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Whakatane RC 1 February 2016 - R 4 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 02 February 2016

ADooley (chair)
Mrs T Thornton - Licensed Rider
Mr J Oatham - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 4, The Beacon 2100, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638 (1)(d). The Informant, Mr Jones, alleged that Mrs Thornton angled her mount SAVY SURFER outwards near the 1,000 metres when not sufficiently clear of DOMINATION which was checked hampering THOUGHTFUL.

Mrs Thornton acknowledged that she understood the Rule and confirmed her admission of the breach.

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

Mr Oatham demonstrated the incident by using the available video footage. He identified that near the 1,000 metres Mrs Thornton angled her mount outwards when only ¾ of a length clear of DOMINATION which was checked forcing THOUGHTFUL wider on the track. He noted that Mrs Thornton did look to her outside prior to angling out but he said she may not have been aware that DOMINATION (Mr Colgan) was improving to her outside.

Mrs Thornton said that her horse over reacted to the incident but conceded that she didn’t realise Mr Colgan was so close to her. She acknowledged that she had misread the situation.


As Mrs Thornton admitted the breach the Committee find the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Jones produced Mrs Thornton’s record which showed 2 previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months. He said Mrs Thornton should be given credit for her early admission of the breach and her relatively good record. He said the level of carelessness was in the low to mid – range.

Mrs Thornton advised that she had upcoming engagements at Waikato on 6 February, and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension. She told the Committee that she was engaged to ride 7 horses at Hastings on 3 February.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The Committee have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The mitigating factors were Mrs Thornton’s admission of the breach and her good record in relation to this Rule for which she has been given credit. However, this has to be balanced against the consequences of Mrs Thornton’s actions which resulted in Mr Colgan having to take a strong hold and check DOMINATION which in turn hampered THOUGHTFUL. The level of carelessness was assessed in the low to mid – range.

The Committee was mindful that Mrs Thornton would miss riding at a Premier meeting on 13 February and was able to verify that she was booked for rides on an Industry day at Hastings on 3 February.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considers an appropriate suspension was 4 days.


The Committee grants Mrs Thornton's request to seek a deferment to her suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Mrs Thornton had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 6 February and conclude after racing on 14 February 2016 (4 North Island days).

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