Ashburton RC 30 October 2022 – R3 – Diego Montes de Oca

ID: RIB11974

Diego Montes de Oca - Apprentice Jockey

Mark Davidson - Stipendiary Steward

O K Jarvis

Persons Present:
Mr Montes de Oca and Mr Michael Pitman / Mr Mark Davidson - Stipendiary Steward and Mr John Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward / Mr David Walsh - NZTR Apprentice Jockey Mentor

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip above shoulder height

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


Animal Name:
Marching on Tavi


Race Date:

Race Club:
Ashburton Racing Club

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ashburton RC

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Diego Montes de Oca fined $500


Following the running of Race 3, Mr Diego Montes de Oca, admitted a charge alleging that he had struck his mount, MARCHING ON TAVI, with the whip using an action that raised his arm above shoulder height.

Michael Pitman was 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 a video replay of the field as it turned into the home straight. He pointed out MARCHING ON TAVI, ridden by Mr Montes de Oca, was two off the rail. He then demonstrated Mr Montes de Oca strike his mount four times with the whip, from above shoulder height. There followed one other strikes which was “borderline”.

All parties agreed the four strikes were clearly above shoulder height.


As Mr Montes De Oca admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee finds the charge proved.


Mr Davidson said that Mr Montes de Oca did not have a great record but that he was getting help from Mr Walsh. Mr Davidson said that Mr Montes de Oca had one relevant breach from 29 July 2022 for using his whip above shoulder height.

Mr Davidson said there is no guidelines penalty for whip use above shoulder height but that the penalties for whip use prior to the 100 metres can be utilised. Given there was a prior breach under this part of the Rule, this breach should be regarded as a second offence, for which the Penalty Guide provides for a fine of $500.

Mr Walsh said Mr Montes de Oca has put in a lot of work to adjust to a compliant whip style and said that he has improved significantly. Mr Pitman said Mr Montes de Oca is about to come out of his Apprenticeship, which has been an extensive one. Mr Pitman said that prior to his involvement Mr Montes de Oca had hardly any rides.

Mr Pitman said that the Respondent is an Apprentice Jockey and the fine should be halved.


The Adjudicative Committee agreed with Mr Davidson’s interpretation of the Penalty Guide. While this included four strikes which were in breach of the Rule it is promising that Mr Montes de Oca has been working closely with Mr Walsh and appears to be making good progress. This is evident, given his extensive prior history under this Rule, by the gap since he last appeared on a breach of this nature. Mr Montes De Oca was encouraged to continue working hard to adjust his style and cautioned to ensure he does not again revert to using the whip with his arm above shoulder height.


Mr Montes de Oca, is fined $500.

Decision Date: 30/10/2022

Publish Date: 02/11/2022