Ashburton RC 21 December 2022 – R5 – Diego Montes de Oca

ID: RIB14037

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

Used whip with an action that raised arm above shoulder height

638(3)(f)(ii) - Contravention whip rule


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 fined $500


Following the running of Race 5, the Respondent, Mr Diego Montes de Oca, admitted a charge alleging that he had struck his mount, KINDRED SPIRIT, with the whip using an action that raised his arm above shoulder height.

Mr Pitman and Mr Walsh were present to assist.

Rule 638(3)(f)(ii) provides:

Without limiting the generality of subrule 638(3), in a Flat Race . . . A Rider must not use his / her whip:

(ii)  using an action that raises the Rider’s arm above shoulder height.


Mr Davidson with the assistance of Mr Oatham, showed the video replay of the final straight.  Mr Oatham pointed out, KINDRED SPIRIT, ridden by Mr Montes De Oca, out in front of the field. He showed the Respondent strike his mount twice with the whip from above shoulder height. Mr Oatham said Mr Montes De Oca had only used the whip on those two occasions.

Mr Pitman said that Mr Montes De Oca has made huge efforts to not contravene this Rule. Mr Pitman said because Mr Montes De Oca learnt to ride in Argentina this has meant that he has struggled to alter his style. Mr Pitman said the strikes themselves were not severe, this was agreed by the Stewards.

Mr Walsh said that Mr Montes De Oca has done a lot of work and has improved out of sight.


As the Respondent admitted the breach, the charge was found to be proved.


Mr Davidson said that Mr Montes De Oca had two prior breaches of using his whip above shoulder height, one on 30 October 2022 and one on 29 July 2022.

Mr Davidson submitted that as the Guidelines now in effect do not provide a specific penalty for whip use above shoulder height, that the penalties for whip use prior to the 100 metres should apply. Therefore, given this is the third breach, a fine of $500 is appropriate.

Mr Pitman said that the Respondent is an Apprentice Jockey and the fine should be $250. Mr Pitman also raised Mr Montes De Oca’s financial position.


The Adjudicative Committee agreed with Mr Davidson’s interpretation of the Penalty Guide. Although Mr Montes De Oca won the race the Adjudicative Committee does not consider it is necessary to uplift the fine. This was explained again to the Respondent and he was cautioned that he needed to eliminate whip use above shoulder height from his whip technique, or he will continue to be penalised for it.


The Respondent, Apprentice Jockey Diego Montes de Oca, is fined $500.

Decision Date: 21/12/2022

Publish Date: 13/01/2023