Cambridge JC 14 July 2021 – R 9 – Jacqui Fillmore

ID: RIB3383

Respondent(s):
Jacqui Fillmore - Jockey

Applicant:
Mrs Selvakumaran - Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Mr G Jones - Chair

Persons Present:
Mrs Fillmore, Mrs Selvakumaran, Mr A Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:
A14434

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Improper Use of Whip

Rule(s):
638(3)(b)(ii)

Plea:
Admitted

Code:
Thoroughbred

Race Date:
14/07/2021

Race Club:
Cambridge Jockey Club

Race Location:
Cambridge Jockey Club - 40 Racecourse Road, Cambridge, 4210

Hearing Date:
14/07/2021

Hearing Location:
Cambridge

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Jacqui Fillmore was fined $300

EVIDENCE:

This charge arises from the running of Race 9 the PK Sound 2000m.  Stipendiary Steward Mrs Selvakumaran filed an Information alleging that Mrs Fillmore used her whip above shoulder height when her mount (KOOLASCUZ) was out of contention.

Mrs Fillmore confirmed her admission of the breach and that she understood the nature of the charge.

Rule 638(3)(b)(i) provides:

A Rider shall not strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:  

(i)  unnecessary, or

(ii)  excessive, or

(iii)  improper

Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b), a Rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Flat Races

Prior to the 100-metre mark in a race, official trial or jump out:

(i)  The whip should not be used on more than 5 occasions.

(ii)  The whip should not be used in consecutive strides.

(iii)  The rider may at their discretion use the whip with a slapping motion down the shoulder, with the whip hand remaining on the reins. 

In the final 100 metres, the whip may be used at the Rider’s discretion.  

Notwithstanding the above, it will also be deemed to be unacceptable where a rider uses the drawn whip: 

(i)  when a horse is out of contention.

(ii)  when a horse is showing no response.

(iii)  when a horse has no reasonable prospect of improving or losing its position.

(iv)  when a horse is clearly winning.

(v)  after passing the winning post.

(vi)  using the whip with the arm above shoulder height.

(vii)  causing injury to the horse.

SUBMISSIONS:

Using available race films Stipendiary Steward Mr Dooley demonstrated the breach and identified KOOLASCUZ ridden by Mrs Fillmore.  He pointed out that KOOLASCUZ was racing on the fence into the home straight near the rear of the field.  He said that over the concluding stages of the race Mrs Fillmore struck her mount 5 times with 3 or 4 of the strikes being above shoulder height.  He said that KOOLASCUS was out of contention and finished in 10th place.

In response Mrs Fillmore said that she accepted the Stewards’ interpretation of the breach.  She had nothing further to add.

REASON FOR DECISION:

As Miss Fillmore admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mrs Selvakumaran submitted that Mrs Fillmore has a clear record under the Whip Rule.  She said that in mitigation the first two strikes were marginal with the other 3 being above shoulder height.  She said that an aggravating factor was that KOOLASCUS finished in 10th place.  Stewards submitted a fine of $300 would be appropriate.

Mrs Fillmore submitted that this is her first breach of the Rule and she agreed with Stewards’ suggestion that the first two of the five strikes were very marginal. Mrs Fillmore advised that she has recently returned to race riding after a 13-year absence.  She said that she has had an extremely limited number of race rides since her return and that she is “struggling to adapt to the Whip Rules” which said are markedly different from when she last rode.   With regards to her whip use when her mount was out of contention, Mrs Fillmore said that in its previous start KOOLASCUS ran on strongly and she expected with her urgings with the whip it would do the same on this occasion.  She asked the Committee to consider these factors when assessing penalty.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a 1st breach of the Whip Rule is a $300 fine. This is generally for cases involving excessive whip use where the penalties are graduated based on the number of strikes and the Rider’s recent record. The $300 fine is inclusive of admission of the breach and a clear record. On that basis this was adopted as the starting point albeit breaches involving improper or unacceptable whip use are fact dependent.

The Committee considered all the evidence and submissions. It is accepted that Mrs Fillmore struck her mount 5 times with at least 3 of the strikes being above the shoulder.  Her whip use on this occasion was outside the Guidelines which prohibit whip use when out of contention and use of the whip above shoulder height.  The optics of both actions are not good from an animal welfare perspective.

The Committee has placed some weight on the fact that Mrs Fillmore has recently returned to race riding after 13 years and so far, she has had limited race riding opportunities.  She is encouraged to adapt to the Whip Rules so that her whip style and action conforms with the requirements of the Rules.  She was advised of this and is therefore on notice that change is required.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mrs Fillmore was fined $300.

Decision Date: 14/07/2021

Publish Date: 15/07/2021