Auckland TR 1 January 2024 – R10 – Joe Doyle

ID: RIB31280

Joe Doyle - Jockey

Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr G Jones (Chair), Mr A Smith

Persons Present:
Mr Oatham and Mr Doyle

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Excessive use of whip



Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Race Location:
Pukekohe Park - 222/250 Manukau Road, Pukekohe Hill, Pukekohe, 2120

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey, Joe Doyle suspended for 5 days and fined $100


Following the running of Race 10, Information A18012 was lodged alleging the Respondent, Class A Rider, Mr J Doyle, struck his mount, BILLY BUNTER, eight (8) times prior to the 100 metre mark.

Mr Doyle confirmed to the Adjudicative Committee that he admitted the breach.

Rule 639(3)(g)(i) provides that a rider must not:

“Strike a horse with a whip more than 5 times prior to the 100-metre mark (other than in a slapping motion down the shoulder with the whip hand remaining on the reins)

Using the available race films, Mr Oatham identified  BILLY BUNTER wide out on the track in the run up the home straight from the 400-metre mark.  Mr Oatham pointed out that from the straight entrance to well before the 100-metre mark Mr Doyle struck his mount eight times. This being three more than permitted by the Rule. In addition Mr Oatham said that BILLY BUNTER won the race by a narrow margin (a head).

Mr Doyle agreed with the number of strikes and submitted that he misjudged where the 100 metre mark was situated.


As the Respondent admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that Mr Doyle had one previous breach of the Rule, this having occurred on 3 October 2023, resulting in a $500 fine.

Mr Oatham submitted that this breach occurred in a race with a stake of $80,000 and given that Mr Doyle’s mount won the race, the Adjudicative Committee should consider whether the whip breach was a factor in the final result.

Mr Doyle did not agree that his whip use was a factor in the outcome of the Race.   He sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 4 January 2024.

Reasons for Penalty:

Current Penalty Guidelines provide for a 5 day suspension for a second breach in circumstances of three additional strikes.

The Adjudicative Committee reviewed the concluding stages of the Race to access whether Mr Doyle’s whip use was a determinative factor in his mount winning the Race.  The Race films clearly show that Mr Doyle struck his mount eight times prior to the 100 metres.  The strikes were reasonably well spaced, and the force used was not unreasonable.  Also, between the 300 and 200 metres he had to correct his mount after a whip strike because it commenced to lay out.  Over the concluding 100 metres of the Race he struck his mount on two further occasions.  Those strikes were well spaced.  In total he struck his mount ten times from the top of the straight to the finish.  Therefore in the opinion of the Adjudicative Committee it cannot be said with any degree of certainty that the eight plus two strikes were necessarily a determinative factor in BILLY BUNTER winning the Race. Accordingly, no uplift from the Penalty Guide, 5-day suspension was applied.

Also, in assessing penalty, pursuant to Rule 920, the Adjudicative Committee took into account the $80,000 stakes payable.  In that regard, a $100 fine was imposed .

Accordingly, after consideration of the facts a 5-day suspension and $100 fine is imposed.


The Respondent Mr Doyle is granted a deferment.  His License to ride in races is suspended for 5 days from the conclusion of racing on Thursday 4 January up to and including racing on Thursday 11 January 2024 and in addition a fine of $100 is imposed.

Decision Date: 01/01/2024

Publish Date: 02/01/2024