Matamata RC 9 October 2021 – R9 – Erin Leighton

ID: RIB5204

Respondent(s):
Erin Leighton - Apprentice Jockey

Applicant:
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Mr Noel McCutcheon

Persons Present:
Ms E Leighton, Mr N Harris - Riding Mentor, Mr K Coppins - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:
A15606

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Excessive Use of Whip

Rule(s):
638(3)(g)(i)

Plea:
Admitted

Code:
Thoroughbred

Race Date:
09/10/2021

Race Club:
Matamata Racing Club

Race Location:
Matamata Racecourse - 7555 State Highway 27, R D 3, Matamata, 3440

Race Number:
R9

Hearing Date:
09/10/2021

Hearing Location:
Matamata Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Erin Leighton is suspended for 7 riding days and fined $150

SUBMISSIONS:

Information A15606 was filed with the Adjudicator following the running of Race 9.

It was alleged by the Applicant that Ms Leighton had struck her mount “RODOLFO” with the whip 7 times prior to the 100m (5 is the limit under the Rules).

Ms Leighton in the presence of Mr Harris said that she understood the Rule and the Charge and confirmed that she admitted the breach.

Mr Coppins showed film replays and identified where Ms Leighton had struck her mount, with her whip, 7 times prior to reaching the 100m.

Ms Leighton and Mr Harris agreed that the number of strikes was 7.

REASON FOR DECISION:

As the film evidence was very clear in showing the strikes executed on “RODOLFO” together with the admitted breach, the Charge was found proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Ms Leighton’s record showed the following whip penalties imposed since 5 June 2021:

05 June 2021            $300 Fine

10 July                       $500 Fine

07 August                  5-Riding Day Suspension

05 September           5-Riding Day Suspension

Mr Oatham said that the record was of concern and discussion took place around the Penalty Guidelines.  Mr Oatham stated that “RODOLFO” finished 2nd with Ms Leighton’s share in round figures being $150.

Ms Leighton and Mr Harris said that the Respondent has had difficulties with her weight in the past and a lengthy suspension would make matters worse for her.

Ms Leighton asked that a big fine be imposed as her weight problems affect her mental health.

It was brought to the attention of Ms Leighton and Mr Harris that the Penalty Guidelines do not give flexibility for a fine only to be imposed.

Mr Harris was of the view that the strikes were not aggressive and that Ms Leighton sits low and is a neat Rider.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

Ms Leighton clearly has an undesirable record with this breach being her fifth since June 2021.

After considering all matters in relation to this breach it was determined that a suspension and a fine was an appropriate penalty.  The fine being 50% of Ms Leighton’s share of the prizemoney “RODOLFO” received for finishing 2nd.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ms Leighton’s Apprentice Jockey’s Licence was suspended from 17 October up to and including 27 October 2021(7-Riding Days) and a fine of $150 imposed.

Decision Date: 09/10/2021

Publish Date: 14/10/2021