Ashburton RC 21 December 2022 – R3 – Diego Montes de Oca

ID: RIB14025

Diego Montes de Oca - Apprentice Jockey

Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward

Ms O Jarvis

Persons Present:
Mr Davidson, Mr Montes de Oca, Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Pitman - assisting Mr Montes de Oca, Mr David Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

638(1)(d) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Ashburton Racing Club

Race Location:
Ashburton Racecourse - Racecourse Road, Ashburton, 7700

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Diego Montes de Oca is suspended for 4 days


Following the running of Race 3, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, against Mr Montes de Oca, alleging careless riding, in that he permitted his mount, CATALINA BAY, to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of TRULY which was crowded and checked approaching the 200 metre mark.

Rule 638(1)(d) reads as follows;

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

(d) careless”

 Licensed Class A Trainer, Michael Pitman, was present to assist. Also present was Mr David Walsh.

Mr Montes de Oca had indicated on the Information that this breach of the Rules was admitted, which he confirmed at the hearing. Mr Montes de Oca also acknowledged that he understood the charge and the Rule it was brought under.


Mr Davidson, with the assistance of Mr Oatham, used the race films to show Mr Montes de Oca’s mount travelling outside of Mr Mudhoo’s mount, TRULY. Mr Montes de Oca’s horse was wanting to lay in during the run home, Mr Oatham said that Mr Montes de Oca did correct the horse and then switches his whip into the left hand, however, at that point he has permitted the horse to shift inwards which causes the check to Mr Mudhoo.

Mr Montes de Oca said he had tried his best to keep his line. Mr Pitman agreed there was interference but said that there was no doubt that Mr Montes de Oca had tried to correct the horse and had attempted to straighten the horse with the whip.


As Mr Montes de Oca had admitted the breach, the charge was found to be proved.


Mr Davidson submitted that Mr Montes de Oca had three prior breaches of this Rule. They are as follows:

  • 31 October 2022 where 4 days was imposed for a low-range breach
  • 17 September 2022 where 4 days was imposed for a low to mid-range breach
  • 17 September 2022 where 9 days was imposed for a mid to high-range breach.

Mr Davidson said that up until September he had a very good record under this Rule and submitted that his record would not be considered to be poor. Mr Davidson agreed that the horse was laying in but the carelessness occurred when Mr Montes de Oca switched his whip rather than to continue to hold the rein to keep the horse straight.

Mr Davidson submitted this was a low-range breach and the Stewards agreed that the way the horse was running was a mitigating factor. In reference to the Penalty Guide, Mr Davidson submitted that a starting point of a 5 day suspension was appropriate. Mr Davidson stated that Mr Montes de Oca should receive credit for his admission of the breach and the way the horse was running.

Mr Pitman on behalf of Mr Montes de Oca, said that this is a very busy time for racing and any suspension at this time will be very severe due to the amount of South Island days which would be included for Mr Montes de Oca. Mr Walsh also said it was a busy time of the year.

Mr Montes De Oca requested a deferment of penalty until after 30 December at Kurow where he had riding commitments.


It is agreed that this breach is  low range and accordingly the starting point adopted is a 5 day suspension. It is accepted that Mr Montes De Oca does try to correct his horse, however, when he decided to switch his whip, this has prevented him from keeping his horse straight. Given that his horse had already been trying to shift inwards he should have taken more care to continue keeping it straight. It is, however, accepted that the way the horse was running is a mitigating factor.

A discount of 1 day is appropriate to reflect his frank admission of the breach and the way his mount was running.

A 4 day suspension is the appropriate penalty in this case.

Mr Montes de Oca’s application for a deferment of penalty until after racing at Kurow on 30 December was granted.


Mr Montes de Oca is suspended for 4 days from the end of racing on 30 December 2022 up to and including 3 January 2023.

Decision Date: 21/12/2022

Publish Date: 13/01/2023