You are here: Home / Race Days / Canterbury Racing - 4 December 2015 / Canterbury R 4 December 2015 - R 7 - Chair, R McKenzie

Canterbury R 4 December 2015 - R 7 - Chair, R McKenzie

Created on 08 December 2015

RMcKenzie (chair)
H K Bennett
Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
N W Coulbeck
Licensed Trainer (Class A)
Mr J M McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
J P Oatham
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 7, Winning Edge Open Handicap, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Miss H K Bennett, alleging that Miss Bennett, as the rider of PINSGOLD in the race, “shifted ground outwards near the 500 metres when not clear causing RIVERTAINE COUP (C W Johnson) to be severely checked”.

Miss Bennett was present at the hearing of the information and she indicated that she admitted the breach. Miss Bennett was assisted at the hearing by Licensed Trainer (Class A), Mr N W Coulbeck.

Rule 638 provides as follows:

(1) A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:

     (d) careless.

Mr Oatham had Stipendiary Steward, Mr J M McLaughlin, show video replays of the incident with approximately 500 metres to run of the 1200 metres race. He pointed out PINSGOLD, ridden by Miss Bennett, racing on the rail beyond midfield, with RIVERTAINE COUP, ridden by Mr Johnson, outside of and just behind that runner. Mr McLaughlin then pointed out Miss Bennett shift her mount off the inside, from behind the runner in front of her, when only a bare length clear of Mr Johnson, which resulted in a severe check to RIVERTAINE COUP. There was nowhere for Mr Johnson to go, Mr McLaughlin submitted, and his mount was lucky to stay on its feet.

Mr Coulbeck said that it was Miss Bennett’s first ride on PINSGOLD, which was not the easiest horse to ride. She was racing in tight quarters at the time and Miss Bennett may have lacked the experience to realise that Mr Johnson was close behind her, he said.

Miss Bennett said that the horse was travelling very well and she just wanted to get out, but did not check before doing so.


Miss Bennett having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that this was Miss Bennett’s first charge on any matter. He submitted that inexperience had played a “fair part” and Miss Bennett was obviously on a horse that was travelling well.

It was clearly a misjudgement on Miss Bennett’s part, Mr Oatham submitted, and taking into account her inexperience and her early admission of the breach, a suspension “towards the lower end of the scale” was appropriate.

Miss Bennett told the Committee that this was her 67th raceday ride.

It was established that Miss Bennett was a South Island rider. She told the Committee that she not seek a deferment of any suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

Miss Bennett is a South Island rider and, in the case of a South Island rider, the Penalty Guide provides for a starting point of a 3 days’ suspension for a breach of the careless riding Rule. The Committee adopted that as a starting point in this case.

The Committee put the breach down, principally, to Miss Bennett’s inexperience and expects that she will learn from it. Other compelling mitigating factors were Miss Bennett’s admission of the breach and her previous good record.

The Committee determined that she was entitled to a discount of 1 day from the starting point of  days for those factors. 


Miss Bennett’s Apprentice Jockey’s licence was suspended for a period commencing after the close of racing on 4 December 2015 up to and including Saturday, 12 December 2015 - 2 riding days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the suspension are Otago RC on 9 December and Southland RC on 12 December.

Document Actions