Otago RC 8 September 2023 – R3 – Kate Hercock

ID: RIB27259

Kate Hercock - Jockey

Ms Veronica Algar, Stipendiary Steward

Geoff Hall

Persons Present:
Mr Mark Davidson, Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Otago Racing Club

Race Location:
Oamaru Racecourse - Highway 1, Oamaru North, Oamaru, 9494

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Kate Hercock is suspended for 4 weeks

Ms Algar alleged that Ms Hercock rode carelessly in Race 3, in that she allowed her mount PERFECT MOMENT to shift in when not clear of WARM BREEZE (A Balloo), who clipped a heel and blundered, dislodging the Rider passing the 100 metres.

Mr Davidson demonstrated on the video angles, that at about the 100 metres mark when racing in the centre of the track near the front of the field, Ms Hercock allowed her mount to shift inwards approximately one and half horse widths. He said it was the first start for PERFECT MOMENT in blinkers and, while Ms Hercock had put the stick away, she had kept riding her horse out when it was shifting in. He said the horse had indicated earlier in the race that it wanted to lay in. Ms Hercock should have been aware of this. The result of PERFECT MOMENT shifting in was that she clipped the heels of WARM BREEZE and Mr Balloo fell to the track.

Ms Hercock said that on the corner, PERFECT MOMENT had moved sideways. She had used the stick in the straight, and had put it away, but the horse had continued to lay in. It was the first time PERFECT MOMENT had raced in blinkers and the horse had rolled away from the horse to its outside once it had seen that horse. She said she was not aware at first that she was shifting ground, but she had put the stick away and was pushing PERFECT MOMENT out to the finish. She said she was aware at that stage, that she was shifting ground. Ms Hercock was extremely remorseful and was most upset that she had caused a fall. She said she never saw Mr Balloo and, if she had, she would have straightened her horse.


As Ms Hercock has admitted the charge, it is found to be proved.

Submissions for Penalty

Ms Algar produced Ms Hercock’s record which showed 4 breaches of the Careless Riding Rule in the past 12 months. These were all low end breaches with the longest penalty being 5 days. The most recent breach was on 10 July. Ms Hercock has had 582 rides this season. Ms Algar referred to the Penalty Guide, which provides a penalty of a 4-week suspension for careless riding that results in a fall.

Ms Hercock reiterated her remorse at causing a fall. She requested a deferment of the commencement of the suspension until after 16 September, as she had forthcoming engagements.

Reasons for Penalty

Ms Hercock has shifted ground inwards late in the run home. It is estimated to be about one and a half horse widths. While it is accepted this is the first time PERFECT MOMENT has raced in blinkers and that the horse was laying in, Ms Hercock has acknowledged that although she put the stick away, she continued to push PERFECT MOMENT out to the finish in the knowledge that the horse was shifting in. She took no corrective action; as she said, she was unaware that Mr Balloo was there. Unfortunately, he was to her inside and the consequence was a clipping of heels and Mr Balloo falling. Mr Balloo stood down from the rest of his rides with bruising to an arm, but the Adjudicative Committee understands that neither Mr Balloo nor the horse suffered any significant injuries.

The gravity of a breach of the Careless Riding Rule that results in a fall, is reflected in the 4-week starting point. Ms Hercock has 4 breaches of the Careless Riding Rule in the past 12 months. These are all low level breaches, although it is of concern that the latest is only 6 weeks ago. This record needs to be viewed in the light that Ms Hercock is a busy Rider. In these circumstances, her record is regarded as a neutral factor. Ms Hercock has admitted the breach and is remorseful. A penalty at the starting point level is appropriate.


Ms Hercock is suspended from riding from the end of racing on 16 September, up to and including 14 October 2023. This is 4 weeks.

Decision Date: 08/09/2023

Publish Date: 12/09/2023