Ashburton RC 6 April 2022 – R3 – Lee Callaway

ID: RIB8455

Lee Callaway - Jockey

Veronica Algar, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Ashburton Racing Club

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ashburton Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Lee Callaway suspended 6 days


Following the running of Race 3, Heartland Print Maiden, Class A Rider, Lee Callaway, denied a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Information alleged that, as the Rider of TWILIGHT GEM, he permitted his mount to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of CEEDOUBLEUJAY (Courtney Barnes) resulting in TELLING TALES (Jasmine Fawcett) being forced inwards crowding CHAMONIX (Chris Carmine) onto THE ARCTIC BLAST (Kylie Williams) which was checked near the 1100 metres.

The Respondent acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his denial of the breach.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.


Using the available video replays, Ms Algar had Chief Stipendiary Steward, John Oatham, demonstrate the incident and identify the runners involved. Mr Oatham showed head-on and side-on vide replays of the relevant part of the race, approximately 500 metres after the start of the 1600 metres race. On the head-on video, he pointed out TWILIGHT GEM, ridden by Mr Callaway, which had drawn barrier 13 in the 14-horse field, crossing from wide out and shifting in when not fully clear of CEEDOUBLEUJAY, ridden by Ms Barnes, who had to take a hold of her mount and shift in to avoid his heels and onto Ms Fawcett’s mount, setting up a “concertina effect” with Mr Carmine’s and Ms Williams’ mounts being checked, he said.

Ms Fawcett’s mount had been racing to the inside of Ms Barnes and, once Ms Barnes got into her line, she had to shift in, Mr Oatham said.  She had looked and was aware that she had two runners to her inside – Mr Carmine and Ms Williams on the rails on his inside. Mr Carmine was taken in onto Ms Williams who was quite badly crowded on the inside. Mr Carmine managed to come back out across the heels of Ms Fawcett’s mount, Mr Oatham said.

Mr Oatham estimated that Mr Callaway was only “a bare length”, or 1 1/4 lengths at most, clear of Ms Barnes. Ms Fawcett was, in turn, barely a length behind Ms Barnes with Mr Carmine up inside her hind quarters and Ms Williams to Mr Carmine’s inside. Ms Fawcett had pressure on her right rein, attempting to keep pressure off the two runners to her inside, Mr Oatham said.

Kylie Williams had ridden THE ARCTIC BLAST in the Race. She confirmed that she had suffered interference around the 1100 metres. She had been travelling inside Mr Carmine’s mount, just a fraction off his hind quarters, she said. He was aware that she was there. Mr Carmine had received pressure from his outside, as a result, of which he had to come in on top of her. It got tight, her mount was checked, hit the running rail and lost ground, she said. Ms Williams said that she could see Ms Fawcett putting pressure on Mr Carmine but was not able to say what had happened further out.

Mr Callaway referred Ms Williams to the video replay. She agreed that Ms Barnes had been easing her mount. Asked how far clear he was when he crossed Ms Barnes, Ms Williams responded “your length and maybe a fraction clear”. She said that she believed that Mr Callaway had caused tightening to Ms Barnes but perhaps Ms Fawcett had shifted in a little more than she needed to.

Mr Carmine had ridden CHAMONIX in the Race. He said that his mount had received pressure from his outside and, as a result, was crowded and lost ground. Ms Fawcett was probably a half length clear of him, he said. He believed that the problem had started with Ms Fawcett who did not need to move in as much as she had. He had yelled to her that he had another runner on his inside. Mr Carmine agreed, when it was suggested by the Adjudicative Committee that Mr Callaway was three horses outside him at that point and he was therefore in no real position to observe that Mr Callaway had not caused the incident. Shown the video replay again, he agreed that Ms Fawcett had been dictated in by Ms Barnes and was taking evasive action.

Jasmine Fawcett had ridden TELLING TALES in the race. She confirmed that she had been dictated inwards by Ms Barnes’ mount which was “not at all clear”. The pressure had all come from her outside. She had wanted to stay off the rail but her mount had been pushed in. She had heard the other Riders (Mr Carmine and Ms Williams) yelling and she sat quite still and had been trying to keep a hold of her horse’s head to avoid clipping heels, she said. Her first thought was that Ms Barnes had come in abruptly. She had not seen Mr Callaway at the time. Having seen the replays, she believed that Ms Barnes was not at fault and had been, herself,  forced inwards by Mr Callaway.

