Canterbury JC 5 May 2022 – R1 – Diego Montes de Oca

ID: RIB8906

Diego Montes de Oca - Apprentice Jockey

Mark Davidson, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Michael Pitman, Class A Trainer and David Walsh, Apprentice Jockey Mentor

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using whip more than 5 times prior to 100 metres

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


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, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey, Diego Montes de Oca, suspended 5 days


Following the running of Race 1, Vast Billboards & Wai Design Maiden, the Respondent Apprentice Jockey, Diego Montes de Oca, admitted a charge alleging excessive whip use prior to the 100 metres. It was alleged that the Respondent had used his whip 7 times prior to the 100 metres.

Licensed Class A Trainer, Michael Pitman, and Apprentice Jockey Mentor, David Walsh were 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).


Using the available video replays, Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson, demonstrated that the Respondent had struck his mount 7 times from the straight entrance to the 100 metres mark. Mr Davidson showed that CHAVELA, ridden by Mr Montes de Oca, was racing in 5th place in the 7-horse field as the field neared the home turn. The first two strikes were rounding the turn. After those two strikes with the whip in his right hand, the Respondent changed hands and used his whip in his left hand on a further three occasions, before changing the whip back to his right hand and using it on a further two occasions prior to the 100 metres, Mr Davidson said.

The Adjudicative Committee noted that CHAVELA finished in 5th place, 14.8 lengths from the winner.

Mr Pitman initially disputed the alleged count of 7. He counted 6, he said, one of the alleged strikes being on the shoulder. Mr Davidson was able to show a close-up of the disputed strike, after which Mr Pitman was satisfied that the Respondent had used the whip with the rein not in his hand. Mr Pitman was referred to the wording of the Rule (above).

Mr Pitman said that Mr Montes de Oca needs help with his whip use and said that he hoped that Mr Walsh could help him in that regard.


As the Respondent, Diego Montes de Oca, admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved.


Mr Davidson opened his submissions by saying that it had been discussed with Mr Pitman that the Respondent will be referred to the NZTR Rider Skills Review Panel pursuant to Rule 343.

Mr Davidson then referred to the two relevant previous breaches by the Respondent – on 21 December 2021 at Ashburton (suspended 5 days) and on 20 January 2022 at Riccarton (suspended 6 days). The Respondent has a number of breaches under other provisions of the Whip Rules, he said.

Mr Davidson submitted that for this breach, the appropriate penalty under the Penalty Guide is a 5-days suspension.

The Respondent sought a deferment of any proposed suspension until after the Riverton meeting on 11 May next. Mr Pitman undertook that he would ensure that the Respondent learns to ride within the Whip Rules.


The NZTR Revised Penalty Guidelines (effective 1 March 2022) prescribe a starting point for penalty, for a 3rd breach within 6 months involving 2 additional strikes, of a 5 national riding days suspension.

The breach is low-end, the strikes being well-spaced but, nevertheless, there were two strikes above the permitted number of 5 and it was Mr Montes de Oca’s 3rd breach since 21 December 2021. There are no relevant aggravating or mitigating factors and a penalty in terms of the Penalty Guidelines is appropriate.


The Respondent is granted a deferment until after racing at Riverton on 11 May 2022. His Class B Jockey’s licence is suspended for 5 national riding days from close of racing on 11 May 2022 until after the close of racing on 18 May 2022.

Decision Date: 05/05/2022

Publish Date: 06/05/2022