Hawkes Bay RI 18 September 2021 – R7 – Vinnie Colgan

ID: RIB4669

Vinnie Colgan - Jockey

Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

N Moffatt

Persons Present:
Neil Goodwin, Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

careless riding

638(1)(d) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:
Mustang Valley


Race Date:

Race Club:
Hawkes Bay Race Club

Race Location:
Hastings Racecourse - 200 Prospect Road, Hastings, 4122

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Hastings Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Vinnie Colgan - 7 day suspension and $350 fine


Following the running of Race 7 (Hawkes Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes – Group 3), an Information was lodged by Mr Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 638 (1) (d) in that V Colgan (MUSTANG VALLEY) permitted his mount to shift in passing the 100m crowding TUI ROCKS inward onto FUNNY GIRL which was checked.

Mr Oatham had Mr Goodwin explain the incident using the available video angles.

Mr Colgan was approximately four out from the fence behind the leaders when he urged his horse through a narrow gap between the mount of Danielle Johnson (IMPERATRIZ) and TUI ROCKS. Mr Goodwin said there was room for him to do so and the Stewards had no concern with his riding at this point. Ms Johnson’s mount then rolled in a little which tightened the gap for Mr Colgan and sent him inwards where he interfered with two runners to his inside. Mr Goodwin said the reason the Stewards charged Mr Colgan with careless riding was because he did not “do enough” to prevent the interference to the inside horses. When asked by the Committee what Mr Colgan should have done, Mr Goodwin explained that he drew his whip and kept riding forward which he should not have done.

Mr Colgan said that was a fair assessment of what happened but asked the Committee to realise that these incidents happen exceedingly quickly and there is little time for Riders to respond.


As Mr Colgan admitted the breach, it was deemed to be proved.


Mr Oatham produced Mr Colgan’s record for careless riding breaches over the preceding 12-month period:

26/12/20             4 days + $600

16/1/20               8 days + $1000

7/3/21                  4 days + $300

29/5/21               4 days + $350

He said the Stewards rated the incident today as in the low-mid range as there were mitigating circumstances as outlined by Mr Goodwin. Nonetheless 2 runners suffered severe interference.

Mr Colgan advised that he had no riding commitments over the next 10 days therefore any proposed suspension could begin immediately.


The Committee had regard to all submissions.

Mr Colgan rode MUSTANG VALLEY into a narrow gap and just when the  horse’s shoulders were well established in that gap the horse to his outside moved in on his line. As a result, Mr Colgan was forced inwards causing interference to both TUI ROCKS and FUNNY GIRL on his inside. While the interference was significant the Committee considered Mr Colgan’s carelessness to be below midrange. He took a risk going for the gap but if Ms Johnson’s mount had not moved in, he would probably have got through without issue. The Committee’s opinion is that while Mr Colgan could have taken stronger corrective action, this was competitive riding rather than a win at all costs situation.

In setting penalty, the Committee had regard to the new Penalty Guidelines for careless riding which came into effect on September 1st, 2021 and adopted a starting point of 6 days. Aggravating factors were the Group 3 status of the race (total stake of $80,000) and the fact that 2 horses were badly interfered with at a crucial stage of the race. An uplift of 2 days was applied.

Mitigating factors were Mr Colgan’s frank admission of the breach and the contribution of Ms Johnson’s mount. Mr Colgan’s record was considered neutral as 2 of his previous careless charges were 8 months ago.

A 7 day suspension was considered an appropriate penalty. It is usual to add a monetary penalty for breaches that occur in black-type races and Mr Colgan ran second in this race earning $740.00.


Accordingly, Mr Colgan’s license is suspended from the close of racing today Saturday September 18th up to and including racing on Thursday September 30th. In addition, he is fined the sum of $350.

Decision Date: 18/09/2021

Publish Date: 20/09/2021