Ashhurst-Pohangina RC 14 April 2023 – R8 – Bridget Grylls
Manawatu Race Club
Awapuni Racing Centre - 67 Racecourse Road, Awapuni, Palmerston North, 4412
Penalty: Jockey Bridget Grylls, 5 days suspension
Following the running of Race 8, the Respondent Class A Rider Ms B Grylls defended a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Information alleged that she allowed her mount to shift outwards near the 600 metres with ALWAYS MORE being checked.
Ms Grylls acknowledged she understood the Rule and confirmed that she did not admit 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 angles, Stipendiary Steward Mr N Goodwin demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned. Leaving the back straight, Ms Grylls was following CHEQUER BOARD (C Grylls), and behind her was ALWAYS MORE (K Asano). Mr Goodwin showed where Ms Grylls steadied her mount, and at the same time, angled outwards into the line of Mr Asano, who was forced to check. Mr Goodwin described the incident as “Ms Grylls coming out and putting her troubles onto someone else”. He said she should have taken a hold and pulled back, or stayed where she was.
Mr Asano gave evidence for the Stewards. He said his horse was travelling keenly and got squeezed up when the horse in front of him shifted out. That horse was ridden by Ms Grylls. With another horse outside of him he had no room to move. Mr Asano could not see if Ms Grylls’ horse was pulling hard or was in any difficulty, and estimated she was ¾ length in front of him when she took his line.
Ms Grylls defended the charge on the basis that her horse was pulling hard and CHEQUER BOARD who was in front of her, was stopping. She also showed an earlier stage of the race where Mr Asano’s mount was racing erratically, while free of any interference. With Craig Grylls coming back on her, she moved out to stop running up the back of that runner. Ms Grylls said she was pulling as hard as she could and had no other options.
Reasons for Decision:
In coming to a decision, the Adjudicative Committee had regard to the films, and all the evidence presented.
There was no dispute from either party that Ms Grylls moved out into the line of Mr Asano and caused him to check backwards. The films were carefully scrutinised from both angles in real time and slow motion. It was not readily apparent on these views that that Ms Grylls was having difficulty controlling her horse or that she was pulling as hard as she could to avoid the heels of the horse in front. Mr Grylls’ mount did ease further in the race but not at the time Ms Gryll’s moved outwards onto Mr Asano. In addition, Ms Grylls did not look to her outside to ensure it was safe for her to move prior to doing so. The Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.
Accordingly, the charge of careless riding against Ms Grylls was found proved.
Submission for Penalty:
Stipendiary Steward Mr Goodwin produced Ms Grylls’ riding record, declaring this was her 3rd charge in 12 months.
Ms Grylls has only recently returned to riding after an 8 month lay-off due to a shoulder injury.
Mr Goodwin said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be a little above low range.
Ms Grylls sought confirmation from her Manager on upcoming riding commitments and advised that any suspension could commence after racing tomorrow.
Reasons for Penalty:
After considering all submissions the Adjudicative Committee determined Ms Grylls’ carelessness to be at the low end of the scale. She was obviously worried about getting up on the heels of the horse in front and took what she thought was the only option. Unfortunately, she didn’t look and moved directly into the line of Mr Asano whose horse was checked. The interference looked bad but as Ms Grylls correctly pointed out, Mr Asano had been having difficulty with his horse prior to this incident and it is possible it overreacted.
A starting point of 5 days was adopted which conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide (as of February 2023).
There were no aggravating or mitigating factors. Ms Gryll’s record was considered a neutral factor. After consideration a 5-day suspension was imposed.
The Respondent’s License to ride in races is suspended for a period of 5 days, commencing after racing on Saturday April 15th and concluding after racing on Tuesday April 25th.
Decision Date: 14/04/2023
Publish Date: 17/04/2023