days

In determining penalty, the Committee considered all submissions. We took into account both the number of strikes and the manner in which Mr Cropp used the whip. We would consider 13 strikes delivered in a continuous pattern to be an aggravating factor; however, there were two periods of approximately three strides where Mr Cropp did not use the whip. In addition, we heard evidence that Mr Cropp did not use undue force, and the videos tend to support this view. We placed the breach in the lower range. There were no aggravating factors requiring an uplift from the starting point.


Accordingly, Mr Cropp is fined the sum of $300.

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