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Whangarei RC 1 September 2018 - R 1 - Request for Ruling - Chair, Mr A Dooley



Informant: Mr M Williamson – Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information No: A11056
Rule: 330 (2)
Meeting: Whangarei Racing Club (heard 29 August 2018 at Matamata)

Judicial Committee: A Dooley, Chair - Mr A Godsalve, Committee Member
Also Present: Mr R Elliot – Apprentice Rider, Mr G Rogerson (via telephone) – Co Trainer of CAPELLANI and employer of Mr R Elliot.
                      Mr T Pike (via telephone) – Trainer of RIPPA EAGLE.

An Information was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson, at the Matamata RC on 29 August 2018 requesting a ruling pursuant to Rule 330(2). The Information alleged that there was a disputed riding engagement for race 1, Northland Rural Mechanical Services at Whangarei RC on Saturday 1 September 2018 for Apprentice Jockey, Mr R Elliot, (CAPELLANI – Team Rogerson or RIPPA EAGLE Mr T Pike).

Rule 330(2) states: “Any dispute with reference to the engagement or engagements of a Rider to ride at a particular Race Meeting or Race Meetings shall be determined by a Judicial Committee at the request of a Stipendiary Steward or any of the parties to the dispute.”

All parties present said that they understood the Rule.

Submissions for Decision

Mr Williamson told the Committee that both Trainers believed that they engaged Apprentice Rider, Mr Elliot to ride their respective horses named in the Information. He said the Stewards put forward an Information for the Judicial Committee to settle the dispute between the 2 Trainers. Mr Williamson advised the Committee that Mr Elliot is currently listed on the NZTR website to ride CAPELLANI, trained by Team Rogerson. He said that earlier in the day Mr Pike had contacted, Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham as he believed that he had engaged Mr Elliot to ride RIPPA EAGLE in race 1. Mr Pike forwarded the text messages to the Stewards to support his case.

The Committee asked Mr Williamson to read out the text message because Mr Rogerson was linked to the hearing via telephone as was Mr Pike. Mr Pike had said in the text message to Mr Elliot that he most likely would have LISMORE DIAMOND in the 1000 and RIPPA EAGLE in the 1200 at Ruakaka on 1 September. Mr Elliot’s response was “oh yeah sweet as I’ll do them”.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Pike stated that the text was sent on 22 August at 12.45 pm.

Mr Rogerson said that on 22 August Mr Elliot was on holiday in Fiji. Mr Rogerson said that Mr Elliot needs to confirm his rides with him as he is apprenticed to him. He said that he told Mr Elliot that he was required to ride two horses for him one of which was in 3YO 1200 metres. He said Mr Elliot had told him that he was booked to ride a 3YO for Mr Pike so Mr Rogerson never put a horse from his stable in the 1000 metres 3YO race. He stated that Mr Elliot has known for the last 4 or 5 days that he is riding one for Team Rogerson in the Maiden 3YO race. Mr Rogerson said that if Mr Pike wants Mr Elliot to ride one of his horses that he has to confirm the engagement with him. Mr Rogerson reiterated “I say what he rides and what he doesn’t”. He said if Mr Elliot has made a mistake he didn’t know about that and under the Rules he has the final say as Mr Elliot’s employer.

Mr Pike said obviously with 2 race meetings in the North Island this Saturday he identified that there was going to be a shortage of riders. Therefore, his racing manager, Dean Williams and Mr Pike rang around 10 days in advance looking for suitable riders for 2 stable runners at Ruakaka. He noted that Mr Elliot had confirmed to him via text messages that he would ride LISMORE DIAMOND and RIPPA EAGLE. He said at no time prior to the rider declarations on Wednesday 29th of August was there any conversation that Mr Elliot would not be riding RIPPA EAGLE. He said that he assumed Mr Elliot was riding both his horses as per the text message on 22 August. He said that it was extremely unfair on himself as the Trainer and also the owner of RIPPA EAGLE to be told of this situation at late notice.

Mr Elliot confirmed that he was on holiday in Fiji on 22 August. He said that he had spoken to Mr Williams, racing manager for Mr Pike, and he had booked 2 rides at Ruakaka on 1 September. He said that he rung Mr Rogerson to check if that was alright.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Elliot conceded that he had booked himself for 2 rides in the same race. He confirmed the first engagement was for Mr Pike. Mr Elliot had nothing further to add.

Mr Rogerson said that Mr Williams was Mr Elliot’s riding agent but he no longer managers Mr Elliot. Mr Rogerson said that Mr Williams knows that he handles all the rides and he has the final say as to which horse he rides.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Elliot confirmed that he relinquished Mr Williams as his manager last year. He added that he currently does not have a manager.

In summing up Mr Pike said that as far as he was concerned Mr Elliot had accepted to ride both RIPPA EAGLE and LISMORE DIAMOND. He said due to communication breakdown from Mr Rogerson’s office or Mr Elliot himself it is a little bit confusing as to how one ride was accepted but one ride was declined. He said none of this information was relayed to him until shortly after the fields were released on Wednesday 29 August. He reiterated that there was a complete lack of communication with one ride being accepted and one ride not accepted.

In summing up Mr Rogerson said that the Pike stable never contacted his office and the only call he received was from Mr Williams once he had declared Mr Elliot for CAPELLANI in race 1.

When given the opportunity to sum up Mr Elliot had nothing to add.

In summing up Mr Williamson said that Mr Pike had an engagement for Mr Elliot to ride RIPPA EAGLE which was confirmed via text message on the 22nd of August. He said at that time Mr Elliot was in Fiji and as far as he is aware Mr Rogerson was not aware of the engagement. Mr Williamson quoted Rule 330(1) and he said that Mr Rogerson is quite correct in that rides may only go through him and he confirms with Mr Elliot. He said that Mr Elliot has put himself in a predicament in accepting a ride without having a clear engagement through Mr Rogerson. He said that is something that the Committee will have to determine as Mr Pike believes he has a firm engagement as well. In conclusion he said this is a difficult case.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Williamson said that Mr Elliot seems to be taking rides on one hand and when it suits Mr Elliot he rides those horses. He said the confusion in this case is that the original ride that Mr Elliot took did not go through Mr Rogerson’s office and that is a very grey area.

Reasons for Decision

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

It is clear that there are communication issues around the confirmation of riding engagements for which Mr Elliot must sort out with the assistance of his employer Mr Rogerson.

The approach that the Committee adopts in relation to making a ruling, is not to direct that a rider must ride a particular horse, but rather, based on the information placed before it along with the New Zealand Rules of Racing, which riding engagement is to take precedence.

It is clear that on the 22nd of August Mr Pike had made contact with Mr Elliot who confirmed via text message the riding engagement for RIPPA EAGLE at Ruakaka on 1 September.

It appears that Mr Elliot had failed to inform his employer Mr G Rogerson of this engagement. The significance of this fact is that Rule 330 (1) provides that an Apprentice Jockey may only be engaged to ride a horse at a Race Meeting with the prior permission of his employer or his employer’s Rider’s Agent.

The evidence presented at the hearing established that Mr Elliot did not get prior permission from his employer Mr Rogerson for him to be engaged to ride RIPPA EAGLE.

The Committee does have some sympathy for Mr Pike because he thought he had followed the correct process in engaging Mr Elliot 10 days prior to the race meeting. However, Mr Pike and Mr Williams did not abide with Rule 330 (1) and get prior permission from Mr Elliot’s employer Mr Rogerson to ride RIPPA EAGLE in race 1.


Under the provisions of Rule 330(1) the Committee determined that Mr Elliot’s engagement for CAPELLANI takes precedence over RIPPA EAGLE.



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