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Waikato RC 8 May 2021 – R 1 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 10 May 2021

Rules:
638(4)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
BScott
Name(s):
Mr M Cropp - Rider of SOUTHERN COOL
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A14034
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Unreasonably slowed the pace
Evidence:

This charge arises from the running of Race 1, the Pike Racing Punters Challenge Opener (2800 m maiden hurdle). Stipendiary Steward, Mr Jones filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(4) alleging the rider of SOUTHERN COOL (M Cropp) “unreasonably slowed the pace in the early stages causing interference to CARNABY.”

Mr Cropp was present at the hearing. He acknowledged that he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

Rule 638(4) provides:

A Rider shall not unreasonably slow, reduce or check the speed of his or her horse to a degree that interferes, either directly or indirectly, with any other horse in the race. [Amended 1 August 2017)

Using the available race films Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and riders concerned; namely SOUTHERN COOL (M Cropp), THE FOT (L Douglas) and CARNABY (J Seivwright).

Mr Williamson told the Committee that SOUTHERN COOL led the field over the first jump after which he immediately restrained his mount. He said that at the time SOUTHERN COOL was on the fence and it was “a dramatic restraint”. He eased back through the field and caused interference to CARNABY who had to be checked. Mr Williamson said that at the same time other horses who were racing in behind had to be restrained to varying degrees, but CARNABY was worst affected. He added that this in part was due to another horse near the lead (THE FOT) also being eased by its rider (which was the subject of a similar charge – refer Information 14035).

By way of explanation, Mr Cropp advised that his riding instructions were that he was not to lead, and when he landed in front after the first fence, he took hold and eased back.

Decision:

As Mr Cropp admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Jones produced Mr Cropp's riding record which indicated no previous breaches under the Rule in the last 12 months. He said that the Rule came into force 3 or 4 years ago and there have since been a limited number of charges. He referred to the fact that Class A Rider, L Hemi was charged with a breach of the same Rule on 1 May 2021 and received a 3-day suspension.
Mr Jones submitted that due to the fact the ‘jumps’ riders have limited riding opportunities a suspension in the vicinity of 1 to 2 days would be appropriate on this occasion.
Mr Cropp did not seek a deferment to any proposed suspension. He said that in mitigation, his mount had over-reacted to his restraint and pointed to the fact that another horse (THE FOT) was also restrained by its rider and contributed.

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film, the Committee determined Mr Cropp’s culpability to be in the low to mid-range. The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a breach of this Rule is 6 to 8 days.

In consideration of penalty, we have taken into account the following factors:
1. This Rule is part of the Careless Riding ‘family of offences’, and we are mindful that since this Rule came into force in 2017 there has been a reduction in penalties for careless riding.
2. We are mindful that jumps riders have limited riding opportunities compare to flat riders; and
3. For consistency we have noted the 3-day suspension imposed on rider L Hemi for a similar breach on 1 May 2021.

The race films clearly show that after jumping the first fence in the lead, Mr Cropp took a strong hold of his mount and slowed the paced. A number of horses, including CARNABY were inconvenienced as a result.
After considering Mr Cropp’s admission of breach, his good record, and the above factors the Committee deemed that an appropriate suspension was 2 (national jumps) days.

Penalty:

Mr Cropp’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 2 days commencing after racing on 8 May 2021 and concluding after racing on 14 May 2021.

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