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Wellington RC 23 May 2015 - R 5

Created on 28 May 2015

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr J Oliver - Licensed Apprentice Jockey
Mr R Hannam - Licensed Jockey assisting Mr Oliver
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 5, Bluebridge the Cook Straight Ferry Premier, an Information was lodged by Mr J Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) in that J Oliver the rider of OPERA KNIGHT allowed his mount to shift outwards near the 200 metres checking SARABI (R Myers).

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

Mr Oliver is apprenticed to trainers Keith and Brendon Hawtin but, in their absence, was assisted during the hearing by senior rider, Mr R Hannam.

The incident that led to the charge occurred in the home straight. OPERA KNIGHT (J Oliver) and IT’S A WONDER (K Myers) were in the lead when SARABI ridden by Miss Rosie Myers came from behind to mount a run between the two front runners. There was ample room for her to do so but as she moved into the gap Mr Oliver’s mount OPERA KNIGHT drifted outwards closing the gap. Ms Myers was forced to change ground to the inside of Mr Oliver where she ran on to finish in third place.


As Mr Oliver admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham was invited to make submissions on penalty and asked to produce Mr Oliver’s riding record.

This showed two careless riding charges within the last 6 months:
4/6/14 6 day suspension
27/12/14 5 days

Mr Oatham told the committee that Mr Oliver was making good steady progress as an apprentice rider and was riding extensively around the country. He had admitted the breach at the first opportunity and the Stewards described the degree of carelessness in the mid/low range.

Mr Hannam said Mr Oliver had improved immensely over the last 6 – 8 months, today’s incident was quite minor and he thought a four day suspension was an appropriate penalty. Mr Oliver said he believed a four day suspension was fair.

Reasons For Penalty:

In coming to a decision on penalty the committee took into account all of the submissions presented and adopted as a starting point a five day suspension. Mitigating factors are Mr Oliver’s admission of the breach, his good record and the degree of carelessness. The connections of SARABI did look at lodging a protest against Mr Oliver’s horse but did not proceed past initial viewing of the films. Mr Oliver was definitely careless in allowing his mount to drift outwards however he did make an attempt to straighten it, albeit too late. In our opinion the degree of carelessness was towards the lower end and considering all other factors the committee decided a four day suspension appropriate on this occasion.

After contacting his agent Mr Oliver advised of riding commitments within the next 7 days and requested any suspension be deferred until after that period. He provided recent examples of where he had been riding throughout the North and South Islands. Mr Oatham added that he had been riding for Mr Sean Cameron who has been campaigning horses down south.


Accordingly, Mr Oliver is suspended from riding from the conclusion of racing on Saturday May 30th, up to and including racing on Thursday June 4th. The days included in this suspension are:

31/5/15 Otago
1/6/15 Ellerslie/Wairarapa
3/6/15 Matamata
4/6/15 Taranaki

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