Canterbury JC 23 April 2022 – R6 – Diego Montes de Oca

ID: RIB8667

Diego Montes de Oca - Apprentice Jockey

John Oatham, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Olivia Jarvis

Persons Present:
The Applicant, the Respondent and Michael Pitman (Class A Trainer)

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip above shoulder height

638(3)(f)(ii) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Canterbury Jockey Club

Race Location:
Riccarton Park - 165 Racecourse Road, Christchurch,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Riccarton Park

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey, Diego Montes de Oca fined $500


Following the running of Race 6, Waimakariri Businesses North Canterbury Cup Rating 74, the Respondent Rider Diego Montes de Oca, admitted a charge alleging that he had struck his mount, PINHEAD, with the whip using an action that raised his arm above shoulder height.

Licensed Class A Trainer, Michael Pitman, was present to assist.

Rule 638(3)(f)(ii) provides:

Without limiting the generality of subrule 638(3), in a Flat Race . . . A Rider must not use his / her whip:

(ii)  using an action that raises the Rider’s arm above shoulder height.


Chief Stipendiary Steward, John Oatham, showed a video replay of the field as it turned into the home straight. He pointed out PINHEAD, ridden by the Respondent, Mr Montes de Oca, making ground from a rearward position amongst runners. He then pointed out the Respondent strike his mount once with the whip, in his right hand, from well above shoulder height. There followed two other strikes which were “borderline”, Mr Oatham showed, but the charge related to the first strike, he said.

Mr Pitman said that it was very hard to change a style that the Respondent had been accustomed to in his home country of Argentina, but that was no excuse. He was trying to change his style and he has to, Mr Pitman said.


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


Mr Oatham said that the Respondent had been issued with a warning on 15 January 2022 for a similar offence. He was then charged on 20 January at Riccarton  under the number of strikes prior to the 100 metres, which included two strikes with the whip above shoulder height. There was a further charge at Riccarton on 29 January for whip use above shoulder height (3 strikes, 9-days suspension and $250 fine) under the previous Penalty Guide.

The Guidelines now in effect do not provide a specific penalty for whip use above shoulder height and, Stewards submitted, the penalties for whip use prior to the 100 metres should apply. Given there has been a warning and a previous charge under this part of the Rule, this breach should be regarded as a third offence, for which the Penalty Guide provides for a fine of $500.

Mr Pitman said that the Respondent is an Apprentice Jockey and the fine should be $250.


The Adjudicative Committee agreed with Mr Oatham’s interpretation of the Penalty Guide. This was explained again to the Respondent and he was cautioned that he needed to eliminate whip use above the shoulder from his whip technique, or he will continue to be penalised for it.


The Respondent, Apprentice Jockey Diego Montes de Oca, is fined $500.

Decision Date: 23/04/2022

Publish Date: 27/04/2022