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Wellington RC 19 January 2019 - R 6 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 21 January 2019

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
NMoffatt (chair)
NMcCutcheon
Name(s):
Mr L Innes - Licensed Class A Rider
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A12121
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 6 (Gazely Mercedes Benz Premier), an Information was lodged by Mr John Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) in that L Innes the rider of EFFERVESCENT allowed his mount to shift inwards near the 200m when not clear of WHATSUP (S McKay) which clipped heels and fell.

At the outset of the hearing, Mr Innes confirmed to the Committee that he understood the charge and that he admitted the breach.

Mr Oatham had Mr Goodwin show all available films. He identified Mr Innes on EFFERVESCENT wide out on the track with Mr McKay behind and to his inside. Other riders affected were Ms S Spratt, Mr C Johnson and Mr V Colgan.

With the video on pause, Mr Goodwin showed that there was plenty of room for Mr McKay to improve into to the inside of EFFERVESCENT (L Innes). The head-on video played in slow motion showed where Mr Innes commenced to shift inwards, while under a ride, and as a result, Mr McKay clipped the heels of EFFERVESCENT and fell. Three other runners in behind were severely affected. These were POPPY STAR (V Colgan), TOP OF THE STRAIGHT (C Johnson) and IN SEGRETO (S Spratt). Mr Goodwin said there did not appear to be any outward movement from any other runner. It was only Mr Innes’ inward movement that caused the incident.

Mr Innes explained that the incident happened very quickly. As his horse came into the straight, it was on one rein, and he wasn’t expecting it to run out. He gave it a slap on the shoulder, and it ducked in. Mr Innes identified a line across the track at approximately the 200m where people had been crossing, and he said, while this didn’t cause the incident, it also didn’t help.

Decision:

As Mr Innes admitted the breach the charge was deemed proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham presented Mr Innes’ riding record over the last 12 months. This showed the following suspensions for careless riding:
27/1/18 12 days
23/9/18 6 days
3/11/18 5 days
5/1/19 7 days

Mr Oatham said Mr Innes had been on an inward movement for some distance before the incident occurred. He described the fall as “nasty” and said three other runners had also been taken out of the race as a result.

Mr Oatham quoted the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees saying that careless riding causing a fall had a starting point of four weeks suspension. The submission of the Stewards was for a suspension somewhere within that range.

Mr Innes said he felt sick about the incident. He knew straight away there had been a fall and the video showed him looking around immediately after it happened. Mr Innes repeated his earlier comments that as he came into the straight, his horse was laying out but shifted in after he gave it a couple of slaps to the neck. Mr Innes said as soon as the incident happened he tried his best to relieve the pressure, but it was too late. He pointed out a line across the track where people had been crossing which his horse may have been looking at before the fall.

Mr Innes advised of riding engagements through until Saturday, January 26th and at the same time reminded the Committee that there were still some big races coming up after that.

Reasons For Penalty:

In considering penalty, the Committee adopted the starting point of 4 weeks for careless riding resulting in a fall as outlined by The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees.

An aggravating factor for today’s breach was, in addition to the fallen horse, three other runners suffered severe interference and were effectively put out of the contest. It was extremely fortunate that all riders and horses escaped serious injury.

We placed the degree of carelessness in the upper midrange category based on Mr Innes’ actions of continuing to ride his mount out, while moving inwards, without taking any discernible corrective action. No other runner contributed to the incident. We did not accept that the line of disrupted grass on the track, identified by Mr Innes, had any bearing on the incident.

Mr Innes’ recent record is also considered an aggravating factor. He was suspended in September, November and January, with this being his first day back riding following a seven-day suspension for careless riding.

The only mitigating factor was Mr Innes’ ready admission of the breach.

Taking all matters into account, the Committee determined that an uplift of one week from the starting point was appropriate on this occasion and imposed a penalty of five weeks suspension.

Penalty:

Accordingly, Mr Innes’ jockey’s license is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday, January 26th up to and including racing on Saturday, March 2nd. The Committee had regard to the fact that this period of suspension includes five premier days.

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