Otaki-Maori RC 9 March 2022 – R3 – Keil Collins
Otaki-Maori Racing Club
Otaki Racecourse - Te Roto Road, Otaki, 5512
Penalty: Assistant Starter Keil Collins was fined $300
Summary of Facts
The film of the incident was shown and commented on by Stipendiary Steward Mr Coppins. The only film available (not the Trackside film as the incident was not relayed on Trackside) was of poor quality and hard to obtain a clear impression of the incident. However it did show that the horse concerned, Rocket Science, was proving very difficult to load. Starter Keil Collins, using a long Buddy whip, was seen to strike the horse a number of times on the rump. The guide ropes were up and the horse was not responding to the urgings. It backed out when just about in on two occasions and the same whip was used to prod the horse to no avail. Finally after another use of the whip and a concentrated effort by the Starter’s assistance, the horse was loaded. Stipendiary Steward Mr Coppins did comment the horse was difficult to load and had been ordered back to trials to remedy its bad habits on at least two occasions. This was confirmed by Stipendiary Steward Mr Goodwin adding the horse was a bit of a rogue. Assistant Starter Mr Collins agreed that perhaps he was a little excessive in his whip use, however he had, on a number of occasions, difficulty loading the horse on race days and at trials. The horse did not lash out but was particularly stubborn. Starter Gary Phillips agreed with the comments and stated while the horse had no vices it was extremally frustrating.
Submissions on Penalty
It was pointed out that this was an unusual charge. Jockey J Lowry was fined $500 for breaching this Rule while attempting to get his mount into the stalls on 18 November 2020. This was Assistant Starter Mr Collins’ first charge and comment was made by both Stipendiary Stewards that he was annoyed with himself for this happening, being brought on by frustration and it certainly could be classed as a one off. However with animal welfare being paramount it is important that incidents such as this are held to account. Assistant Starter Mr Collins, in his submission, reiterated how hard the horse was to load and that his frustration was born out by his actions. The whip was used in a flicking action on the rump. He concurred with the comments made on the importance of animal welfare.
Reason for Penalty
In arriving at a decision to impose a monetary penalty for this breach, the Adjudicative Committee took into account the admittance of the breach and the obvious remorse shown by Keil Collins. While it was fortunate that the incident was not shown on Trackside, it was possibly viewed by those at the track. The horse is obviously a hard horse to load and after this latest incident has been ordered to have remedial work done. A starting point of a $500 fine was deemed appropriate and then reduced to reflect the comments made in the submissions.
A fine of $300 was imposed.
Decision Date: 09/03/2022
Publish Date: 10/03/2022