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Avondale JC 26 April 2021 – R 1 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 27 April 2021

GJones (chair)
Miss D Johnson - Rider of ZOUPERB
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

This charge arises from the running of Race 1, the Tulloch Café 1400. Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Williamson filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the Rider of “ZOUPERB (D Johnson), allowed her mount to shift in over the concluding stages when insufficiently clear of CANNSEA CLEARLY (T Yanagida), which was checked”.

Miss Johnson acknowledged 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.

Using the available race films Stipendiary Steward Mr Coles demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders relevant to the charge; namely from the outside in, ZOUPERB (D Johnson), CANNSEA CLEARLY (T Yanagida) CHRISTOPHE VERMER (M Hashizume).

Mr Coles told the Committee that in the run up the home straight inside the final 100 metres CHRISTOPHE VERMER, who was on the rails, shifted outward about 2-horse widths until it was straightened by its Rider Mr Hashizume. He said that Miss Johnson on the outside continued to ride forward and crowded CANNSEA CLEARLY who had to be checked close to the finish line.

Mr Coles demonstrated that at the time of the inward shift ZOUPERB was no more than ½ to ¾ of a length clear of CANNSEA CLEARLY.

In response, Miss Johnson stated that she accepted her mount rolled inward but the shift was right on the finish line. She added that in her opinion the inside horse (CHRISTOPHE VERNER) contributed to the crowding of CANNSEA CLEARLY.


As Miss Johnson admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Miss Johnson's riding record which indicated 2 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months. The most recent occurred on 27 March 2021 and resulted in a 3-day suspension and $400 fine. Both previous breaches were assessed to be in the low range.

Mr Williamson submitted that prior to the recent breaches Miss Johnson had a clear record over the preceding 6 months and she is an extremely busy Rider having had 785 rides this current season. For that reason, he described her overall record as being excellent.

Mr Williamson said Stewards assessed Miss Johnson's level of carelessness to be low range. He added the incident occurred on or just after the winning post and had Miss Johnson stopped riding and straightened her mount, she may not have won the race.

Miss Johnson sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 1 May 2021. In relation to penalty, she submitted that it is unfortunate that the meeting at Otaki on 7 May 2021 has been cancelled, thus reducing the number of riding days that may be counted in any proposed suspension. She submitted that she would like to be back riding for the meeting on 8 May 2021 as this is the last meeting for the season offering Black Type races. She added that she is a busy Rider who has a very good riding record.

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film, the Committee determined Miss Johnson's carelessness to be in the low range and adopted a 4-day (suspension) and $250 (fine) as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide. 

The available films clearly established that Miss Johnson allowed her mount to shift in when it was under pressure and vying for the lead over the concluding stages of the race. Miss Johnson permitted her mount to shift in when no more than 3/4 length clear of CANNSEA CLEARLY who was hampered and checked. Although the check occurred as the field passed the winning post Miss Johnson's mount commenced to drift inward from the 50 metres and she ought to have been more proactive in taking the necessary corrective action.

Miss Johnson is currently leading the Jockeys Premiership; she is an extremely busy Rider and has an excellent record given her number of race rides (785 this season). This breach is her third in 16 months and fourth in 3 years. Therefore, based on the ratio of charges to race rides her record is excellent. Thus, in acknowledgement of her record and her admission of the breach she is afforded a 1-day penalty reduction from the 4-day starting point. The fact that Mr Johnson's mount won the race is assessed as an aggravating factor for which an uplift is applied to her fine.

After considering the above factors the Committee imposed a 3-day suspension and $500 fine. The fine represents a $250 uplift from the starting point.


The Committee granted Miss Johnson a deferment to her suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2). Accordingly, her licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 3 days commencing after racing on 1 May 2021 and concluding after racing on 6 May 2021. In addition, a $500 fine is imposed.

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