Ms  Barnes was the Rider of CEEDOUBLEUJAY in the Race. She said that she had been dictated inwards by Mr Callaway’s mount, TWILIGHT GEM. She believed that Mr Callaway’s mount had been “just a length” clear. She was aware of what was going on behind her and she had eased the pressure again. Questioned by Mr Callaway she said that her mount had been travelling nicely until she had to take a hold of it when Mr Callaway came round. Mr Callaway had suggested that her mount had been overracing. She did not agree.

Mr Callaway  said that he was on a first-starter, known to be a difficult horse. His instructions were to go forward on the horse but not worry about being caught wide. He said that his defence had largely been presented in his questioning of the Stewards’ witnesses. He said that he had “come in a little bit”. Ms Barnes’ mount was overracing a bit and she may have been slightly dictated by him, but he submitted that she had angled down before he came in. There was movement from other horses where there did not need to have been, he submitted. Ms Williams and Mr Carmine both expressed doubt that it was him that had caused the incident. He accepted that he may have tightened Ms Barnes but did not believe that he had caused any of the other interference.


The Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved.


The Adjudicative Committee has carefully and at length viewed the video replays shown to the hearing and carefully considered the evidence of the witnesses and submissions of the parties.

The Adjudicative Committee finds that, shortly after the start, the Respondent was in the process of crossing from the wide barrier 13 and, in doing so, has placed pressure on CEEDOUBLEUJAY, ridden by Ms Barnes, and crossed that runner when not his own length and another length clear of it as required. Mr Oatham submitted that he was 1 to 1 1/4 lengths clear. Ms Williams said that Mr Callaway was his own length and maybe a fraction clear. Ms Barnes was forced to take a hold of her mount and shift away from Mr Callaway into the line of Ms Fawcett’s mount which, in turn, crowded Mr Carmine and then Ms Williams. Mr Callaway’s actions had caused a “concertina effect” involving four runners to varying degrees.

The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the cause of this was the initial inwards shift by Mr Callaway which, the Adjudicative Committee accepts, was only perhaps a horse-width or slightly more. However, Mr Callaway did not give Ms Barnes the required margin of clearance. This was quite apparent from the video evidence.

The Respondent stressed the evidence given, firstly, by Ms Williams and then Mr Carmine. The Adjudicative Committee is of the view that neither of those Riders was in a position to see what had happened and, for that reason, their evidence was of limited value, although Ms Williams did helpfully comment on the video evidence. The persuasive evidence was from Ms Barnes and Ms Fawcett. The former denied that her mount had been overracing and said that she had been forced to check, Mr Callaway being just a length clear. Ms Fawcett said that she initially thought that Ms Barnes had shifted in but, having seen the video evidence, she could see that Ms Barnes had been forced in.

It was clear to the Adjudicative Committee that, although the Respondent’s inwards shift was not great, it was done when he was insufficiently clear of Ms Barnes’ mount, as alleged in the information, and the subsequent interference to Ms Barnes’ mount and the other three runners was the result of the actions of the Respondent, Mr Callaway, who the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied rode carelessly.


Ms Algar said that Mr Callaway has two breaches of the Careless Riding Rule on his record – on 2 October 2021 at Riccarton (suspended 5 days) and on 2 February 2022 at Southland (suspended 5 days). Both were low-level breaches, she said.

Stewards saw the present breach as being below mid-range, Ms Algar said.

Mr Callaway has two declared rides at Riccarton on 9 April. He sought a 10-days deferment to enable him to ride at Riverton on 16 April.


The Adjudicative Committee accepted the Stewards’ submission that the breach was in the range of low-to-mid. While Mr Callaway’s carelessness caused some disruption to the field, there were no serious consequences and his carelessness was probably no more than an error of judgement.

The NZTR Revised Penalty Guidelines suggest a starting point of a 6 national riding days suspension for a low-to-mid range breach. Mr Callaway’s riding record, the Adjudicative Committee has treated as a neutral factor. There are no compelling reasons to depart from the Penalty Guide starting point.


The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted and his Class A licence is suspended for a period of 6 national riding days commencing after racing on 16 April 2022 and concluding after racing on 27 April 2022.

Decision Date: 06/04/2022

Publish Date: 08/04/2022