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Whangarei RC 11 August 2019 - R 2 - Chair, Mr A Smith

Created on 12 August 2019

ASmith (chair)
Mr J Riddell - Class A Rider
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

This charge arises from the running of race 2, Fell Engineering. Stipendiary Steward Mr B Jones filed an information pursuant to Rule 638(1) (d) alleging Senior Rider J Riddell (DROPS OF JUPITER) angled his mount out when insufficiently clear of SWEET SEREIA which was crowded and steadied near the 350 metres.

Mr Riddell acknowledged that he understood the nature of the charge and the Rule. He also confirmed that he did admit the breach.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides that:

A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Stipendiary Steward Mr Williamson identified the alleged incident using available video footage. He referred to the horses involved, namely DROPS OF JUPITER and SWEET SEREIA.

Mr Williamson said that near the 350m, DROPS OF JUPITER was looking to find a run one off the rails with SWEET SEREIA to its outside. In doing so Mr Riddell permitted his mount to shift out and crowd SWEET SEREIA when only ½ a length clear. He said that the rider of SWEET SEREIA (C.Grylls) had to take a hold of his mount to avoid the heels of DROPS OF JUPITER.

In response Mr Riddell, said he agreed with the Stewards' assessment but added that his horse was big and green and in his view the push out was competitive riding.


Mr Riddell has admitted the breach and it is therefore proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Jones said the breach was a result of misjudgement on Mr Riddell’s part and Stewards assessed the carelessness to be in the very low range.

Mr Jones said an aggravating factor was Mr Riddell’s record, which showed 7 previous breaches in the past 12 months, tempered only by the fact that 2 of these breaches have occurred in the last 8 months. Mr Jones submitted a 6 day starting point.

In response Mr Riddell said that his poor record was frustrating and he had sought help. He accepts that it remains a work in progress but believes that his frequency of offending has improved as a result of the help he is receiving.

In terms of any proposed penalty Mr Riddell highlighted the fact that the first day of the Hastings premier meeting was on Saturday 31 August and that it would be disproportionate if the penalty included this meeting as it was a low end breach. When asked about his pending commitments Mr Riddell initially thought that he may have an unconfirmed engagement for Te Rapa on the 17th of August. After conferring with his manager it was established that his only confirmed commitment was for the meeting at Te Aroha on the 14th of August.

Reasons For Penalty:

In assessing penalty the Committee has taken into account the submissions and video footage provided.

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees recommends that the starting point for low range breach is 6 riding days.

On reviewing the video film the Committee found that Mr Riddell angled his mount into the running line of SWEET SEREIA when not the required distance clear. Although SWEET SEREIA had to be steadied it was not a sharp check nor was the outward movement abrupt.

Accordingly the Committee assesses the carelessness to be in the low range and adopt a 6 day suspension as a starting point.

The Committee identified, that while Mr Riddell’s riding record is poor it did note that of his seven previous breaches, five of these occurred almost ten months ago. The committee treat Mr Riddell’s record as an aggravating factor and apply a three day uplift.

We afford Mr Riddell a 1 day penalty reduction for his admission of the breach and when taking all matters into account, determine that an 8 day penalty is appropriate.


Pursuant to rule 1106(2) the Committee grants Mr Riddell a deferment until after racing on 14th August 2019. Accordingly Mr Riddell’s license is suspended from after racing on 14th August 2019 to the conclusion of racing on the 30th August 2019. (8 National Days).

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