Auckland TR 13 March 2022 – R9 – Elen Nicholas

ID: RIB8025

Elen Nicholas - Apprentice Jockey

Mr John Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr A Smith (Chair), Mr G Jones

Persons Present:
Noel Harris - Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Matthew Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Excessive Whip Use

638(3)(g)(i) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Race Location:
Ellerslie Racecourse - 100 Ascot Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland, 1050

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ellerslie Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Elen Nicholas suspended for 7 days


Following the running of Race 9, the Respondent Elen Nicholas (Apprentice Jockey) admitted a charge alleging excessive whip use prior to the 100 metres.

Apprentice Mentor Noel Harris was present to assist.

Rule 638(3)(g)(i) provides that in a Flat Race a Rider must not:

(i) 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); or

Using the available race films Mr Williamson demonstrated that Miss Nicholas struck her mount twice prior to the final corner and a further 6 times in the straight prior to the 100m (8 times in total).

In response, by way of explanation Miss Nicholas said that, due to an injury,  she hadn’t ridden for the past 5 months.

Mr Harris, who was supporting Miss Nicholas, said that Miss Nicholas may not have been aware of the Whip Rule changes, and that her horse was laying in and the initial application of the whip was to try and correct this. He also submitted that due to Covid they hadn’t had Apprentice School for a while.


As the Respondent Miss Nicholas admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved (Rule 915(1)(d) refers).

Submissions For Penalty

Mr Oatham produced Miss Nicholas’ record which indicated 1 previous breach within the 6 month reset period.

Stewards assessed the breach as low and submitted a penalty commensurate with the NZTR Revised Penalty Guide for excessive whip use (as of 1 March 2022).

Miss Nicholas submitted that she had been away from race riding for 5 months and was still coming to terms with the Whip Rules.

Pursuant to Rule 1106(2)(b) or Rule 1106(3)(b), Miss Nicholas sought a 10 day deferment to any proposed suspension in order to fulfil pending riding engagements.

Reasons For Penalty

The Penalty Guide starting point for a breach of this nature is set out below.

2nd breach, 3 additional strikes  – 5 national days starting point

After considering the film evidence, the submissions and having due regard for the number and frequency of strikes and the force used,  the Adjudicative Committee determined there are no compelling reasons to depart from the starting point set out in the Penalty Guide.

Due to the fact that this breach occurred in a black type (Group 2) race we have also imposed an uplift of 2 days suspension to the starting point.


Miss Nicholas is granted a 10-day deferment. Her licence to ride in races is suspended for 7 days from close of racing on 23rd March 2022 until close of racing on 6th April 2022.

Decision Date: 13/03/2022

Publish Date: 15/03/2022